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  • Wed, Apr 15 2015
  • 9:54 AM » Fed's Bullard repeats view of hiking 'now', cites asset bubble risk
    Published Wed, Apr 15 2015 9:54 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Falling unemployment and an improving U.S. economy are evidence that the Federal Reserve should start raising interest rates, a top Fed official said on Wednesday, citing risks of asset bubbles if the central bank keeps rates too low for too long.
  • 8:53 AM » The Rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
    Published Wed, Apr 15 2015 8:53 AM by NY Fed
    W. Scott Frame, Andreas Fuster, Joseph Tracy, and James Vickery. The Rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Reports Staff Report Number 719, March 2015.
  • 8:50 AM » U.S. Bancorp Matches Estimates on Gains in Mortgage Revenue
    Published Wed, Apr 15 2015 8:50 AM by Bloomberg
    U.S. Bancorp Matches Estimates on Gains in Mortgage Revenue Bloomberg U.S. Bancorp, the nation's biggest regional lender, posted profit that matched analysts' estimates on gains in mortgage-banking revenue. First-quarter net income rose 2.4 percent to $1.43 billion, or 76 cents a share, from $1.4 billion, or 73 cents, a year earlier, ... and more »
  • 12:25 AM » Preliminary Table of Distressed Sales and Cash buyers for Selected Cities in March
    Published Wed, Apr 15 2015 12:25 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Wednesday: • At 7:00 AM ET, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index . • At 8:30 AM, NY Fed Empire State Manufacturing Survey for April . The consensus is for a reading of 7.0, up from 6.9 last month (above zero is expansion). • At 9:15 AM, the Fed will release Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for March . The consensus is for a 0.3% decrease in Industrial Production, and for Capacity Utilization to decrease to 78.7%. • At 10:00 AM, the April NAHB homebuilder survey . The consensus is for a reading of 55, up from 53 last month. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor. • At 2:00 PM, the Federal Reserve Beige Book , an informal review by the Federal Reserve Banks of current economic conditions in their Districts. Economist Tom Lawler sent me the preliminary table below of short sales, foreclosures and cash buyers for a few selected cities in March. On distressed: Total "distressed" share is down in most of these markets mostly due to a decline in short sales (Mid-Atlantic is up year-over-year because of an increase foreclosure as lenders work through the backlog). Short sales are down in these areas. The All Cash Share (last two columns) is declining year-over-year. As investors pull back, the share of all cash buyers will probably continue to decline.   Short Sales Share Foreclosure Sales Share Total "Distressed" Share All Cash Share Mar-15 Mar-14 Mar-15 Mar-14 Mar-15 Mar-14 Mar-15 Mar-14 Las Vegas 8.3% 12.9% 9.3% 11.7% 17.6% 24.6% 32.4% 43.1% Reno** 5.0% 14.0% 8.0% 7.0% 13.0% 21.0%     Phoenix           27.5% 33.1% Minneapolis 2.9% 4.9% 12.2% 21.9% 15.1% 26.8%     Mid-Atlantic 4.7% 7.7% 14.0% 10.9% 18.8% 18.5% 18.2% 19.9% Tucson           32.0% 33.5% Chicago (city)  ...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 12:25 AM » Ex-Freddie Mac Officials Settle SEC Claims Over Subprime Loans
    Published Wed, Apr 15 2015 12:25 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Ex-Freddie Mac Officials Settle SEC Claims Over Subprime Loans Bloomberg Richard Syron, former chief executive officer of Freddie Mac, testifies at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., in this Dec. 9, 2008 file photo. Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/Bloomberg ... and more »
  • 12:25 AM » Fed's Kocherlakota Worried Too-Low Inflation Could Persist for Years
    Published Wed, Apr 15 2015 12:25 AM by WSJ
    Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota said Tuesday he is worried undesirably low levels of inflation could be embedded in the U.S. economy for years to come.
  • Tue, Apr 14 2015
  • 4:16 PM » Jump in Home Loans at Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Shows Revival
    Published Tue, Apr 14 2015 4:16 PM by Bloomberg
    Jump in Home Loans at Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Shows Revival Bloomberg Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. posted their largest mortgage-lending gains in more than a year as the recovery in the market gains momentum. Wells Fargo made $49 billion in home loans in the first quarter, an increase of 36 percent from a ...
