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NEW YORK — Rates on fixed mortgages edged up again from the lowest levels in decades, making it slightly less attractive for Americans to buy or refinance in a market that’s struggling to recover. Freddie Mac said Wednesday that the average rate for 30-year fixed loans rose to 4.40 percent this week from 4.39 percent last week. The 15-year loan also increased, to 3.77 percent from 3.76 percent.
The Bonneville Power Administration is tempering its request for higher electric rates next year. BPA officials had considered asking for a 12 to 20 percent rate hike, but opted instead for a 6 to 10 percent hike, given the ongoing weakness in the Northwest’s economy, said Steve Wright, BPA administrator.
Starting Nov. 1, Avista’s Washington customers will pay about $4.50 extra on their combined monthly gas and electric bills. The price hike is a result of higher wholesale natural gas costs and a reduction in a federal credit for electricity rates.
The co-author of a study on state economic competitiveness warned Tuesday that Washington’s economy could tank if voters support a proposed income tax. Jonathan Williams said states that have adopted the tax over the last few decades have suffered for it. A few, Missouri and Kansas among them, may eliminate the tax, he said.
Avista customers in Washington will see their electric rates go up 7.2 percent and their natural gas rates rise 3.2 percent starting Dec. 1, according to an agreement pending state approval.
Mortgage rates sank to the lowest level in decades this week, pushed down by the weak economy and the Federal Reserve’s move to help lift the recovery by purchasing government debt.
Mortgage rates fell to a new record low for the fourth time in five weeks. But low rates haven’t been enough to lift a struggling housing market.
Mortgage rates fell for the second straight week to the lowest point in five decades. But many people either don’t qualify for new mortgages or have already taken advantage of the low rates this year.
Applications for home loans rose last week as consumers raced to refinance at the lowest rates in decades. The Mortgage Bankers Associations said today that overall applications increased nearly 7 percent from a week earlier.
Fears that the economic recovery is fizzling grew Thursday after the government and private sector issued weak reports on a number of fronts. Unemployment claims are up, home sales are plunging without government incentives and manufacturing growth is slowing.
Mortgage rates have sunk to the lowest level in more than five decades, but consumers aren’t rushing to refinance their loans or buy homes.
Mortgage rates fell this week to the lowest level on record, giving consumers added incentive to lock in low payments for home purchases and refinanced loans.
The Federal Reserve struck a more cautious tone about the strength of the U.S. economic recovery, indicating Europe’s debt crisis poses a risk to it.
Inflation has essentially disappeared, and that gives the Federal Reserve more room to keep interest rates at record lows. Consumer prices fell in April for the first time in more than a year.
The Federal Reserve sounded a more confident note Wednesday that the economy is strengthening but pledged to hold rates at record lows to make sure it gains traction.
Spokane County hotels have sold substantially more rooms so far in 2010, and bookings for future business are up dramatically, the president of the Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau said Monday.
ATLANTA – U.S. births fell in 2008, probably because of the recession, updated government figures confirm. The one exception to the trend was the birth rate among women in their 40s, who perhaps felt they didn’t have the luxury of waiting for better economic times. The birth rate for women in their early 40s rose a surprising 4 percent over the previous year, reaching its highest mark since 1967. The rate for women in their late 40s also rose, slightly.