Thursday, March 27, 2014

SBA Deadline in South Carolina for Working Capital Loans Due to Excessive Rain is April 28

The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes that April 28, 2014 is the filing deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans in South Carolina as a result of the excessive rain that began on March 1, 2013.

The loans are available in the following counties: Abbeville, Aiken, Allendale, Anderson,
Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield,
Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown,
Greenville, Greenwood, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Orangeburg, Pickens, Richland, Saluda, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union, Williamsburg and York in South Carolina.

Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers.

The loans are for working capital and can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 4 percent for eligible small businesses and 2.875 percent for non-profit organizations, and terms up to 30 Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure
website at

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than April 28, 2014.

FHFA House Price Index Up 0.5 Percent in January

U.S. house prices rose in January, with an increase of 0.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI). The seasonally adjusted purchase-only index for the U.S. has shown increases for 23 of the last 24 months, beginning with February 2012. The November 2013 HPI was the exception, with a decrease of 0.1 percent. The previously reported 0.8 percent increase in December was revised downward to reflect a 0.7 percent increase.

The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages either sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. From January 2013 to January 2014, house prices were up 7.4 percent. The U.S. index is 8.0 percent below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the May 2005 index level.

For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from December 2013 to January 2014 ranged from -0.3 percent in the West South Central division to +1.3 percent in the Middle Atlantic division. The 12-month changes were all positive ranging from +3.2 percent in the Middle Atlantic division to +14.0 percent in the Pacific division.

The next HPI report will be released April 22, 2014 and will include monthly data for February 2014.

FHFA Index Shows Mortgage Interest Rates Decrease Slightly in February

National data shows interest rates on mortgages decreased in February.  Contract mortgage interest rates decreased 0.07 percent from January to February, according to an index of new mortgage contracts.

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 4.30 percent for loans closed in late February. The index is calculated using FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey. The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans was 4.22 percent, down 14 basis points from 4.36 in January.

Interest rates are typically locked in 30-45 days before a loan is closed. Consequently, February data reflects market rates from mid-to-late January. The effective interest rate was 4.38 percent, down 14 basis points from 4.52 percent in January. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.

FHFA’s interest rate survey shows the average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.45 in February, a decrease of 22 basis points. The average loan amount for all loans was $275,700 in February down $8,700 from $284,400 in January.

FHFA will release March index values Tuesday, April 29th, 2014.