  • 4:16 PM » Early Read on Existing Home Sales in March; Look for a Big Jump
    Published Tue, Apr 14 2015 4:16 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From housing economist Tom Lawler: Based on state and local realtor/MLS reports I've seen from across the country, I estimate that existing home sales as measured by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 5.18 million in March, up 6.1 % from February's pace and up 10.2% from last March's seasonally-adjusted pace. On the inventory front, I project that the NAR's measure of the inventory of existing homes for sale at the end of March will be 1.96 million, up 3.7% from February and unchanged from a year ago. Finally, I estimate that the NAR's estimate of the median existing SF home sales price in March will be about 8% higher than a year earlier. The NAR is scheduled to release its March existing home sales report on April 22nd. I will send out an updated projection near the middle of next week.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 2:44 PM » House Bill on 'Waters of the U.S.' Would Protect Environment, Help Small Businesses
    Published Tue, Apr 14 2015 2:44 PM by NAHB
    Press Release
  • 2:41 PM » Millennials put off home buying, despite rising rent
    Published Tue, Apr 14 2015 2:41 PM by CNBC
    Despite rising rent prices and low interest rates, young Americans are largely still choosing to rent instead of buy.
  • 1:05 PM » More homeowners are cash-out refinancing
    Published Tue, Apr 14 2015 1:05 PM by Market Watch
    A growing percentage of homeowners are taking out cash from the equity they've built up when they refinance, according to a report based on data from one of the country's biggest lenders.
  • 1:04 PM » News Release - Fannie Mae Launches HomePath Ready ...
    Published Tue, Apr 14 2015 1:04 PM by Fannie Mae
    Today, Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) announced the HomePath Ready Buyer program, qualifying first-time homebuyers to receive up to three percent of ...
  • 11:40 AM » Bond market desperately seeking spring rebound
    Published Tue, Apr 14 2015 11:40 AM by CNBC
    From the looks of the bond market, you might think the economy was heading south-and fast.
  • 10:28 AM » ABA seeks changes to CFPB complaint portal and database
    Published Tue, Apr 14 2015 10:28 AM by www.cfpbmonitor.com
    Barbara S. Mishkin Last month, the CFPB announced that it was adopting its controversial proposal to publicly disclose consumer complaint narratives in its consumer complaint database, and would give companies, within the company web portal, an opportunity to recommend which option, if any, from a "set list of structured company response options" it wanted to include as a... More >
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.cfpbmonitor.com
  • 10:24 AM » Foreign Buyers and Sellers of U.S. Real Estate and the Value of the U.S. Dollar
    Published Tue, Apr 14 2015 10:24 AM by blog.stewart.com
    Foreigners have been a major component of buyers of U.S. real estate in recent years - both residential and commercial. A material 7 percent of all U.S. home sales were bought by foreigners in 2014 according to an annual study completed by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). The study was based on closings from … Read more
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: blog.stewart.com
  • 10:23 AM » Negative yields 'new normal' in Europe: Goldman
    Published Tue, Apr 14 2015 10:23 AM by CNBC
    Yields on sovereign bonds in Europe have edged so close towards negative territory that Goldman Sachs has called it the "new normal".
  • 8:43 AM » BofA Merrill Lynch Fund Manager Survey Finds Concerns of Overvaluation in Both Equity and Bond Markets
    Published Tue, Apr 14 2015 8:43 AM by newsroom.bankofamerica.com
    Dateline City: NEW YORK Bonds Seen as Most Overvalued in Survey's History Investors see growing overvaluations in both bonds and equities and have signaled concern about a valuation bubble forming, according to the BofA Merrill Lynch Fund Manager Survey for April. The proportion of global investors saying equity markets are overvalued has reached its highest level since 2000. A net 25 percent of respondents to the global survey say that global equities are currently overvalued, up from a net 23 percent in March and a net 8 percent in February. This is still, however, short of the record-high level of a net 42 percent in 1999. At the same time, the proportion of respondents saying that bond markets are overvalued has reached a new high in the survey's history. A net 84 percent of the global panel says that bonds are overvalued, up from a net 75 percent in March. At the same time, 13 percent believe that "equity bubbles" are the biggest tail risk markets are facing, up from 2 percent in February. Global respondents believe that the focus of overvaluation is on the U.S. - a net 68 percent of the panel says that the U.S. is the most overvalued region globally. Global panelists believe that all other regions, including Europe and Japan remain undervalued. These assessments come as investors increasingly accept that U.S. rates will rise at a time when the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan are engaged in monetary stimulus. Although a majority of investors expect no Fed hike before the third quarter, 85 percent expect a rate rise to take place this year. "April's survey offers further proof that global investors are front-running global monetary policy," said Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at BofA Merrill Lynch Research. "We are seeing a form of rational exuberance in Europe where a positive view on stocks is supported by fundamentals - but investors no longer believe valuations are cheap," said Manish Kabra...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: newsroom.bankofamerica.com
  • 8:41 AM » Wells Fargo profit falls as expenses rise
    Published Tue, Apr 14 2015 8:41 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co , the largest U.S. mortgage lender, reported a 2.6 percent fall in quarterly profit on Tuesday as expenses rose and the bank set aside more money to cover bad loans.
