Wilmington ranked no. 13 for business and careers

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Lucky number 13 – for Wilmington, at least.

Forbes Magazine has ranked Wilmington the 13th best places in the nation for business and careers.

The rankings were based on the research from data on job growth over the past five years and projections through 2011.

Business and living cost data were also taken into account, in addition to income growth and migration trends.

North Carolina had several cities in the top ten including: Asheville at 6th, Durham in 3rd, and Raleigh took the number one spot for the third straight year.

Forbes reports that employment is expected to fall during 2009 in Raleigh after jobs were added at a 4% annual clip the past five years.

They say the job picture is expected to brighten in 2010 and 2011, and the three-year projected annual employment gain is 1.4%. according to Moody’s Economy.com, 15th best in the country.

For information on obtaining a mortgage or to find out about current mortgage rates, visit www.alphamortgage.com.

Home sales showing signs of rebounding


Home sales nationwide unexpectedly rose 4.7 percent in February, but they were down more than 40 percent compared to February of 2008.

In Wilmington, home sales increased by a 4.9 percent margin compared to January of this year.

Robin Hackney of Signature Homes says any positive news is worth celebrating and she believes she knows one of the reasons for the sales increase. “People are getting a little more confidence, but they’ve also put incentives in place. There’s an $8,000 tax credit. It says first-time home buyers, but the description of a first time homebuyer is anybody in the last three years that’s not owned a home.”

For information on obtaining a mortgage or to find out about current mortgage rates, visit www.alphamortgage.com.

Mortgage Rates for 30 Year Drop To Record Low

U.S. mortgage rates fell to record lows again this week, feeding demand for refinancings, as a result of government efforts to reduce rates to levels that will help the hard-hit housing market begin to recover.

Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.85 percent for the week ending March 26, down from the previous week’s 4.98 percent.


The rate broke the previous record low of 4.96 percent set 10 weeks earlier, according to Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the lowest since Freddie Mac started the Primary Mortgage Market Survey in 1971.

“The Federal Reserve’s announcement that it intends to purchase Treasury securities over the next six months caused bond yields to drop and mortgage rates followed,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement.

Low mortgage rates have spurred a surge in home refinancing loans, and resulting lower monthly payments should provide a bit of relief to strapped consumers amid rising unemployment and a shrinking economy.

But the precipitous drop in mortgage rates has made only a marginal impact on demand for loans to purchase a home, offering little sign of a recovery from the worst housing downturn since the Great Depression.

“Everything helps when it comes to the U.S. housing market and lower interest rates on mortgages should make it easier for buyers to enter the market and absorb supply, which is still quite high,” said Lawrence J. White, professor of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

“For existing homeowners who are able to refinance, it should help prevent foreclosures and free up cash,” he said.

Other rates drop

Freddie Mac said the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.58 percent in the latest week, down from 4.61 the prior week.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also reached a record low.

One-year adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, fell to an average of 4.85 percent from 4.91 percent last week.

Freddie Mac said the “5/1” ARM, set at a fixed rate for five years and adjustable each following year, averaged 4.96 percent, compared with 4.98 percent a week earlier.

The 5/1 ARM has never been lower since the span of Freddie Mac’s weekly survey, which dates back to 2005 for the 5/1 ARM.

A year ago, 30-year mortgage rates averaged 5.85 percent, 15-year mortgages were at 5.34 percent and the one-year ARM was at 5.24 percent.

 For information on obtaining a mortgage or to find out about current mortgage rates, visit www.alphamortgage.com.

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For information on obtaining a mortgage or to find out about current mortgage rates, visit www.alphamortgage.com.

Fed Plans to Buy Long-Term US Government Debt

The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday, in a surprise move, said it will buy up to $300 billion worth of longer-term U.S. government debt over the next six months and expand purchases of mortgage-related debt to help ease credit market conditions.

In a statement at the end of a two-day meeting, the central bank’s policy panel also said it had decided to hold its target for overnight interest rates in a zero to 0.25 percent range —the level reached in December.

It said rates would stay low for “an extended period,” a more explicit vow to stay on hold for a prolonged time. Continue reading

US Economy Finally Showing Signs Of A Recovery!

Call off Depression 2.0.

While still far from health, the U.S. economy is showing some encouraging signs of life as consumers tiptoe back to the shopping mall, home builders pick up their hammers, and manufacturers clear out inventory.

That suggests the soon-to-be-completed first quarter will be as bad as it gets, and apocalyptic fears of another lengthy, painful Great Depression look unwarranted.

But it does not mean the recession is over.

A return to growth is still several months away, and it will probably be far longer before the economy is strong enough to create jobs. That means unemployment will continue to rise, and more people will fall behind on bill payments, keeping the pressure on banks at the epicenter of the financial crisis.

“I don’t think that this is the beginning of a recovery. It’s the beginning of a much slower pace of decline,” said Ethan Harris, an economist with Barclays [BCS  5.38    0.07  (+1.32%)   ] in New York. “You’ve got to walk before you run.”

A recent round of less-dire economic data has raised hopes that the economy is at least beginning to crawl, if not walk.

For information on obtaining a mortgage or to find out about current mortgage rates, visit www.alphamortgage.com.