Mortgage Rates Tick Back Up

WASHINGTON — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week but remained near their lows for the year. Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year loan increased to 4.14 percent from 4.12 percent last week.

HUD Nominee Julian Castro Clears a Major Hurdle

A U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday approved San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, clearing the way for a final vote in the full Senate. If confirmed in the post, as expected, Castro would be in position to push the Obama administration’s plan to wind down mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, an effort that has stalled in Congress.

ETFs: The New Way to Invest in Real Estate

Is investing in an exchange-traded fund a smart way to invest in real estate? Housing has been a surprisingly unpredictable sector since the great real estate crash of 2007. As a result, new ways to invest in real estate have emerged, with housing-related ETFs being a prime example.

Home Price Surge Finally at an End?

Home price growth is finally slowing, which could be welcome news for potential buyers who have been priced out of the market. Asking home prices increased at the slowest rate in 13 months, according to online real-estate marketplace Trulia, as demand from buyers — both traditional and investor — continues to wane.