  • 8:37 AM » US producer prices rise after 4 months of declines
    Published Tue, Apr 14 2015 8:37 AM by CNBC
    U.S. producer prices rose in March after four straight months of declines and there were signs of some firming in underlying inflation.
  • 8:37 AM » Retail sales rebound 0.9% in March after three straight declines
    Published Tue, Apr 14 2015 8:37 AM by Market Watch
    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Sales at U.S. retailers rose in March by the largest amount in a year, rebounding after three straight monthly declines. Retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.9% last month, or by 0.4% excluding the auto sector, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Retail sales account for about one-third of consumer spending, the main engine of U.S. economic activity. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast retail sales to rise by 1.1% overall and by 0.7% minus autos. Auto sales jumped 2.7% % in March, also the highest in a year. Sales were mixed, with strength from stores that sell furniture, and building materials and garden equipment and weakness from gas stations, grocery stores, electronic stores and internet retailers. February sales were revised up slightly to a 0.5% fall from 0.6%. In the past year, retail sales have risen 1.3%.
  • Mon, Apr 13 2015
  • 11:03 PM » Tuesday: Retail Sales, PPI, Small Business Index
    Published Mon, Apr 13 2015 11:03 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Excerpts from a research note from BofA on March retail sales: "Farewell winter blues" There is finally good news to report on the US consumer. Spending on BAC credit and debit cards was up sharply in March, following a string of weak reports. Our measure of core retail sales - ex-autos and gasoline sales - increased 0.9% mom on a seasonally adjusted basis in March. This is a notable improvement from the past three months of essentially no growth. If we include gasoline station sales, the swing is even more dramatic given the significant adjustment in gasoline prices. ... As always when analyzing economic data, we have to be careful not to overreact to just one report. The gain in March follows several months of weak data, making the comparisons more favorable. Moreover, the early Easter holiday might have sent people shopping in late March. The weather is also an important factor; ... the regions with the harshest winter weather showed the largest declines in February and strongest gains in March. We are hopeful that the gain in March is the beginning of a healthier trajectory for consumer spending. As we have been arguing, all signs point to a solid consumer backdrop. ... Households have repaired their balance sheets and animal spirits have improved with consumer confidence trending higher. We are therefore holding to our core view that consumer spending will accelerate into 2Q, providing much-need support to GDP tracking. Tuesday: • At 8:30 AM ET, the Producer Price Index for March from the BLS. The consensus is for a 0.2% increase in prices, and a 0.1% increase in core PPI. • Also at 8:30 AM, Retail sales for March will be released. The consensus is for retail sales to increase 1.0% in March, and to increase 0.7% ex-autos • At 9:00 AM, NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for March. • 10:00 AM: Manufacturing and Trade: Inventories and Sales ( business inventories ) report for February. The consensus is for a 0.2% increase in inventories.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:00 PM » Senate Banking Committee to hold April 16 hearing on mortgage credit availability
    Published Mon, Apr 13 2015 11:00 PM by www.cfpbmonitor.com
    Richard J. Andreano, Jr. On April 16, 2015, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs will conduct a hearing entitled, "Regulatory Burdens to Obtaining Mortgage Credit." The witnesses scheduled to appear are: Tom Woods, President, Custom Woods Homes, and Chairman, National Association of Home Builders Chris Polychron, Executive Broker, First Choice Realty, and President, National Association of... More >
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.cfpbmonitor.com
  • 4:35 PM » Now Is the Right Time for Homeowners to Refinance
    Published Mon, Apr 13 2015 4:35 PM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Now Is the Right Time for Homeowners to Refinance: Lebda Bloomberg LendingTree founder and CEO Doug Lebda discusses the company's lending activity and competitive environment with Bloomberg's Mark Crumpton on "Bottom Line." (Source: Bloomberg). Related. U.K. Business Environment Way Better Than U.S.: Hill ...
  • 4:33 PM » New York Fed Still Searching for Cause of Oct. 15's Wild Treasury Volatility
    Published Mon, Apr 13 2015 4:33 PM by WSJ
    The head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Markets Group said Monday the cause of extreme bond market volatility one day last autumn remains hard to pin down, even as that day highlights the risks automated trading may be bringing to the vast market for U.S. Treasury debt.
