New credit rules to help homebuyers finally kick in

Concerned that many loan applicants were being hit with excessive rates for no good reason, Congress in 2003 passed the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act.

By Kenneth R. Harney, Syndicated columnist

WASHINGTON — For mortgage applicants and home purchasers, it's been a six-year wait, but the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Reserve finally have come out with important consumer credit-protection rules first required by Congress in 2003.

5 Markets Expected to Fare Best in 2010

Lisa Scherzer, SmartMoney.com

Jan 8th, 2010

After a dour year where housing prices fell more than 12% nationwide, will 2010 bring sunnier tidings?

The short answer: only a tad in a select few places but overall not really.

The five areas that Moody's foresees home prices performing best in 2010 are: Tacoma, Wash., (an increase of 2.44%); Memphis, Tenn., (up 0.99%); Pittsburgh (up 0.89%); Charleston, S.C. (up 0.18%); and Seattle (decline of 0.50%).

Rates on 30-year home loans fall to 5.09 percent

By ALAN ZIBEL
AP Real Estate Writer

WASHINGTON — Rates for 30-year home loans inched downward this week, the first decline in a month, but remained above last month's record lows.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 5.09 percent this week, down from 5.14 percent a week earlier, mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday.

Home sales on King County's Eastside lead December activity

By Eric Pryne
Seattle Times business reporter

Houses are selling way ahead of 2008's dreary pace all over King County.

And nowhere have sales increased more lately than on the Eastside, the county's most expensive area.

Seattle home prices show monthly gain for first time in 2 1/2 years

By Seattle Times staff and news services

Home prices in Seattle rose on a seasonally adjusted basis in October from September, the first increase in almost 2 ½ years, according to the closely watched Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index.

Homes, retail OK'd on WSU forest site

TACOMA (AP) — The Bonney Lake City Council has agreed to allow 65 acres of homes and 35 acres of businesses to grow in the Washington State University demonstration forest.

City may scale back plans for more density in South Lake Union

By MARC STILES
DAILY JOURNAL OF COMMERCE
Journal Staff Reporter

The Seattle Department of Planning and Development is reconsidering earlier plans to increase density in South Lake Union, releasing some alternatives for further study that would allow more density but not as much as initially proposed.

Jobless claims, goods orders signal modest rebound

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER AND DANIEL WAGNER
AP BUSINESS WRITERS

WASHINGTON -- A fitful economic recovery is drawing strength from a stabilizing job market and signs that manufacturing will contribute to the rebound. The evidence signals a better-than-expected end to the year, though doubts remain about growth in 2010.

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