Long-term mortgage rates decline to 3.9%
Long-term U.S. mortgage rates slipped this week, a sign that borrowing costs are largely stable even as the Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark short-term interest rate.
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WASHINGTON >> Long-term U.S. mortgage rates slipped this week, a sign that borrowing costs are largely stable even as the Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark short-term interest rate.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages slipped to 3.9 percent, from 3.94 percent last week.
The rate is higher than it was a year ago, when it was 3.57 percent. But it is still historically low. Before the 2008 recession, it was typically closer to 6 percent.
Long-term home loan rates tend to track the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes, which have risen since early September, possibly in anticipation of tax cuts pushed by President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress.
The Fed has raised short-term interest rates four times in nearly two years. That has contributed to pushing up mortgage rates to 4.32 percent last December, but the 30-year rate has mostly fallen since then.
Macy’s sales fall, Kohl’s profit drops
NEW YORK >> Macy’s sales fell as it had a hard time pulling shoppers through its doors and Kohl’s reported a drop in quarterly profit Thursday, underscoring just how challenging the holiday shopping season will be for department store chains. Even Nordstrom saw a key sales measure fall and trimmed its outlook.
Like many retailers, Macy’s and Kohl’s have wrestled with weak sales as customers go online. Department stores, which are heavily dependent on clothing sales, are seeing more competition there as Amazon expands further into fashion and so-called off-price chains like T.J. Maxx add more stores.
Macy’s Inc. reported that its third-quarter earnings more than doubled as it cut costs, which include eliminating jobs, scaling back on inventory and closing some locations. It has been expanding into off-price stores and launched a loyalty program last month that it hopes will attract more shoppers. Still, revenue at stores open at least a year fell for the 11th straight quarter.
ON THE MOVE
Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties has announced that Monalisa Sabo is an independent agent for the firm’s Leeward office. Sabo has more than 23 years of real estate experience.
The Hawaii Community Foundation has announced that Dana Okano is the new environmental program director for the organization. Okano previously served as a coral management liaison and coast specialist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office for Coastal Management.
Blue Planet Foundation has hired Griff Jurgens as their education and outreach coordinator. He previously served as an educator in Hawaii since 2010. Jurgens started his teaching career while he was in Southern California and has been an educator in the charter school and the public and private systems since 2005.