U.S. economic growth barreled ahead at a brisk 3.5 percent rate this summer, exhibiting the best momentum in more than a decade and suggesting it has finally broken out of the doldrums after five years of sluggish recovery.
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Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates arrested their five-week decline this week but the benchmark 30-year loan remained below 4 percent.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday put to rest the extraordinary measures it has deployed in the more than five years since it first used them to spur economic growth and recovery from the Great Recession.
U.S. home prices grew more slowly in August amid modest sales, a trend that could help make homes more affordable in the months ahead.
Soaring inflation. A collapsing dollar. Bubbles in financial markets that would soon pop. One presidential candidate even suggested that the Federal Reserve chairman should be roughed up.
The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes ticked up slightly in September, as it remained difficult to qualify for mortgage financing.
With mortgage rates sliding for a fifth straight week, the possibility of locking in a rate below 4 percent is tempting for consumers and could unleash a wave of refinancing. It may even convince some Americans to buy their first home.
Banks will get a break in easier rules for packaging and selling mortgage securities and fewer borrowers will have to make hefty down payments under actions taken by federal regulators.
A sudden plunge in mortgage rates last week raised an urgent question for millions of Americans: Should I refinance my mortgage?
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