Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages remained unchanged from last week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace at 4.18 percent, the same rate recorded last Tuesday.
The 30-year fixed mortgage rate remained stable for the week, hovering between 4.17 and 4.22 percent for the majority of the week.
“Rates were steady last week as uncertain economic data left markets with a fuzzy picture of the health of the economy,” said Erin Lantz, director of mortgages at Zillow. “This week, we expect the uncertainty to continue, leaving rates fairly flat.”
Additionally, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate this morning was 3.17 percent and for 5/1 ARMs, the rate was 2.75 percent.
By Natalie Wise
While some students may prefer a big city destination for college, others may be seeking an environment with the comforts of a smaller town plus the amenities of a city. These small metros might be just the right fit for the college student seeking a manageable city environment.
The American Institute for Economic Research has ranked small metros (250,000 to 1 million residents) according to 12 key factors across 3 segments: academic environment, quality of life and professional opportunity. Those segments include: cost of living, concentration of students, research monies granted, city accessibility, unemployment rates and earning potential in the area.
The 20 best small cities for college students are:
1.) Boulder, Colo.
2.) Ann Arbor, Mich.
3.) Madison, Wis.
4.) Durham, N.C.
5.) Gainsville, Fla.
6.) Lincoln, Neb.
7.) Bridgeport, Conn.
8.) Trenton, N.J.
9.) Lexington, Ky.
10.) Fort Collins, Colo.
11.) Des Moines, Iowa
12.) Albany, N.Y.
13.) Binghamton, N.Y.
14.) Portland, Maine
15.) Lansing, Mich.
16.) Santa Barbara, Calif.
17.) Tallahassee, Fla.
18.) Lynchburg, Va.
19.) Omaha, Neb.
20.) Syracuse, N.Y.
Boulder, Colo., the top city, features the highest percentage of workers in the creative class, along with the best access to arts and cultural opportunities. Ann Arbor, Mich., is best for students interested in research, with the highest per-capita investment in research.
Gainsville, Fla., features the highest concentration of college students (232.3 per 1000 population). The city with the highest earning potential is Bridgeport, Conn., but the city also has the second-highest living costs on the list.
Lincoln, Neb., features the lowest cost of living even with a high concentration of students, a hard-to-find plus. Omaha, Neb., no. 19 on the list, has the lowest unemployment rate (4 percent) and a thriving economy for entrepreneurs.
If you’re considering a small city environment for college, these rankings based on key factors important to the college experience can be useful in the decision-making process.
By Natalie Wise
The National League of Cities has released its list of critical imperatives facing our nation’s cities in 2014. The organization aims to educate and inform governments, businesses and citizens so the nation’s cities can thrive.
The strength of the nation’s cities is of the utmost importance to the health of the country as a whole. Eighty percent of America’s population dwells in cities, and these cities produce 75 percent of the country’s economic output.
Chris Coleman, mayor of Minnesota’s state capital, St. Paul, and the NLC president, says, “When our cities are strong, our nation’s families prosper, our economy thrives and our environment grows healthier.”
What are the issues facing American cities these days? They are:
1.) Fragile fiscal health
2.) Deteriorating transportation infrastructure
3.) The shrinking middle class
4.) Inadequate access to higher education
5.) The need for affordable housing
6.) A less-than-welcoming return for veterans
7.) Gang violence
8.) A broken immigration system
9.) Climate change and extreme weather
10.) Lack of public trust
While cities were on the mend in 2013, there are continuing restraints on fiscal health for 2014, so it remains a top concern. One potential solution is allowing collection of state and local taxes on online purchases.
Of course, the financial insecurity informs all of the other issues on the list. As the transportation infrastructures age in many cities, the health of citizens, the environment, and the economy are in question. But paying for improvements remains difficult.
The latest recession eliminated many middle-class jobs, leaving families struggling and in poverty. Cities can help connect residents with assistance they may be eligible for, as well as offering assistance to hard-to-employ residents to get jobs.
The issues contribute to No. 10 on the list, the growing distrust of local government, but it is a crucial time for local leaders to reach out to citizens.
But it’s not all bad news.
“Cities are truly the heart of America—they are where citizens live, work, and play. They are where government is closest to the people and where real change can happen,” says Melodee Colbert Kean, mayor of Joplin, Miss. and NLC’s second vice president.
Read more in-depth descriptions of the issues and suggestions for cities like Greenville in the full report.
By S.E. Slack
Your race might be holding you back from homeownership but not for the reasons one might think, according to real estate firm Zillow. Income and credit scores weigh most heavily in mortgage lending decisions, but there are other factors that impact differing homeownership rates.
In partnership with the National Urban League, the company recently studied trends in minority access to housing. Using information from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and an independent survey, Zillow determined that getting a mortgage was easier for Asians and white Americans than it was for black and Hispanics.
Skylar Olsen, economist for Zillow, said the findings indicate that unequal education levels among races, differing income brackets and varying credit scores all contribute to the home buying experience in the United States. Nothing in the HMDA data or the survey reflects illegal discrimination.
“It is these critical differences in qualifications and resources among whites, blacks, Asians and Hispanics that undoubtedly help explain a majority of the findings related to the differences in outcomes by race,” she said.
It’s a numbers game more than a race game, said Olsen. The statistics show that places such as Space City, for example, have a high Hispanic population. Mortgage loan denials are likely to be higher in those locations because Hispanics and blacks tend to average lower income brackets and credit scores.
Income is what pushes a down payment amount, said Olsen. Blacks and Hispanics put 5 to 6 percent down on a home while Asians often place 20 percent or more down. These differences fuel the decisions mortgage lenders make. The more money put down on a home, the more confident lenders are that a buyer will not default.
According to HMDA records, blacks and Hispanics are much more likely than whites to have their mortgage application denied. When applying for a conventional loan, black applicants are 2.4 times and Hispanic applicants are 1.98 times more likely than white applicants to be denied. When applying for an FHA loan, black applicants are 1.75 times more likely and Hispanic applicants are 1.47 times more likely than white applicants to be denied.
Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages rose again this week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace at 4.18 percent, up from 4.14 percent at this same time last week.
The 30-year fixed mortgage rate hovered between 4.17 and 4.21 percent for the majority of the week, spiking to 4.27 percent on Wednesday before dropping back down to 4.18 percent on Thursday.
“Last week, rates rose briefly when comments by Janet Yellen, the new Federal Reserve Chair, ended speculation that the Fed might delay the winding down of its stimulus program due to recent weak economic data,” said Erin Lantz, director of mortgages at Zillow. “During this holiday-shortened week with limited economic data scheduled for release, we expect rates will continue to follow the gradual upward path of the past two weeks.”
Additionally, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate this morning was 3.14 percent and for 5/1 ARMs, the rate was 2.71 percent.