Record Low Interest Rates!

Just in time for the holidays: Mortgage rates reached new all-time lows this week, pushing home buyer affordability even higher, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.

“Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages have been at or below 4 percent for the last eight weeks and now are almost 0.9 percentage points below where they were at the beginning of the year, which means that today’s home buyers are paying over $1,200 less per year on a $200,000 loan,” Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac, said in a statement. “This greater affordability helped push existing home sales higher for the second consecutive month in November to an annualized pace of 4.42 million, the most since January.”

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Mortgage Rates Fall To Lowest On Record

WASHINGTON (AP) – The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has fallen to its
lowest level on records dating to 1971. The rate on the most popular  mortgage dipped to 4.15 percent from 4.32 percent a week ago, Freddie Mac said  Thursday. Its previous low of 4.17 percent was reached in November. The last time long-term rates were lower was in the 1950s, when 30-year loans  weren’t widely available. Most long-term home loans lasted 20 or 25 years.

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Mortgage Rates Plunge

As Congress and President Obama hammered out a debt deal over the past week, mortgage rates plunged — hitting new lows in some instances.

The 30-year fixed rate, usually the most popular choice for homebuyers, fell
to 4.45% from 4.57% last week — its lowest point since last November, according
to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Meanwhile, the rate on the less popular
15-year fixed plunged to a new record low of 3.52%, down from 3.67% a week
earlier.

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Challenges to Whatcom County’s Rural Zoning

New parties have launched challenges to rural zoning and policy changes  approved by the County Council in May. The city of Bellingham is one of the  challengers.

The council on May 10 approved a major update to rural zoning and growth  policies. The package of changes included designating areas that aren’t  considered “rural” under state law, allowing them to grow as they historically  have, but restricting their ability to expand. Examples include Nugents Corner,  Hinote’s Corner, Acme, and land along Guide Meridian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Whatcom County retail sales on the rebound

The Bellingham Herald reported today that retail spending in Whatcom County stores is nearly back to pre-recession  levels, and it appears Canadian shoppers are a big reason for the rebound.

Overall Whatcom County retail sales in the first quarter of 2011 totaled  $657.7 million, a 3.6 percent increase compared to the same period in 2010,  according to data released by the Washington State Department of Revenue.

Whatcom’s increase was higher than the state average of 1.5 percent.  Bellingham had a particularly strong increase in overall retail sales, rising  6.9 percent to $446.4 million.

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Whatcom County home prices see slight rise.

July 6th, 2011

The median price of a Whatcom County home sold between April and June was $253,000, up 1.2 percent compared to the same period in 2010, according to data collected by Lylene Johnson of The Muljat Group. Johnson noted the median price of homes sold by real estate agents each month hasn’t strayed far up or down from the $250,000 mark in the past 18 months. The most significant increases in home prices took place in Lynden and Ferndale, which are also the communities experiencing some activity in new home construction, Johnson said.

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City Council approves plastic bag ban

BELLINGHAM – The City Council voted 7-0 on Monday, July 11, to approve an  ordinance that will ban most plastic shopping bags within the city.

The ordinance takes effect one year after it becomes law. What are your thoughts on this!

I’d appreciate your opinions.

 

Read more: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/07/11/2098162/city-council-approves-plastic.html#ixzz1Ru2ocp4r

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