Stable Home Prices, Low Mortgage Rates Could Gas Economy
November 11, 2010, USA TODAY
Mortgage rates are hitting another record low just as home prices are firming in more parts of the country, two trends that could help boost the economy. Potential recovery fuel: Rates on 30-year fixed loans averaged 4.17 percent, down from 4.24 percent a week ago, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. They've been below 5 percent since early May. Median home prices in the third quarter were up from last year's third period in 77 of 155 metro areas, the National Association of Realtors reports. In 2009's third quarter, only 30 areas showed year-over-year growth.
US Consumer Sentiment Rises
November 11, 2010, Reuters
U.S. consumer sentiment rose more than expected in early November, helped by a slightly better economic outlook and early holiday sales, a survey released Friday showed. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary November reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 69.3, up from 67.7 in October and slightly higher than the median forecast of 69.0 among economists polled by Reuters.
Coming Next: Foreclosure-Free Zones
November 11, 2010, Boston Herald
One month ago, the city of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs of Cook County became a foreclosure-free zone. It wasn't the banks or judges that instituted the moratorium, because they were still moving cases forward at a rapid clip. The holdup was elsewhere: at the sheriff's office. Sheriff Thomas J. Dart, whose office is responsible for physically evicting delinquent homeowners, announced Oct. 19 that his deputies would "no longer be doing the banks' work for them anymore."
Million-Dollar Homes: Massive Discounts
November 11, 2010, CNNMoney.com
Million-dollar homes are the most affordable they've been in years. In fact, $600,000 is the new $1 million, according to Alex Villacorta, senior statistician for Clear Capital. Here are 7 smoking deals from around the country.
Nicolas Cage's Bel-Air Home Goes to New Owner for $10.5 Million
November 11, 2010, Los Angeles Times
The sale of Nicolas Cage's onetime Bel-Air estate, which the actor lost to foreclosure this year, has all the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster. There was hubris, bad taste and a dizzying fall from financial grace. The closing scene played out this week when a new owner picked up the sprawling mansion for $10.5 million, a relative bargain for a trophy home that had been listed several years ago at more than three times that amount. The buyer was identified only as a limited liability company, a common cloaking device in high-profile real estate transactions.