Fed Holds Key Rate Steady As It Watches Economic Trends

Federal Reserve policymakers held the federal funds rate at its current range of 2.25 to 2.50 percent. Analysts speculated that the Fed may lower its key rate based on signs of slowing economic growth and the President’s encouragement to lower the Fed rate. Federal Open Market Committee members cited “uncertainties” in support of their decision not to change the Fed’s key lending rate. A stiff month-to-month drop in jobs growth and worries over trade problems associated with recent tariffs assessed against China contributed to the Committee’s decision to hold rates steady and closely watch domestic and global economic trends. Signs of slowing economic growth caused the Fed to adjust its forecast for achieving the benchmark inflation rate of 2.00 percent to 2021 and lowered expectations...

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 24th, 2019

Last week’s economic reports included monthly readings on housing market conditions, housing starts and building permits issued. Sales of pre-owned homes were released; the Federal Reserve announced its decision not to raise its key interest rate range. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released. NAHB: Home Builder Confidence Slips in June The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index for June showed builder confidence was two points lower at an index reading of 64. Builders surveyed said ongoing concerns such as lot and labor shortages impacted their outlook, but builders were also concerned over the impact of trade wars and tariffs on the cost of building materials. Housing starts dipped to 1.27 million starts on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis...

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4 Times When Laminate Flooring Is Better Than Hardwood

Hardwood flooring is considered a premium flooring material. It’s natural, long-lasting, durable and comes in a wide assortment of colors, wood, stains and plank widths. But hardwood flooring isn’t always the best choice. If you’re looking at homes to buy and eliminating the ones with laminate flooring, you could be overlooking some important considerations. There are at least four times when laminate flooring is a better option than hardwood: 1. You Live In A Very Humid Climate Excess humidity isn’t kind to hardwood floors. Wood is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs moisture from the surroundings. Too much moisture in the air can make hardwood floor planks “cup,” which is when the lateral sides curl up. Wood swells when it gets wet, which can cause displacement...

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NAHB: Builder Confidence Slips in June

Homebuilder confidence dropped two points in June according to the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index. June’s index reading was 64, which indicates strong sentiment among home builders for current housing market conditions. NAHB component readings also dropped in June with builder confidence in current home sales one point lower at an index reading of 71. Home builder confidence in home sales conditions over the next six months dropped two points to 70 and builder confidence in buyer traffic was one point lower at 48. Buyer traffic readings seldom exceed the NAHB benchmark reading of 50. Index readings over 50 indicate that most builders have positive sentiment toward conditions surveyed. Home Builders Cite Ongoing Concerns and Growing Worry Over Tariffs Home builders surveyed...

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How Long Should I Spend Looking For a New Home?

Whether you’ve been looking for a home for a long time now, or you’re just about to get started on the hunt, you’re probably wondering how long should you spend looking for a new home. Does it take weeks to find your forever home, or months or even a year? What’s typical? There Is No Typical The reality is, there is no typical amount of time it takes to find your home. There are too many variables, including how actively you’re looking. Maybe you’ve heard horror stories of people who’ve been hunting for a house for a year. But come to find out, they’ve only really devoted one weekend a month to looking at houses. Or you’ve heard of a couple who found their dream...

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