economic recovery - Articles

Mortgage Applications Rise as Rates Fall

Brian Chan/Alamy By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK -- Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week as interest rates declined, an industry group said Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Rates Move Up a Tick in Latest Survey

Jae C. Hong/AP WASHINGTON -- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose slightly this week but remained near historically low levels. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for the 30-year loan ticked up to 4.41 percent from 4.40 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage increased to... Continue Reading »

Construction Spending Barely Budges in February

Elise Amendola/AP By MARTIN CRUTSINGER WASHINGTON -- U.S. construction spending posted a slight increase in February as a rebound in construction of hotels and other nonresidential buildings offset a decline in housing. But housing construction fell as activity was still being depressed by the harsh... Continue Reading »

New Home Sales Fall to 5-Month Low

Tony Dejak/AP By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON -- Sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell more than expected and hit a five-month low in February, pointing to continued weakness in the housing market. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that sales fell 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000 units,... Continue Reading »

Home Prices Rise More Than Forecast in January

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images By Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK -- U.S. single-family home prices rose in January and slightly beat expectations, a closely watched survey said Tuesday. The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 0.8 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis. A Reuters poll of... Continue Reading »

Net Worth of U.S. Households Sets Record

Richard Drew/APA surging stock market and rebounding home prices boosted Americans' wealth to a record in the final three months of last year. By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER WASHINGTON -- A surging stock market and rebounding home prices boosted Americans' wealth to a record in the final three months of last year, though... Continue Reading »

Study: Housing Recovery Uneven Across U.S.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images By Margaret Chadbourn WASHINGTON -- The U.S. housing sector is likely to experience an uneven recovery over the next five years, with some local markets bouncing back faster than others, according to a study released Wednesday. By 2018, the median price of single-family homes will be close to... Continue Reading »

U.S. Homebuilder Confidence Slips in January

Gregory Bull/AP By Richard Leong NEW YORK -- U.S. homebuilder confidence faded a bit at the start of 2014, although most developers expected the housing recovery to continue, data from the National Association of Home Builders released Thursday showed. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index slipped to 56 points in... Continue Reading »

Home Prices Rise at Slower Pace in September

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER WASHINGTON -- A measure of U.S. home prices rose only slightly in September from August, a sign that prices are leveling off after big gains earlier this year. Real estate provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that home prices increased 0.2 percent in September from the... Continue Reading »

Homebuyer Contracts Plunge as Interest Rates and House Prices Rise

AFP, Getty Images By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy existing homes fell in September to the lowest level in nine months. The decline reflects higher mortgage rates and home prices that have made purchases more costly. The National Association of Realtors said... Continue Reading »

Spending on Construction Projects at Near 4½-Year High

George Frey/Getty Images By MARTIN CRUTSINGER WASHINGTON -- Spending on U.S. construction projects rose at a solid pace in August, helped by further gains in residential building. Overall construction activity climbed to the highest level in more than four years. Construction spending increased 0.6 percent in August... Continue Reading »

Case-Shiller: Home Prices Gain in July at Slower Pace

Steven Senne/AP By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER WASHINGTON -- U.S. home prices rose 12.4 percent in July compared with a year ago, the most since February 2006. An increase in sales on a limited supply of available homes drove the gains. The Standard &Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index reported Tuesday improved... Continue Reading »

Fed Sticks to Stimulus, Worried About Growth Soft Spots

Charles Dharapak/APFederal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke By Pedro da Costa and Alister Bull WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it would continue buying bonds at an $85 billion monthly pace for now, expressing concerns that a sharp rise in borrowing costs in recent months could weigh on the... Continue Reading »

Home Prices Heat Up in May as Pace of Gains Cools

Nick Ut/AP By Leah Schnurr NEW YORK -- U.S. single-family home prices rose in May, suggesting the housing market recovery continued during the spring buying season though the pace of gains cooled compared to the month before, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday. The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20... Continue Reading »

Sales of New Homes Rise to 5-Year High as Prices Soar

Mike Groll/AP By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON -- Sales of new U.S. single-family homes vaulted to a five-year high in June, showing little signs of slowing in the face of higher mortgage rates. The Commerce Department said Wednesday sales increased 8.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 497,000 units, the... Continue Reading »

Home Foreclosures Fall to Lowest Level in Nearly 8 Years

Ariel Skelley/Getty Images By ALEX VEIGA LOS ANGELES -- Fewer U.S. homes entered the foreclosure process or were repossessed by banks in June, the latest sign that the nation is shaking off its housing bust hangover. Lenders initiated the foreclosure process on 57,286 homes last month, the lowest level for any month in... Continue Reading »

