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Tag Archives: Janet Yellen

Fed: Taper Continues; Adjust Economic Projections

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) concluded its June meeting with the announcement that members have once again voted to bring down the Federal Reserve's stimulative monthly asset purchases. Taking a cue from improvements in labor market indicators, household spending, and general economic activity, the committee members voted to reduce the Fed's monthly purchase of agency mortgage-backed securities.

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Mortgage Rates Increase Slightly to 4.33%

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate came up to 4.33 percent (0.6 point) for the week ending April 24, up from 4.27 percent in the previous week, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Last year, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.40 percent, almost a full point lower. The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.39 percent (0.6 point), moving up from 3.33 percent.

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Yellen Faces Grilling in First Hearing as Fed Chair

In prepared remarks for the House Financial Services Committee, newly installed Fed chair Janet Yellen echoed much of what analysts have seen in recent Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statements, with references to a recovering (but still weakened) labor market, a slowing housing market, restrictive fiscal policy, and the usual prediction of a “moderate” expansion in the nation’s economic activity.

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Zillow Report Shows Rise in Mortgage Rates

Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, operated by the online real estate database Zillow, released its weekly mortgage rates Tuesday. Zillow reports that 30-year fixed mortgage rates rose slightly to 4.14 percent, reversing the previous week’s decline from 4.09 percent at this time last week. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose early last week before leveling off near 4.13 percent on Friday.

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FOMC Moves Forward on Tapering

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted on Wednesday to scale back the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program. The cut—the second one in as many months—will see total monthly asset purchases coming down to $65 billion. While December's weak employment report led some to believe there might be a pause in the taper, the committee waved it off in light of other, more positive indicators.

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Fannie Mae Foresees Market Volatility in Coming Months

In the aftermath of the federal government shutdown and contentious debt ceiling negotiations, Fannie Mae predicts continued market volatility for at least the next few months. Consumer sentiment toward the economy and the housing market wavered last month, and the expects that to continue into the new year despite low mortgage rates and robust annual home price gains.

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