Friday, May 24 2013 10:55 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:55:46 GMT
Not going out of town for Memorial Day? Don't worry, the Albany Panthers want to make sure you have a good weekend as they host their first ever beer fest. You can sample more than 20 types of beer SaturdayMore >>
Not going out of town for Memorial Day? Don't worry, the Albany Panthers want to make sure you have a good weekend as they host their first ever beer fest.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:50 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:50:57 GMT
The family of a Miller County woman is mourning tonight after GBI investigators say the 58 year old was murdered by her husband, before he took his own life. Now the family of Barbara Bass is speakingMore >>
The family of a Miller County woman is mourning tonight after GBI investigators say the 58 year old was murdered by her husband, before he took his own life.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 6:38 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:38:36 GMT
Dougherty County Police Officer issues seat belt citation
The Memorial Day Holiday weekend is here, and Dougherty county police are gearing up for a busy weekend. They'll be keeping a close eye on the roads, and are asking motorists to stay safe. Police saidMore >>
The Memorial Day Holiday weekend is here, and Dougherty county police are gearing up for a busy weekend. They'll be keeping a close eye on the roads, and are asking motorists to stay safe.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 6:25 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:25:44 GMT
The Albany Dougherty County Post of the American Legion will be on the lawn of the Albany Mall Saturday morning at 8:00 to erect 122 white crosses. They are there to represent the men and women fromMore >>
The Albany Dougherty County Post of the American Legion will be on the lawn of the Albany Mall Saturday morning at 8:00 to erect 122 white crosses.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:21:31 GMT
A huge truck load of peanut butter is headed to Oklahoma tornado victims. Friday afternoon, 31,680 jars of it were loaded onto a truck at Lineage Logistics in Albany. The 22 pallets of peanut butterMore >>
Friday afternoon, 31,680 jars of it were loaded onto a truck at Lineage Logistics in Albany.More >>
By MARCY GORDON AP Business Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell to fresh record lows for the second straight week. The declines have led more homeowners to refinance, a trend that could help jumpstart the economy.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan dropped to 3.36 percent. That's down from last week's rate of 3.40 percent, which was the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.
The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular refinancing option, dipped to 2.69 percent, down from last week's record low of 2.73 percent.
Rates are falling after the Federal Reserve started buying mortgage bonds to help strengthen a housing recovery that began earlier this year. The Fed plans to continue the program until there is substantial improvement in the job market.
Sales of both previously occupied and newly built homes are up from last year. Home prices are rising more consistently. And builders are more confident in the market and are starting to build more homes.
Lower rates are also driving more people to refinance. Mortgage applications surged 16.6 percent last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday. Of those applications, 83 percent were to refinance existing loans.
Growth in refinancing could help the broader economy. When people refinance their mortgages at lower interest rates, their monthly payments typically decline. That leaves them with more money to spend. Consumer spending drives nearly 70 percent of economic activity.
Still, some economists question whether further decline in rates will make much of a difference. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage has been below 4 percent since early December. Yet home sales remain below healthy levels. And most people who can qualify have likely already taken advantage of the lower rates.
Many people who would like to refinance or buy a home can't because they fail to meet stricter lending requirements or don't have enough money to make a down payment.
To calculate average rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week.
The average does not include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.
The average fee for 30-year loans was 0.6 point, unchanged from last week. The fee for 15-year loans slipped to 0.5 point from 0.6.
The average rate on one-year adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 2.57 percent from 2.60 percent. The fee for one-year adjustable rate loans held steady at 0.4 point.
The average rate on five-year adjustable-rate mortgages rose to 2.72 percent from 2.71 percent. The fee remained at 0.6 point.
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