This is not a reference to a never before heard Door’s song, this is all about the real estate market and mortgages. But you can click the link to find the Door’s site and song LA Woman.
The Mortgage Banker’s Association said Wednesday its index of mortgage application activity showed a 5 percent increase in home buyers and a five percent increase in refinancing activity across the country.
The MBA also said rates continued to rise hitting their highest levels in more than a year.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed conforming loan was 4.15 percent last week, up from 4.07, the bankers said. For jumbo loans ,the rate increased to 4.25 percent from 4.2 percent. The jumbo loans would be for the mansions.
Fifteen year fixed rate mortgages are now averaging about 3.23 percent.
Mortgage rates are being pressured upward by concerns about Federal Reserve actions, but the Fed has not yet eased its support of rates or the real estate market. It has said it will, eventually.
Until then, real estate pros here in the state are saying this is a good time for buyers. Prices have not jumped dramatically here and despite the rise in rates nationally, they remain relatively low historically.
Hearst Biz Writer Rob Varnon would like to talk to those people living Connecticut’s motto, Qui Transtulit Sustinet, which according to my rusty Latin, means something like “It won’t kill you to move.” (One closet Miniac says it really means if you move here you gotta stay here.)
Anyway, we’re hoping to talk to people who have moved into the area moved out of the area to get their perspective on the job market in and out of the state.
Did you come for a job? Move here with a spouse who got a job?
Move here hoping to get a job?
Did you leave our state for somewhere else? Did you get a job out of state?
We’d like to interview you for a story, or to just chat about what you’ve encountered and how the state is superior or lacking.
Americans reduced credit card debt in the first quarter of 2013 at a slower pace than the previous year, prompting concerns that the nation is about to punch the accelerator on debt this year.
CardHub.com released its quarterly report on credit card debt and found Americans had more revolving debt than a year ago, despite reducing their debt level by 7 percent compared to the last quarter of 2012.
“Until recently, we could point to the fact that the credit management was improving consistently relative to previous years as a silver lining,” said Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of CardHub. “However, the numbers indicate that we’re starting to regress a bit…”
CardHub said the Great Recession was a wake up call for American consumers, but the company says the country is on track to add $47 billion in new charges this year.
A contributing factor to the trend of rising credit card borrowing would be the growing population. So an increase in borrowing could be expected. And that increase does boost consumer spending and the economy, to a degree.
The real question within the credit card numbers is what the people are using the credit for and how they are managing their accounts.
If people are using the cards to survive, buying groceries and gas and carrying more and more debt, then it’s a bad sign. If however, the cards are being used for bigger purchases that people payoff in one to two months, then it’s a good sign.
The best way to know whether more Americans are in the first group or the second is the average household balance.
CardHub says its now $6,591, which is among the lowest quarterly averages of the last four years.
Remember when the banks faked court documents to speed up the foreclosure process and kept losing the paperwork from desperate people trying to modify mortgages in the heart of the downturn?
Well, the checks are finally in the mail paying 5,000 residents in the state $1,480 each for their troubles thanks to Attorney General George Jepsen, who was key in negotiating this settlement with the five biggest banks.
“These checks are being paid from a $1.5 billion payment pool we negotiated and set aside as part of the National Mortgage Settlement,” Attorney General Jepsen said in a press release Tuesday. “I’m pleased the final amount is much higher than we anticipated when the settlement was first announced.”
In February of 2012, Ally (formerly GMAC), Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo settled allegations of mistreating borrowers and poor practices with the federal government, 49 states.
Borrowers eligible for this payment had their mortgage loans serviced by one of the five participating companies; lost their home to foreclosure between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011, and submitted a valid claim form, Jepsen’s office said.
In Connecticut, 7,683 loans were eligible for the payment and at least one valid claim was submitted for 4,670 of those loans. Checks will be mailed out between June 10 and June 17 to those whose claims were validated by the national settlement administrator. All borrowers who filed a claim will receive a letter regarding their outcome, Jepsen said.
Nationally, the settlement administrator, Rust Consulting, will mail 962,278 valid claim payments. A relatively small number of borrowers will not receive a check in the initial mailing or will receive a split payment.
More information about the settlement is available at www.NationalMortgageSettlement.com
Naugatuck Savings Bank, which has $975 million in assets, said Monday it will change its name to the more recognizable “ion Bank” in the fall.
The move should help ease confusion between Naugatuck Savings and its closely situated competition, publicly traded Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan, which has assets of $526 million.
Bank officials said the new name for the 143-year-old Naugatuck Savings was selected carefully over more than a year-long process that kicked off when market researchers, told officials there was “confusion among the general public as the bank’s identity and the services it offers.”
A key reason for the change was because the bank hopes to expand beyond the Valley.
By the way, the word “ion” was coined for an electro-chemical process by English scientist Michael Faraday in 1833, who used the old Greek word “for something that goes,” the Chemical Heritage Foundation says, to describe the process.
The actual ionization process involves juicing a substance that will cause a neutral atom to gain or drop electrons, thus giving it a negative or positive charge. Some of the more commonly known ions include bicarbonate, chromate, cyanide, peroxide and sulfate, according to Wikipedia. (The other explanations from the more sciency sites were much more technical, so we stuck with wp.)
The bank said it began the hunt for a new name early this year, eventually landing on ion because bank officials “felt it was an iconic and dynamic name that reflects swift action and nimble movement, much like the quick and responsive service the bank provides its customers.”
Bank leadership also liked how “ion literally puts the letter ‘I’ first in banking, effectively symbolizing the bank’s customer-first philosophy.”
Here in the Mines, we noticed this does capitalize on the popular lowercase “i” trend, which appears to accidentally capitalize on the popularity of certain Cupertino, Calif. computer products. But it’s purely coincidence, we’re sure.
The change in name will not affect account numbers and the bank says it won’t start issuing ion Bank branded checks and debit cards until the fourth quarter, pending regulatory approval. The bank’s holding company, Nutmeg Financial and its Sutherland Insurance Group will also adopt the ion brand name.
While this will clearly make it easy to tell the difference between Naugatuck Savings and Naugatuck Valley Savings, we checked to make sure there would not be any confusion with other ion-branded products, organizations and businesses. Here’s a few we found.
First there’s the Institute of Navigation, founded in 1945, that has a website ion.org. There’s also the new defunct Saturn ion, a compact car produced between 2003 and 2007.
Ion Television is the former PAX network and has been using that name since 2007.
We also found an ion hair products and ion audio on the web.
It’s unclear what other name choices the bank considered.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said rates climbed to their highest levels in a year on expectations that the Fed is going to start tapering its asset buying program.
The MBA noted that the economy is showing more strength as rates for 30-year fixed conforming loans rose to 3.9 percent, the highest level since May 2012.
Jumbo mortgage rates jumped passed 4 percent last week and are now at 4.07 percent, the MBA said. That’s the highest interest rate mansion and estate buyers have seen since August of last year.
Applications for loans actually fell 8.8 percent last week, with a big drop in refinance activity. Applications for new home purchases were actually up 3 percent. But refi activity makes up more than 70 percent of the market.
In April, 4.2 percent of Connecticut’s housing inventory was foreclosed upon, the seventh highest portion in the nation, according to a new report.The Nutmeg State’s foreclosure rate remains high as the judicial process for clearing them remains slow, CoreLogic data shows. Connecticut completed 3,700 foreclosures in the 12 months ended in April.
States without judicial processes actually completed far more foreclosures during that same period but the homes have been snapped up more quickly.