U.S. Home Prices See Biggest Jump in 7 Years

Wilfredo Lee/AP By Christopher S. Rugaber WASHINGTON -- U.S. home prices jumped 12.2 percent in May from a year ago, the most in seven years. The increase suggests the housing recovery is strengthening. Real estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that home prices rose from a year ago in 48 states. They fell only in... Continue Reading »

Home Sales Surge in May as Buyers Lock in Low Rates

By Paige Gance WASHINGTON -- Contracts to purchase previously owned homes in the U.S. rose in May to the highest level in more than six years as buyers rushed to the market to lock in deals before interest rates climb higher. The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that its Pending Home Sales Index, based on... Continue Reading »

Housing to Drive Economic Growth (Finally!)

By Chris Isidore The bursting of the housing bubble plunged the economy into a recession from which it has yet to fully recover. But economists say this could finally be the year that housing lifts us out of the doldrums. Just over half of economists surveyed by CNNMoney identified a housing recovery as the primary... Continue Reading »

Economists: Housing Recovery Finally Here

By Chris Isidore It's been a long time coming, but economists surveyed by CNNMoney believe the nation's housing market has finally turned the corner. Of the 14 economists who answered questions about home prices in the survey, nine believe that prices have already turned higher or will make that turn later this year.... Continue Reading »

Home Sales Rising: Is That Good or Bad?

Home sales are up, but economists are far from pleased. Despite a 10 percent rise in existing home sales in September, many housing analysts believe the housing market is once again deteriorating. A rise in new home building usually helps lead the way out of a recession by providing jobs for workers in the construction... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Market 'Absolutely Broken,' Says Volcker

Just when you thought the housing market was out of the woods, a trusted financial sage delivered a scorched-earth assessment. Former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker abandoned a speech to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago at the last minute yesterday to deliver an impromptu rant on the sorry state of the economy.... Continue Reading »

Home Prices Rise for 4th Month in a Row, but Can It Last?

Not many Americans are feeling it yet, but we may be in the midst of a housing recovery. National home prices increased in May by 2.9 percent, as compared to May 2009, according to real estate information firm CoreLogic, making it the fourth straight month they have done so. But don't celebrate just yet; many experts... Continue Reading »

Are Home Prices Headed for a Double Dip?

Just as home prices appear to be stabilizing, we may be falling into what economists call a "double dip." In other words, after climbing back from the near death spiral of the last few years, yet another round of housing pain may be on its way. U.S. housing prices have plummeted a jaw-dropping 32.6 percent from their... Continue Reading »

Initial Unemployment Claims Fall Slightly

The number of initial unemployment claims improved slightly last week, but the job market remains weak. It's one more indicator of a weak economic recovery. The stock market may be at its highest point since fall 2008 -- go figure -- but the number of initial unemployment claims is still too high to lend much support to... Continue Reading »

Foreclosures STILL Rising. Told Ya So!

I hate to say I told you so.... but we warned you not to believe all the rosy news. Yes, a week and a half ago, I wrote that the headlines crowing about declining foreclosure filings, suggesting a light at the end of the tunnel, were misleading because many homeowners were in limbo waiting for lenders to decide whether... Continue Reading »

Fewer Join Ranks of Newly Unemployed

Hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs and joined the unemployment lines last week -- slightly less people than the week before, but still far too many to help stabilize our housing market, prevent foreclosures and grow our economy. The number of people who filed for their first week of unemployment benefits... Continue Reading »

Home Affordable Help Turns 1, Still Crawling

Happy Birthday, HAMP! As the federal foreclosure mitigation program hits the one-year mark, it's finally helping a significant number of people renegotiate their mortgage payments and stay in their homes. More than a quarter million people had been approved for permanent home loan modifications through the $75 billion... Continue Reading »

The Good News About Declining Foreclosures Is Misleading

The headlines this morning (including our own) seems to suggest a light at the end of the foreclosure tunnel. "U.S. Foreclosure Filings Increase at Slowest Pace in Four Years," proclaims Bloomberg. Any reasonable reader would be justified in coming to the conclusion from the headline -- which, I'm afraid, is where many... Continue Reading »

Connecting the Dots: How Bad Off Is the Real Estate Market?

Economic signals have been all over the map lately, making it hard to get a handle on what's happening in the housing market and broader economy. Every now and again, it is of value to connect the dots -- the sort of thing U.S. intelligence agencies historically fail to do combating terrorism -- to get a truer picture of... Continue Reading »

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