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More US schools are obliging students to take economics or personal finance classes before they go out into the real world full of credit cards, unemployment and mortgagesHave you needed to use your high school chemistry recently? The St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, part of the US central bank system, is on the forefront of trying to make economic and personal finance information accessible to the general public, and especially to students.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term mortgage rates slipped again this week.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term US mortgage rates eased slightly this week.

Average US 30-year mortgage rate unchanged at 4.19 percentLong-term US mortgage rates barely budged this week, after marking their first increase of the year last week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans was unchanged ...


More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in December. The increase possibly reflects more people scrambling to purchase homes as mortgage rates have been rising and increasing the costs of ownership. ...

The Commerce Department now estimates a total of 563,000 new homes were sold in 2016, the highest since 2007US sales of new single-family homes slowed in December but closed out the year at the fastest pace since before the 2008 financial crisis, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Amid rising mortgage rates and home prices, the sales decline pointed to an end-of-year slowdown in the housing market, as sales of existing homes also slowed in December despite a record year. New home sales fell 10.4 percent compared to November, to an annual rate of 536,000 units, seasonally adjusted, which was 0.4 percent below sales in December 2015.


Average US 30-year mortgage rate rises to 4.19 percentLong-term US mortgage rates rose this week after three weeks of declines, marking their first increase of the year. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans climbed ...


This Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, photo shows a house for sale in Coral Gables, Fla. On Thursday, Jan. 19, 2016, Freddie Mac reports on the week’s average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term US mortgage rates marked their third week of declines this week, after snapping a nine-week run of increases.


Average US 30-year mortgage rate falls to 4.12 percentLong-term US mortgage rates fell this week, the second week of declines after snapping a nine-week run of increases. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans eased ...


Long-term mortgage rates fall, breaking 9-week riseAfter nine straight weeks of increases, long-term US mortgage rates fell this week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans declined to an average 4.20 percent from ...


Long-term US mortgage rates rise, staying near 2014 highsLong-term US mortgage rates ticked up again this week, staying at their highest levels since early 2014. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac on Thursday reported the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans rose to an ...


US pending home sales fell in NovemberFewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in November. The decrease likely reflects the drag caused by rising mortgage rates and the shallow inventory of properties on the market. The National Association ...


A home for sale that is currently under contract is seen in Silver SpringContracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes fell in November to their lowest level in nearly a year, a sign rising interest rates could be weighing on the housing market, the National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday. "The brisk upswing in mortgage rates and not enough inventory dispirited some would-be buyers," the NAR said in a statement accompanying the figures. The November index was at its lowest level since January and 0.4 percent lower than in November 2015, the NAR said.


A worker works at the construction site of a new home in CarlsbadU.S. single-family home price increases accelerated modestly in October, in line with expectations, but rising mortgage rates in recent weeks could pose a risk for the sustainability of the gains, a survey showed on Tuesday. "Home prices and the economy are both enjoying robust numbers," said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "However, mortgage interest rates rose in November and are expected to rise further as home prices continue to out-pace gains in wages and personal income," Blitzer said.


Carpenters frame a home at a residential construction site in the west side of the Las Vegas Valley in Las VegasBy Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New U.S. single-family home sales rose more than expected in November and consumer sentiment hovered near a 13-year high this month, strengthening the view that the economy will gain further momentum next year. President-elect Donald Trump's plan to cut taxes and increase infrastructure spending is expected to boost economic growth, though it already has sparked a surge in mortgage rates that could hurt the housing market in the long term.


Long-term US mortgage rates hit highest levels since 2014Long-term US mortgage rates climbed again this week, hitting the highest levels since 2014. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans jumped to an average 4.30 ...


Homes are seen for sale in the southwest area of PortlandU.S. home resales unexpectedly rose in November, reaching their highest level in nearly 10 years, likely as buyers rushed into the market to lock in mortgage rates in anticipation of further increases in borrowing costs. The third straight monthly increase in existing home sales, reported by the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday, suggested housing would contribute to economic growth in the fourth quarter after being a drag in the previous two quarters. Existing home sales increased 0.7 percent to an annual rate of 5.61 million units last month, the highest sales pace since February 2007.


Existing US home sales reach highest since February 2007Americans bought homes in November in the fastest pace in nearly a decade. But rising mortgage rates, a deepening shortage of houses and higher prices are likely to weigh on the market next year. The National ...


Newly constructed houses built by Lennar Corp are pictured in Leucadia, CaliforniaAn improving job market and attractive mortgage rates continue to fuel demand for housing in the United States, helping homebuilders such as Lennar and PulteGroup Inc . U.S. home prices are set to rise almost 5 percent next year, despite the prospect of several interest rate increases, according to the latest Reuters poll. The U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates last week and signaled a faster pace of increases in 2017.


Rates surging 5 weeks post-election; will home sales weaken?Mortgage rates are still surging five weeks after Donald Trump's election victory. Will higher rates weaken prospective buyers' confidence next year and dampen home sales? While the job market is stable, ...


