Fed Sticks to Stimulus Plan, Warns Growth Hampered by Budget Cuts

April 28, 2018

Richard Drew/AP WASHINGTON — The U.S. Federal Reserve stuck to its plan to buy $85 billion in bonds each month to push down borrowing costs and prop up the economy, citing risks to growth from recent budget tightening in Washington. Describing the economy as expanding moderately in a statement that largely mirrored its March decision, Fed officials cited continued improvement in labor market conditions. But they reiterated that unemployment is…


U.S. Home Prices Surge 10.5% in March

April 14, 2018

AlamyBy CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER WASHINGTON — A survey shows U.S. home prices rose 10.5 percent in March compared with a year ago, the biggest gain since March 2006. Core Logic, a real estate data provider, said Tuesday that annual home prices have now increased for 13 straight months. Prices are rising in part because more buyers are bidding on a limited supply of homes for sale. Prices increased in 46…


U.S. Homebuilders’ Confidence Climbs in May

April 11, 2018

Keith Srakocic/APBy ALEX VEIGA Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rebounded this month, reflecting improved sales trends during the spring home-selling season and the strongest outlook for sales during the next six months in more than six years. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index climbed to 44 this month from 41 in April. It was the first increase since December. Measures of customer traffic and current sales conditions…


U.S. Housing Starts Plummet in April, But Permits Surge

September 23, 2016

Mel Evans/APBy MARTIN CRUTSINGER WASHINGTON — U.S. builders broke ground on fewer homes in April, one month after topping the 1 million mark for the first time since 2008. But most of the decline was in apartment construction, which tends to vary sharply from month to month. And applications for new construction reached a five-year peak, evidence that the housing revival will be sustained. The Commerce Department said Thursday that…


5 Mortgage Facts You (Really, Seriously) Need to Know

September 17, 2016

Alamy One reason why the housing bust was so severe was that millions of homeowners got blindsided by the terms of their own mortgage loans. Yet years after the financial crisis, potential buyers still don’t know everything they should about financing a home purchase — even the most basic things. Zillow recently surveyed prospective and current homeowners about their mortgage expertise, and results from the study reveal that many homebuyers…


Bernanke Signals Fed Will Keep Stimulus in Place

September 11, 2016

Paul Beaty/APFederal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.By MARTIN CRUTSINGER WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is telling Congress Wednesday that the U.S. job market remains weak and that it is too soon for the Federal Reserve to end its extraordinary stimulus programs. Reducing the Fed’s efforts to keep borrowing rates low would “carry a substantial risk of slowing or ending the economic recovery,” Bernanke said in testimony to the Joint…


The 10 Best U.S. Cities for Retirees

September 5, 2016

Alex Proimos, Flickr.comBy Megan Durisin Sunny. Walkable. And a low cost of living. Nerdwallet recently came out with its rankings of the top 10 best cities to retire. Ranking cities by factors like medical care, climate and cost of living*, they sought to find the kind of places where retirees can kick back and relax but still engage in a bustling city culture when they want it. *Cost of living…


Home Foreclosures Fall to Lowest Level in 5-Plus Years

August 30, 2016

Paul Sakuma/APBy ALEX VEIGA LOS ANGELES — The number of U.S. homes repossessed by lenders last month fell to the lowest level in more than five years, the latest evidence that the nation’s foreclosure crisis is abating amid an improving housing market. While some states still saw increases in homes taken back by banks, nationally home repossessions fell 3 percent in March from the previous month and were down 21…


New Home Sales Up 2.3% in April as Median Price Hits Record High

August 27, 2016

Prev1 of 2Next Mel Evans/AP WASHINGTON — Sales of new homes rose in April to the second highest level since the summer of 2008 while the median price for a new home hit a record high, further signs that housing is recovering. New-home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 454,000 in April, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That was up 2.3 percent from March and just slightly…


How Much Financial Advice Do You Need? (Hint: Less Than You Think)

August 24, 2016

AlamyBy Paul O’Donnell How much financial advice do we need? It’s a question we all ask ourselves, whether we pay a certified financial planner handsomely or go it alone. But with a troubling national shortfall in retirement savings and the lingering effects of a foreclosure crisis, policymakers and researchers are asking the same question in the hope of coming up with low-cost ways to keep people on the right track….