Existing home sales rise
June sales of existing homes went up 2.8 percent in June -- a rise unprecedented by experts. Existing single-family home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.23 during June -- a 10-month high, according to the National Association of Realtors. Analysts had previously expected sales to fall nearly 2 percent during that period. With a continued strong economy and rising mortgage rates, many American homebuyers are seeking to close their deals before rates go even higher. May also saw a rise in existing home sales, pushing the numbers up 4.3 percent to a rate of 5.09 million units.
Adjustable rate mortgage climbs again
The average interest rate on a one-year adjustable rate mortgage rose this week to the highest level in more than nine years, Freddie Mac says. But the 30-year home mortgage rate fell slightly. The average rate on a one-year adjustable mortgage rose to 7.25% this week from 7.15% the previous week and is the highest since 7.36% in the week ending April 26, 1991. The rise in the adjustable rate ''could lead to a slowdown in housing as home buyers who find the lower-rate ARM more appealing are priced out of the market,'' said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's deputy chief economist.
Realty tech stocks improve
Heading into Easter Weekend, most realty tech stocks had recovered a bit from last Friday's Wall Street beating, when Nasdaq and the Dow Jones Industrial Average had record single-day drops. After a week that saw several real estate-related technology firms suffer 40 or 50 percent drops in share prices, some key companies could breath easier Thursday. The markets were closed today.
Before the 1997 tax law, you could defer the tax on a home-sale profit if you bought a more expensive home. No more. Under the current law, if you and your spouse file jointly, you can escape tax on up to $500,000 of profit when you sell your main home IF you owned and lived in it for at least two of the five years before the sale. (For single taxpayers, the exemption is $250,000.)
If you have good credit, get your loan from the parent bank, not its subsidiary
A home loan is a home loan, no matter which division of the bank makes it, right? Not necessarily -- and mortgage customers who don't know any better could be getting their
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