Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages have risen for a fourth straight week, remaining slightly above record lows. Cheap mortgages have helped fuel a modest housing recovery this year.
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits edged up slightly last week but remained at a level consistent with modest gains in hiring.
New federal rules proposed Wednesday would require all high-risk mortgage lenders to obtain property appraisals for the first time.
U.S. builders broke ground on the most new homes and apartments in nearly four years last month, the latest evidence that the housing market is recovering.
In the excitement of buying a brand-new home and choosing the features and finishes they desire, the last thing most buyers are thinking about is selling that home. Resale value is not always at the top of the list of considerations of new-home buyers, yet the choices made in the builder's design center will have an impact on the property's future value.
Freddie Mac issued a report Wednesday claiming the housing market may be emerging from a long slump. The government-backed mortgage giant happily cited the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo confidence index, which is up for the fifth month in a row. The home builders forecast increased home sales for the coming year, based on an expectation of higher economic growth. Unfortunately for Freddie Mac, the real data provide little reason for such optimism.
Homebuilders' feelings about the current housing market haven't changed from February, but many are growing more optimistic that sales could pick up in the coming months.
Ben Bernanke says declines in home prices have forced many Americans to cut back sharply on spending and warns that the trend could continue to weigh on the economy for years.
Wall Street edged higher Wednesday following reports that the International Monetary Fund could get more cash to help countries struggling to manage their debt.