U.S. President-elect Donald Trump gestures as Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, departs after their meeting at the main clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club in BedminsterBy Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fast food executive Andy Puzder, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the Labor Department, could be in a position to undermine the agency's new rule on retirement advice which has long been opposed by the financial industry. Puzder has not publicly commented on the fiduciary rule, which is due to go into effect in April, but a glimpse into the 401(k) plans he offers his own employees at CKE Restaurants may provide a few clues about his philosophy. The plan is less generous than some of its fast food competitors, according to data and analysis from Brightscope Inc, a research company that rates 401k plans.


Jeffrey Gundlach, founder of DoubleLine Capital, speaks at the Sohn Investment Conference in New York CityFinancial markets could reverse their solid momentum at the latest by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration, DoubleLine Capital Chief Executive Jeffrey Gundlach said on Thursday. "The bar was so low on Trump to the point people were expecting markets will go down 80 percent and global depression - and now this guy is the Wizard of Oz and so expectations are high," Gundlach said. Gundlach had warned last month that federal programs take time to implement, rising mortgage rates and monthly payments are not positive for the "psyche of the middle class and broadly," and supporters of defeated White House candidate Hillary Clinton are not in a mood to spend money.


Homes are seen for sale in the northwest area of PortlandBy Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. home resales rose in October to their highest level in more than 9-1/2 years as homebuyers, buoyed by an improving labor market, took advantage of still-low mortgage rates to snatch up properties after many were shut out during the busy summer selling season. "Consumers certainly were in October, showing no hesitation whatsoever ahead of the presidential elections with its often harsh rhetoric and focus on all the things wrong with the economy." While a recent surge in mortgage rates could hurt the housing market next year, the impact is likely to be modest given a labor market that is at or close to full employment. The National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday existing home sales rose 2.0 percent to an annual rate of 5.6 million units last month, the highest level since February 2007.


For Sale signs stand in front of houses in a neighborhood where many British people have purchased homesA measure of U.S. mortgage application activity decreased for a second week to a five-month low as 30-year mortgage rates rose to their highest since June, data from the Mortgage Bankers Association released on Wednesday showed. The Washington-based industry group's mortgage market index fell 1.2 percent to 486.2 in the week ended Oct. 28, which was the lowest level since the week of May 27. Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, which are the most widely held type of U.S. home loans, averaged 3.75 percent in the latest week, matching the level last seen in June, MBA said.


Homes are seen for sale in the northwest area of PortlandA measure of U.S. mortgage application activity fell to its lowest level in nearly five months in the latest week even as 30-year mortgage rates declined from four-month highs, data from the Mortgage Bankers Association released on Wednesday showed. The Washington-based industry group's mortgage market index on a seasonally adjusted basis fell 4.1 percent to 492.0 in the week ended Oct. 21, which was the lowest level since the week of May 27. The group's seasonally adjusted index on weekly applications to buy a home fell 6.9 percent to 207.8 last week, which was the lowest since January.


A sold sign is seen outside a house built by KB Home in Golden, ColoradoThe results, from a poll taken Aug. 15 to 30, are based on optimism about a continued strong job market and spell good news for the U.S. economy given all of the industries tied to housing, from construction to furniture sales. "The tighter U.S. labor market will lead to stronger wage income growth over the coming year. Combined with still-low mortgage rates, income growth will lead to stronger purchase demand," said Andres Carbacho-Burgos, analyst at Moody's Analytics in West Chester, Pa.


A "For Sale" sign is seen outside a home in Cardiff, CaliforniaU.S. home resales fell more than expected in July after four straight months of strong gains, as a lack of inventory limited choice for buyers, but further price rises suggested the housing market remained on solid ground. The slump in sales reported by the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday is likely to be temporary, given that a tightening labor market is steadily pushing up wages and mortgage rates are near historically low levels. Existing home sales declined 3.2 percent to an annual rate of 5.39 million units last month, the NAR said.


A single family home is shown under construction by Toll Brothers Inc, the largest U.S. luxury homebuilder, in Carlsbad, CaliforniaShares of D.R. Horton Inc , PulteGroup Inc and Lennar Corp rose 2-3 percent. An improving job market as well as mortgage rates that are near historic lows are supporting a bright outlook for the U.S. housing market. D.R. Horton, the largest U.S. homebuilder, reported last month a nearly 10 percent rise in revenue for the April-June quarter, while PulteGroup, the No.3 U.S. homebuilder, reported a 41 percent rise in the same period.


Sold homes are seen in the southwest area of PortlandThe Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage activity for home purchases, a leading indicator of housing sales, fell 4 percent in the week ended Aug. 12. The average rate on "conforming" 30-year home mortgages, or loans with balances of $417,000 or less, dipped to 3.64 percent last week from 3.65 percent, the Washington-based group said. Weekly mortgage activity on home purchases reached an eight-month peak in early June before a decline since even as 30-year mortgage rates hovered near their lowest in over three years.


