McLEAN, VA. – Mortgage rates have fallen for the first time in more than two months as buyers continue to be oppressed by high prices and limited supply.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the prime rate on 30-year loans fell this week from 3.18% last week to 3.13%. At that point, the long-term rate last year was 3.33%.
The interest rate on a 15-year loan, popular with those looking to refinance, fell to 2.42% from 2.45% last week. A year ago it was 2.77%.
Mortgage rates have been low for years, but strong demand and low inventory levels have pushed prices up.
Last week, the National Association of Realtors reported that its home sales index fell 10.6% to 110.3 in February, its lowest level since May 2020. Contract signings are slightly lower year-on-year for eight consecutive months back. Annual profits.
US house prices rose at the fastest pace in seven years in January, according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index. The pandemic has fueled demand for single family homes as people look for more space.
Economists predict that home loan interest rates will remain low as the Federal Reserve plans to keep its main loan interest rate near zero until the economy recovers from the pandemic.
NEW YORK – Netflix further improved its movie catalog on Thursday in a multi-year deal making it the new streaming for Sony Pictures’ top releases in the US. Starting next year, Sony’s new films will be streamed domestically on Netflix after their theatrical release. These include films in popular franchises like Spider-Man, Venom and Jumanji, as well as 2022 releases like Morbius, Where the Crawdads Sing, Uncharted and Bullet Train. The agreement also gives Netflix an initial option for all movies that the Culver City, California-based studio will broadcast direct to streaming.
WASHINGTON – The International Monetary Fund has kicked off a $ 650 billion expansion of the 190-nation lending institution’s resources to provide more support to vulnerable countries as they fight the coronavirus pandemic. IMF executive director Kristalina Georgieva said the $ 650 billion increase in reserves was the largest in IMF history and would provide much-needed reserves for poor countries facing deep recessions due to the pandemic and the need to raise millions of receiving and administering vaccine doses would struggle.
DETROIT – The global shortage of semiconductors is forcing General Motors and Ford to further reduce production in North American factories as chip supplies appear to be getting tighter. The shutdowns are likely to reduce dealer inventory of vehicles manufactured at the plants. GM says it has managed to keep the factories running that make hot-selling and profitable full-size pickup trucks and SUVs. The chip shortage has hit markets since last summer but hit the global auto industry hardest. GM says Thursday production cuts will take place in Spring Hill, Tennessee; Ramos Arizpe, Mexico; Ingersoll, Ontario; Fairfax, Kansas; Lansing, Michigan, Delta Township; and Lansing, Michigan, Grand River factories.