Blanco County News
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Economic News Week: July 30, 2012
SWBC Mortgage
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 • Posted August 3, 2012

The U.S. economy slowed down in the second quarter growing only 1.5% . However, Europe saved the markets on Friday with promising news that leaders in Germany and France, have vowed to do everything they can to protect the Euro, throwing their weight behind a recent pledge by Europe’s central bank to take decisive measures to stop Europe’s debt crisis. The DOW went beyond 13000 for the first time since May on the overseas news.The latest economic report added fuel to the fire that the Federal Reserve will start taking measures to spur growth. With the Presidential elections closing in on us fast-I still expect the markets to vary between 12500 and 13500. Until then, who knows. However, market movers this week will be the Fed’s announcement about what Ben and the boys have decided to do in order to improve the economy. Plus, on Friday we get the U.S. Unemployment report.

Real Estate, Mortgage Industry, and Other Economic News

Kendall County’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.1%. However, compared to the rest of the state is much lower than the average for the 12-county Workforce Solutions Alamo area which includes, Atascosa, Bandera, Comal, Frio, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kerr, Medina, and Wilson counties. Gillespie County registered the lowest unemployment rate in June amongst the counties at an impressive 4.6 percent. The State’s rate increased slightly as well to 7.0 percent, while the Nation’s remained the same at 8.1 percent.

An article recently in the San Antonio Business Journal reported that NAR (National Association of Realtors) Chief economist, Lawrence Yun, suggests that, based on the increasing number of pending home sales across the US, there is plenty of evidence of a recovering housing market. “The housing market is clearly superior this year compared with the last four years. The latest increase in home-contract signings marks 13 consecutive months year-over-year gains. Actual closings for existing-home sales have been notably higher since the beginning of the year and we’re on track to see 9 to 10 percent improvement in total sales for 2012,” Yun says. In San Antonio, new home building remains on the upswing, with San Antonio home builders starting 15.7 percent more new homes in the second quarter this year compared to the same time period last year according to MetroStudy a housing research firm. U.S. home values rose year-over-year as well and for the first time since 2007, according to Real Estate website Zillow. The median home value rose 0.2% in the second quarter, the report stated. Mortgage rates on the 30 year fixed rate index dropped to 3.49% for the week ending July 26th, the lowest on record. Check with a local Lender to provide you with more up to date rates and costs.

Finally, USDA is removing Kerrville and Boerne from their USDA Rural Community loan program based on 2010 Census numbers. From my understanding, cities with a population of 20,000 or more are targeted for removal nationwide. The USDA home loan program is used to entice teachers, policeman, firefighters, and some first-time home buyers to move into rural communities in which they may serve. Personally, I think it is a shame to have these 2 local communities removed from the list as they are not included in area metro cities’ populace. If you agree, please contact your local Congressperson and tell them so.

(This article is for informational purposes only. Do not use it as financial advice. For questions/comments contact Tony Stevenson at 1.800.460.6990 or email: tstevenson@swbc.com)

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