  • 2:18 PM » The Wall Street Journal: What to look for in Wells Fargo earnings
    Published Mon, Apr 13 2015 2:18 PM by Market Watch
    Big mortgage lender is expected to report lower profit but higher revenue when it reports on Tuesday.
  • 12:22 PM » Fed Seeks Comment on Technical Details of Interest on Reserves Power
    Published Mon, Apr 13 2015 12:22 PM by WSJ
    The Federal Reserve said Monday it is seeking feedback on the details of a program it plans to use to help control short-term interest rates.
  • 12:21 PM » Q1 Report on Commercial Real Estate
    Published Mon, Apr 13 2015 12:21 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Some excerpts from a quarterly report from CBRE: U.S. Commercial Real Estate Sees Positive Start to 2015 The U.S. commercial real estate market showed continued strength across all property types in the first quarter of 2015 (Q1 2015), according to the latest analysis from CBRE Group, Inc. ... Office Market Q1 2015 marked the 12th consecutive quarter of office vacancy rate declines. The trend remains broad-based across U.S. office markets. Vacancy fell in 41 of the 62 markets, rose in 18, and remained unchanged in three. Absorption of office space in the quarter was 9.5 million sq. ft. Suburban markets drove the overall improvement with a decline of 20 bps to 15.4%. Performance in downtown markets was mixed; vacancy increases in several large metros pushed the downtown rate up 10 bps during the quarter, to 11.2%. ... Industrial Market The industrial real estate recovery has now continued for 19 quarters, the longest uninterrupted stretch of declining availability since CBRE began tracking industrial market activity in 1980. The start of 2015 saw the vast majority of markets continue to improve-41 reported declines in availability, while four remained unchanged and 12 recorded increases. ... Retail Market Retail availability remained unchanged between Q4 2014 and Q1 2015. However, availability at year end 2014 was 50 bps below its year-earlier rate and is now 180 bps below the post-recession peak of 13.3%. 34 of the 62 markets tracked had availability decline in Q1 2015, while 28 recorded flat or increasing rates. Forty-three markets have improved upon their rates from one year ago. ... Apartment Market Preliminary data shows that apartment demand continued to grow in Q1 2015, with the multifamily housing vacancy rate declining to 4.5%, a 40 bps drop from a year earlier. This represents a continuation of a persistent downward trend in national vacancy rates that began several years ago. The market is very tight and apartment demand remains strong as the vacancy rate pushes...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 12:20 PM » State Mortgage Regulators Take Action against New Day Financial, LLC
    Published Mon, Apr 13 2015 12:20 PM by www.csbs.org
    State Mortgage Regulators Take Action against New Day Financial, LLC<br/>http://www.csbs.org/news/press-releases/pr2015/Pages/pr04132015.aspx
  • 12:20 PM » Blackstone's real estate by the numbers
    Published Mon, Apr 13 2015 12:20 PM by CNBC
    Blackstone Group's planned $2 billion purchase of GE's Excel Trust shows the firm's reliance on real estate investments.
  • 9:43 AM » Greece casts shadow as ECB money printing buoys euro zone
    Published Mon, Apr 13 2015 9:43 AM by Reuters
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) - European Central Bank policymakers gathering on Wednesday will examine possible further emergency funding for Greece's banks as they take stock of a wider economic picture showing early signs of improvement.
  • 8:47 AM » European Bond Buyers Find Negative Yields Netting Positive Returns
    Published Mon, Apr 13 2015 8:47 AM by Bloomberg
    European Bond Buyers Find Negative Doesn't Necessarily Mean Bad Bloomberg Investors who held shorter-dated European debt have managed to eke out a positive return in 2015, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch indexes. That was even as price increases pushed yields in Germany and Austria below zero. The persistence of ...
  • 8:37 AM » Fed's Williams: Less risk of rate retreat
    Published Mon, Apr 13 2015 8:37 AM by CNBC
    As the job market improves, risk is receding that a setback could derail the recovery once the Fed raises rates, the San Francisco Fed president said.
