rates

Real Estate Market ‘booms’ With Low Rates Of Interest, Lack Of Inventory

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Because of the gross sales setting and the complexity of real estate deals, new brokers may observe and work closely with more senior brokers. Larger real estate corporations may provide formal classroom coaching for new brokers as a way to acquire data and experience, whereas others present training … Read More

Low interest rates widen the gap between Main Street and Wall Street

Is there no end to the absurdity of our debt culture? For most of the past 12 years, we have lived in an era of zero interest rate policy, or “ZIRP.” Designed to stimulate more economic activity by making it cheap to borrow, ZIRP has instead inflated the value of financial assets, encouraged unprecedented levels of public and private sector borrowing, and made the rich even richer – all while delivering tepid growth and stagnant wages in the “real economy.” 

Now President Trump and others are escalating calls for the Fed to utilize negative rates, or “NIRP,” as a way to double down on this spent policy and actually pay borrowers to borrow and penalize savers when they save. But NIRP has been tried in Japan and Europe, and it has been unsuccessful in stimulating their economies, as growth in both regions has lagged even our modest economic gains. Thankfully,

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‘Very slow’ recovery could lead to negative rates

A former Federal Reserve official says the central bank may consider negative interest rates if the economic recovery faces obstacles in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

Narayana Kocherlakota, who headed the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 2009 to 2015, told Yahoo Finance on Monday that he does not expect the Fed to take target interest rates below zero, but said a “very slow” recovery could force a re-think down the line.

“I do think there are outcomes that I can foresee – not this year, but maybe next year -that would lead the Fed to start to think about going negative,” said Kocherlakota, now a professor at the University of Rochester. “That would be very bad news.”

Kocherlakota has previously called on the Fed to take rates negative, writing in mid-May that taking rates even “deeply” negative could provide the stimulus needed to bring down longer-term interest rates. 

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2021 health insurance rates are coming out despite ‘unprecedented uncertainty’

Health insurance premium rates are starting to come in for 2021, giving people an idea for what insurance may cost for the first time since the coronavirus crisis began. But not much more than an idea.

The first rates proposed and released to the public — from Vermont, Washington, D.C., and Oregon — provide a glimpse into what health insurance will cost in 2021, but almost every insurance company that referenced the pandemic stressed the unprecedented level of uncertainty for 2021.

Rates are calculated by insurers and proposed to states every spring for the following year, usually with data from the complete year before, which in this case would be 2019. States analyze the rates and decide if they’re fair, and negotiate with insurers if not. Not all states publish proposed rates as they get them from insurers, but usually by August the rates are finalized, collected, and published on

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Why refinance activity is sliding when mortgage rates are so low

Mortgage refinance demand is slipping, after a frenzy of refinance activity in mid-March, when sub-3% mortgage rates caused a spike of refinancing to a 17-year record.

There were 6.3% fewer refinances in the U.S. during the week ending May 15 — the largest weekly drop in May. Refinance activity has been on a steady decline and is down 17.4% from the four-week period ending April 17, according to the latest report by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“Refinances are actually continuing to fall off a little, and rates are close to record lows,” said Joel Kan, associate vice president of industry surveys and forecasts at the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Mortgage interest rates remain at low levels, at less than 3.3% last week for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, according to Freddie Mac, which would normally incentivize homeowners to refinance. But lending standards have become stricter. With uncertain economic conditions, mortgage lenders are

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