Mortgage Rates Fall for 5th Straight Week

  WASHINGTON — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week for a fifth straight week. The spring home-buying season has started slowly, but it may be aided by the low rates. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for a 30-year loan edged down to 4.12 percent from 4.14 percent last…

New HUD Secretary To Be Nominated Today

Filed under: News
Susan Walsh/The Associated PressSan Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, 39, is expected to be announced as President Obama’s choice to lead HUD.

By Darlene Superville

CHICAGO — President Barack Obama is preparing to boost the profile of a…

Vote Planned on Fannie, Freddie Reform Bill

The Senate Banking Committee plans to vote on a U.S. housing finance reform bill on Thursday in what could be the last effort this year to move forward with legislation to wind down mortgage firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Sen. Tim Johnson, the Democrat who chairs the committee,

Case-Shiller: Home Prices Gain Ground in February

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER WASHINGTON — U.S. home price gains cooled in February from the previous year for the third month in a row, as harsh winter weather and high buying costs have slowed sales. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 12.9 percent in February compared with 12 months earlier. While healthy,…

New Fed Chair Showing More Flexibility on Interest Rates

  By Martin Crutsinger WASHINGTON — In her first weeks as Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen has made one thing clear: The Fed will keep all options open in deciding when to raise interest rates from record lows. Gone are the benchmarks that her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, used to try to guide investors: That by…

Homebuilder Confidence Rises, Barely

  By Paul Wiseman – U.S. homebuilders’ confidence in the housing market rose modestly in April but remained at low levels for the third straight month, constrained by tight credit for homebuyers and a shortage of workers and available land. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index, which measures confidence in the single-family…

City Scraps Plan to Level High-Rises at Games’ Opening

  LONDON — Plans to demolish five high-rise apartment towers as part of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony have been dropped. Officials said Sunday that safety and security concerns led to the change of heart. Glasgow 2014 officials had planned to blow up five of the six Red Road apartments as a symbol of the…

France Puts U.N. Ambassador’s NYC Apartment Up for Sale

  The French Foreign Ministry confirmed this week that the apartment at 740 Park Avenue was up for sale. By Jamey Keaten – PARIS — France’s indebted government is selling the Park Avenue residence of its U.N. ambassador, located in one of New York’s most prestigious apartment buildings, for an asking price of $48 million. The…

Nebraska Town Starts Requiring Renters to Be Licensed

  OMAHA, Neb. — The small Nebraska city of Fremont has started requiring $5 licenses for anyone who wants to rent there as part of rules aimed at restricting illegal immigration. Fremont Police Chief Jeff Elliott said two applications were submitted Thursday morning and both people received licenses after paying the fee and filling out…