Interest rates

  • Rate hikes are ahead – but how many? by Ryan Smith

    The Federal Reserve has signaled that it will continue to hike interest rates sporadically. Now the Congressional Budget Office is projecting just how high rates might go over the next few years

  • Fed holds rates steady – for now by Ryan Smith

    After raising interest rates at its last meeting, the Federal Reserve decided against a rate hike in May – but intimated that further hikes were on the way

  • Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction Debate Heats Up in Congress by

    It was a battle between economists and legislators. The mortgage interest tax deduction was deconstructed and dismantled during a meeting of the Joint Committee on Taxation of the U.S. Congress. This $100 billion annual deduction has come under heavy scrutiny due to the budget deficit and the ongoing sequestration.

  • U.S. Home Builders Appeal to Congress for More Housing Incentives by

    According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), oversimplifying the tax code and reducing financial incentives for housing could hurt the American middle class and widen the gap between the super-rich and everyone else. Such was the testimony presented to the U.S. Congress by economist Robert Dietz on behalf of the NAHB.

  • Interest Rates Might Save the FHA from Financial Collapse by

    The fate of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has become a politically-charged issue in Capitol Hill. Since 2008, the FHA has taken on a significant amount of risk as the lender of last resort in the United States. If not for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA, the American housing market would have suffered an even more damaging collapse since it is unlikely that the private sector could have provided the financial guarantees that the government-sponsored mortgage investors have extended to borrowers over the last few years.

  • Is Wall Street Building Steam for the Next Real Estate Bubble? by

    Warren Buffet really opened up a can of worms when he made the statement in the Spring of 2012 that he would buy "a couple hundred thousand" single family homes and hold them for a long time, at low mortgage rates. The moment that statement came from his lips, every hedge fund in the Country decided they were going to get into the business of single-family homes, and they certainly have!

  • Record-Low Long-term Mortgages Are Helping to Brighten Economic Outlook by

    The average US rates on fixed mortgages recently fell steeply and moved closer to historic lows, a shift favored by many in the mortgage marketplace. Freddie Mac, one of the country’s largest mortgage buyers, announced Thursday, April 11th, 2013, that the average rate for the 30-year fixed loan fell to 3.43 percent from 3.54 percent the previous week. These figures are very close to the 3.31 percent that was reached in November 2012, which also represented the lowest percentage recorded since 1971. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage also dipped to 2.65 percent from 2.74 percent the previous week with figures only slightly above the record low of 2.63 percent in 1971.

  • Waiting for Relaxed Mortgage Lending Standards by

    The United States government has been very proactive in terms of stimulating mortgage lending activity since the disastrous collapse of the credit markets in 2008. Mortgage interest rates have been pushed down to historical low levels through the Treasury's Operation Twist and the third round of quantitative easing (QE3), which makes the government a major investor in mortgage-backed bonds. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) now guarantee almost all mortgages originated in the U.S. these days, The White House is very involved in foreclosure prevention and mitigation programs.

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