  • 12:01 AM » LA Times: Office Vacancy Rate Declines
    Published Mon, Apr 13 2015 12:01 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Overall the office vacancy rate is falling, but still too high to spur a significant amount of new construction. However there are some submarkets that might see some new investment. From Roger Vincent at the LA Times: L.A. County office market tightens in first quarter Overall Los Angeles County vacancy fell to 16% in the first quarter from 18% in the same period a year earlier, according to the brokerage. Landlords raised their average asking rents 6%, to $2.73 per square foot a month. But the county office market has many submarkets, among which demand and rent vary widely. The popular Westside, for example, has been improving for the last few years even as other submarkets, including downtown Los Angeles, were stagnant. ... "We have a dozen submarkets below 10% vacancy now," [Petra Durnin, managing director of research for real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield] said. "That indicates the market strength we have been feeling is a reality." Vacancy below 10% is considered a tight market, one that favors landlords in rent negotiations with tenants. Developers are also inclined to build new offices when vacancy falls below 10%, but so far there is little construction compared with other periods of prosperity in recent history. No large office buildings came online in the first quarter, Durnin said, and only 1.5 million square feet of offices are under construction - a fraction of the existing inventory of 195.8 million square feet in L.A. County.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • Sun, Apr 12 2015
  • 11:53 PM » Flash Move Haunts Bond Traders Heeding Dimon's Warning of Crisis
    Published Sun, Apr 12 2015 11:53 PM by Bloomberg
    Flash Move Haunts Bond Traders Heeding Dimon's Warning of Crisis Bloomberg Six months after an unexplained flash rally in Treasuries sent markets reeling, bond investors are bracing for it to happen again. Prudential Investment Management is trading more futures because they're both liquid and anonymous. State Street Corp. is ...
  • Fri, Apr 10 2015
  • 5:00 PM » More Cities Post March Homes-Sales Gains
    Published Fri, Apr 10 2015 5:00 PM by WSJ
    On Friday, the Atlanta Board of Realtors reported 3,993 finalized home sales in March, up 13.8% from a year earlier. The San Antonio Board of Realtors reported a 17% sales gain in that span, and the Realtor association in Washington, D.C., disclosed a 5.7% gain in sales of single-family homes.
  • 2:19 PM » FNC: Residential Property Values increased 4.3% year-over-year in February
    Published Fri, Apr 10 2015 2:19 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    In addition to Case-Shiller, and CoreLogic, I'm also watching the FNC, Zillow and several other house price indexes. FNC released their February 2015  index data today.  FNC reported that their Residential Price Index™ (RPI) indicates that U.S. residential property values increased 0.6% from January to February (Composite 100 index, not seasonally adjusted).  The 10 city MSA, the 20-MSA and 30-MSA RPIs all increased by about 1% in February. These indexes are not seasonally adjusted (NSA), and are for non-distressed home sales (excluding foreclosure auction sales, REO sales, and short sales). Notes: In addition to the composite indexes, FNC presents price indexes for 30 MSAs. FNC also provides seasonally adjusted data. The year-over-year (YoY) change was about the same in February as in January, with the 100-MSA composite up 4.3% compared to February 2014. For FNC, the YoY increase has been slowing since peaking in March at 9.0%. The index is still down 19.4% from the peak in 2006 (not inflation adjusted). Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows the year-over-year change based on the FNC index (four composites) through February 2015. The FNC indexes are hedonic price indexes using a blend of sold homes and real-time appraisals. Most of the other indexes are showing the year-over-year change mostly steady at around 5% for the last several months. Note: The February Case-Shiller index will be released on Tuesday, Tuesday, April 28th.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 12:39 PM » Minneapolis Fed's Kocherlakota: Fed Shouldn't Raise Rates in 2015
    Published Fri, Apr 10 2015 12:39 PM by WSJ
    The Federal Reserve should wait until the second half of 2016 before beginning to increase its benchmark short-term interest rate, which has been pegged near zero since December 2008, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis president Narayana Kocherlakota reiterated Friday.
  • 12:38 PM » Take Off Friday and Monday Because Most Bond Traders Already Do
    Published Fri, Apr 10 2015 12:38 PM by Bloomberg
    Take Off Friday and Monday Because Most Bond Traders Already Do Bloomberg The boredom is so bad that it looks like some traders aren't even showing up for work on Monday morning. "A slow start to the week has become customary, as Monday appears to have become the new Friday," Barclays Plc analysts Jeffrey Meli and Bradley ...
  • 9:46 AM » Blackstone, Wells Fargo to Buy $23 Billion of Properties From GE
    Published Fri, Apr 10 2015 9:46 AM by Bloomberg
    Blackstone, Wells Fargo to Buy $23 Billion of Properties From GE Bloomberg Blackstone Group LP and Wells Fargo & Co. agreed to buy most of General Electric Co.'s real estate assets in a deal valued at about $23 billion as the industrial conglomerate takes advantage of strong property markets to further shrink its financial unit. and more »
  • 9:46 AM » Brisk Spring Season in Jacksonville Tests Home Buyers
    Published Fri, Apr 10 2015 9:46 AM by WSJ
    Home buyers in Jacksonville, Fla., and others across the U.S. are finding a different market this spring than in past years. Resurgent job growth, low interest rates and robust consumer confidence has expanded the ranks of would-be buyers.
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