Homes are seen for sale in the northwest area of PortlandContracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes rose far less than expected in June, another sign that a lack of inventory is crimping activity despite mortgage rates being at near-record lows. The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday its pending home sales index, based on contracts signed last month, nudged up 0.2 percent to 111.0. The housing market has continued to strengthen amid historically low mortgage rates and almost six years of monthly job gains.


The Commerce Department now estimates a total of 563,000 new homes were sold in 2016, the highest since 2007"Solid, but hard to see significant further gains until mortgage demand rises," Ian Richardson of Pantheon Macro wrote in a research note. "Sustained job growth as well as this year's descent in mortgage rates is undoubtedly driving the appetite for home purchases," he said.


Home for sale under contract is seen in Silver Spring, MarylandU.S. home resales unexpectedly rose in June to their fastest pace in more than nine years as low mortgage interest rates drew buyers into the market, a positive sign for the economy. The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday existing home sales increased 1.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.57 million units last month, the highest level since February 2007. U.S. mortgage rates fell in June to their lowest levels since 2013 on bets the Federal Reserve would be cautious about raising short-term rates.


A man walks into the JP Morgan headquarters at Canary Wharf in LondonJust as mortgage bankers were preparing for the end of a historic boom driven by low interest rates, borrowers have begun knocking at their doors again. In earnings reports last week, JPMorgan Chase & Co , Wells Fargo & Co and Citigroup Inc said they originated $94 billion worth of new mortgages during the second quarter in their core mortgage operations, an increase of $23 billion, or 31 percent, over the first quarter. Mortgage rates have dropped to lows not seen since 2013 after the U.S. Federal Reserve dashed expectations for near-term rate hikes.


A real estate sign advertising a home for sale is pictured in Vienna, VirginiaU.S. home resales rose in May to a more than nine-year high amid low mortgage rates, pointing to sustained housing market strength that should keep the economy on solid ground. The fairly strong existing home sales report on Wednesday added to retail sales and international trade data in painting an upbeat picture of the economy in the second quarter. "The housing market recovery is truly back on track ..., which should reinforce confidence that the economic recovery is moving in the right direction," said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York.


Workers install a roof on a multi-family building against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains in BroomfieldU.S. housing starts slipped in May as the construction of multi-family housing units dropped, but further gains in building permits signaled a rebound that would support economic growth in the second quarter. Building permits rose 0.7 percent to a 1.14-million unit rate in May. "Another month of gains in building permits coupled with near record low mortgage rates provide opportunity for a bounce back," said Bill Banfield, vice president at Quicken Loans in Detroit.


Pending home sales in the US, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased for three straight months before hitting the wall in MaySteady buying and tight supplies pushed US home prices solidly higher in March, with the gains largest in the West, according to fresh data Tuesday. Twelve-month gains were weakest in New York, Washington and Chicago. "The economy is supporting the price increases with improving labor markets, falling unemployment rates and extremely low mortgage rates," said David Blitzer of S&P Dow Jones Indices.


A house under construction has a sold sign out front in the Candelas development in the northwest Denver suburb of ArvadaAnnualized U.S. single-family home prices rose more than expected in March, a survey showed on Tuesday. "The economy is supporting the price increases with improving labor markets, falling unemployment rates and extremely low mortgage rates," said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. Home prices in three U.S. cities, Denver, Seattle and Portland, Oregon, showed the highest year-over-year gains, the survey showed.


Home for sale sign hangs in front of a house in Oakton, on the day the National Association of Realtors issues its Pending Home Sales for February report, in VirginiaU.S. home resales rebounded more than expected in March as supply improved, suggesting the housing market recovery remained intact despite signs that economic growth probably stalled in the first quarter. The sales surge at the start of the spring selling season was a sign of confidence in the economy, and the momentum is expected to be sustained given low mortgage rates, recent stock market gains and a firming labor market, analysts said. It shows confidence," said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.


Home prices in three cities, Dallas, Denver and Portland, have topped their highs ahead of the 2007-2009 crisis, and San Francisco is now even with its earlier peakUS home price gains picked up in November with the market still supported by cheap credit and tight supplies, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index released Tuesday. "Home prices extended their gains, supported by continued low mortgage rates, tight supplies and an improving labor market," said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a statement.


Homes are seen for sale in the northwest area of PortlandBy Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. home resales rebounded strongly in December from a 19-month low and prices surged, indicating the housing market recovery remained intact despite signs of a sharp deceleration in economic growth in recent months. The National Association of Realtors said on Friday existing home sales jumped a record 14.7 percent to an annual rate of 5.46 million units, after being temporarily held back by the introduction of new mortgage disclosure rules, which had caused delays in the closing of contracts in November. Sales were also boosted by unseasonably warm weather and buyers rushing into the market in anticipation of higher mortgage rates.


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