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Last summer, the economy increased faster than first thought, benefiting from improved overseas sales of U.S. goods and stronger spending by U.S. shoppers.The economy expanded at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter, according to The Commerce Department. Initially estimated last month, that was better than the 2 percent pace.Advancing at a rate of just 1.7 percent, the increase in growth comes after the economy decreased in the spring.

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According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings still topped 300,000 in October for the 20th consecutive month, even with foreclosures on hold in all 50 states by some of the country’s largest lenders.The delay in foreclosures while lenders reviewed their processes resulted in a 4% monthly drop in foreclosure activity in October; home repossessions fell the most, with a 9% drop.In October, banks took back 93,236 homes, and although that’s down from the record high of 102,134 home seizures in September, lenders still foreclosed on 21% more properties than in October 2009

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For 30-year fixed mortgages, mortgage rates remained unchanged from last week.The current rate borrowers were quoted on the mortgage marketplace at 4.14 percent.The 30-year fixed mortgage rate stayed close to 4.08 percent for the majority of the week.Then, the rate started to rise on Monday to the current rate.Also, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate on Tuesday was 3.6 percent.For 5/1 ARMs, the rate was at 3.01 percent.Source: zillow.com

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Freddie Mac stated the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage average decreased to an all-time low of 4.19% with an average 0.8 point for the week ending Thursday, October 14. The average was 4.27% in the previous period, and the year-ago average was 4.92%. The 30-year rate has been under 5% for 23 weeks in a row, as of this week. Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist, stated “September’s employment report held no big surprises to financial markets, allowing long-term bond yields and fix mortgage rates to continue to ease.

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The ultrawealthy owners of multimillion-dollar mansions aren’t the only ones who can afford to stick with their asking price.A “Developments” post from The Wall Street Journal suggests some sellers might need to take better photos of their home to gain a little leverage at the bargaining table, although sellers across the country are slashing their asking prices.The Journal states that sellers who posted photos taken by a higher-end single-lens reflex camera landed sale prices that were from $934 to $116,076 more than for listings that posted photos from a point-and-

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According to Bankrate, the Federal Housing Administration offers the Good Neighbor Next Door program.

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The Senate passed long-delayed legislation designed to open up credit to small businesses and award them with other incentives to hire new workers and expand.Joined by two Republicans, Democrats won a 61-38 vote to pass the legislation.

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According to Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, which measure prices of existing homes, there was a 4.4% increase nationally for the second quarter of the year and 3.6% for the year so far.The Indices’ 10- and 20-city composites showed gains in June and the second quarter.

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The chance to purchase a home or refinance at this time is lost because of the tough economy and tight credit standards for many. According to experts, those who have superior credit, secure jobs and strong finances could do better than the 4.54 average rate that Freddie Mac reported.Since Freddie started tracking rates in 1971, the latest rate is the lowest for a 30-year fixed loan.