US Mortgage Applications Jump to Highest Since May

U.S. mortgage applications jumped last week to their highest since late May as interest rates tumbled below 5 percent, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications, which includes both purchase and refinance loans, for the week ended Sept 18 increased 12.8 percent to 668.5, the highest level since the week ended May 22.

While consumers clamored for home refinancing loans, their appetite was also robust for applications to buy a home, a tentative early indicator of sales. The overall trend bodes well for the hard-hit U.S. housing market, which has been

showing signs of stabilization. Continue reading

Moorings Column from 09-07-09

Hello and welcome to this week’s Moorings Column.  The clock is counting down and there is now less than three months left to take advantage of the $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit.  Just as a reminder, you have to close on your home by November 30th to qualify, barring any further action or extension from Congress.  On that same note I would highly encourage any and all readers to write your Federal Legislators and encourage them to extend this all-important tax credit that is helping to bring our economy back to profitability.  More and more people have bought property in the past few months.  Year to date there have been 1,584 homes sold in New Hanover County and out of that total, 808 have been homes sold at $200,000 or less, which is the most common price range for first time homebuyers that qualify to receive the $8000 tax credit.   All told that is $117,724,628 of real estate sold in that price range, all of which is helping to bring about a positive change in our economy in the housing sector.  So please, take an active interest in this very important part of our Countries future and help us get this extended.  Continue reading

Fed Officials More Confident Recession is Ending

With the economy on the mend, Federal Reserve policymakers last month felt comfortable slowing the pace of one of its economic revival programs and not changing any others, according to documents released Wednesday.

Minutes of the central bank’s closed door deliberations, held Aug. 11-12, also showed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues striking a much more hopeful note about the economy’s prospects compared with an assessment made in late June. Many Fed officials saw “smaller downside risks,” the documents stated.

Fed officials expected the pace of the recovery to “pick up” in 2010, but there was a range of views — and considerable uncertainty — about the likely strength of the upturn because of concerns about how consumers will behave.

After being pounded by the recession, consumer spending finally appeared to be leveling out, the housing market was firming and manufacturing was stabilizing, the Fed said. Plus, the outlook for other countries’ economies improved, auguring well for the sale of U.S. exports. Continue reading