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Viewing by month: March 2012

Mar 30 2012

Consumer Sentiment Index at Highest Rate Since Late 2007

High oil prices or not, American consumers are feeling more confident about conditions than at any time since the recession began in late 2007.

That's according to the latest survey by Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan, which reported Friday that its March consumer sentiment index climbed to 76.2 from 75.3 a month ago. That pushed up the average reading for the first quarter to the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2007.

What's been boosting sentiment? In a word, jobs.

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37 comments - Posted by Suzanne Baker at 3:40 PM - Categories:

Mar 27 2012

Home Prices Fall to 2002 Levels...

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The housing market started the new year with a thud. Home prices dropped for the fifth consecutive month in January, reaching their lowest point since the end of 2002.

The average home sold in that month lost 0.8% of its value, compared with a month earlier, and prices were down 3.8% from 12 months earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 major markets.

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56 comments - Posted by Suzanne Baker at 3:48 PM - Categories:

Mar 22 2012

Home Buying is Much Cheaper than Renting...

The answer has never been clearer: Buy.

In 98 of the top 100 housing markets, buying a home is more affordable than renting, according to the online real estate company Trulia. Only Honolulu and San Francisco buck the trend.

There are several reasons. Home prices are falling. Mortgage interest rates are at historically low levels. And rents are on the rise.

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119 comments - Posted by Suzanne Baker at 12:50 PM - Categories:

Mar 20 2012

Home Builder Sentiment...Holds Steady at Highest Level in Nearly Five Years

U.S. home builders’ confidence in the housing market held steady in March after five consecutive monthly gains, keeping sentiment at the highest level in nearly five years as the industry slowly regains its footing after a devastating bust.

The National Association of Home Builders said Monday its housing market index was 28 this month. It was the same level as February, which was revised down from a previously reported 29. The reading, while historically low, is holding at its highest level since June 2007.

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36 comments - Posted by Suzanne Baker at 12:44 PM - Categories:

Mar 16 2012

The Storm is Here!

The storm predicted for this weekend is arriving. After an, almost, record dry winter we can use all of the white stuff we can get! I'm looking forward to a big fire and watching the snowflakes fall outside...what a treat.

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44 comments - Posted by Suzanne Baker at 4:03 PM - Categories:

Mar 14 2012

Spring Ritual Returns; "For Sale Signs Sprout"...

Inventories of homes listed for sale in February rose by 0.5% from January, to 1.78 million, marking the first increase in nine months.

Still, for-sale listings were 22% below their year-earlier levels and still near their lowest point since the housing bust deepened five years ago, according to the data from Realtor.com.

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54 comments - Posted by Suzanne Baker at 7:50 PM - Categories:

Mar 12 2012

Beware Tax Rules When Refinancing...

Those who decide to borrow more than they owe on their existing mortgage often assume they can write off interest on the whole new loan, but in many cases they can't. Homeowners generally are entitled to interest deductions on whatever amount was left on the original mortgage. Whether they can deduct interest on the excess depends on several factors, including the amount of extra money they have borrowed and how they plan to use it. Risk getting it wrong and homeowners could find themselves the subject of an Internal Revenue Service audit.

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65 comments - Posted by Suzanne Baker at 3:25 PM - Categories:

     
   
 
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