California Home Values up 4% – What About Sacramento?

The housing market recovery appears to turning the corner, but Sacramento is behind the curve and still playing catch-up.

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Home Price Index, home prices rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent between May and June 2012. The index is now up 3.0% over the past 12 months, and made its biggest quarterly gain since 2005 last quarter. Continue reading

How Will Buying or Leasing a Car Affect My Mortgage?

Should you lease a new car, or should you buy one? Like most financial questions, the answer depends on your situation. For some people, leasing a car presents distinct economic advantages. For others, buying a car is the way to go. Continue reading

Are Mortgage Standards Starting to Loosen?

Fed Senior Loan Officer SurveyThe nation’s biggest banks have started to loosen mortgage lending guidelines. Is this another signal of an improving U.S. economy?

As reported by the Federal Reserve, last quarter, no “big banks” reported stricter mortgage standards as compared to the quarter prior and “modest fractions” of banks reported easier mortgage standards.  Continue reading

Why Are Rates Getting Worse Today? (August 1 , 2012)

Putting the FOMC statement in plain EnglishAfter the The Federal Open Market Committee voted to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged this morning, mortgage rates got worse. Why? The vote was nearly unanimous (9-1 vote).

In its press release, the Federal Reserve noted that the U.S. economy has “decelerated somewhat” since January. Beyond the next few quarters, though, the Fed expects growth to “remain moderate” and then gradually pick up. Remember, when there is bad news for the economy, rates improve. And when there is good to moderate news, rates get worse (see video explanation). Continue reading