Friday, February 27, 2015

High School March on Hunger Seeks to Raise 1 Million Meals!

Delvin Choice of The Voice Will Join the Performance
At the Charter Amphitheater in Simpsonville on March 14

The Harvest Hope Youth Leadership Board, comprised of 23 Greenville County High School Students, is marching to end hunger on Saturday, March 14! Their goal is to raise ONE MILLION meals for the Upstate. Delvin Choice of The Voice will join the march and perform.

The concert will take place at the Charter Amphitheater at 861 Southeast Main Street in Simpsonville, SC. Gates open at 6:00.

Come out to enjoy a great evening of music and help us raise 1 MILLION MEALS to end hunger in the Upstate! Tickets are just $12 when booked in advance or $15 at the door. Parking is $5 or FREE with donations of at least five canned goods for Harvest Hope.

For ticket information contact Jordan Littleton at Harvest Hope at 864-478-4083 or Concert and ticket information is also available at .

Thursday, February 26, 2015

U.S. House Prices Rise 1.4 Percent in Fourth Quarter

U.S. house prices rose 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). This is the fourteenth consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for December was up 0.8 percent from November.

House prices rose 4.9 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the fourth quarter of 2014. The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“Contrary to prior indications of a possible slowdown, home price appreciation in the fourth quarter was relatively strong,” said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis. “The key drivers of appreciation over the last few years—low inventories of homes available for sa​le and improvement in labor markets—likely played a role in driving up prices during the quarter.”

FHFA’s expanded-data house price index, a metric that adds transaction information from county recorder offices and the Federal Housing Administration to the HPI data sample, rose 1.3 percent over the prior quarter. Over the last year, that index is up 6.0 percent. For individual states, price changes reflected in the expanded-data measure and the traditional purchase-only HPI are compared on pages 17-19 of this report.

The seasonally adjusted, purchase-only HPI rose 4.9 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the fourth quarter of 2014 while prices of other goods and services rose only 0.4 percent. The inflation-adjusted price of homes rose approximately 4.5 percent over the latest year.

Significant Findings:
  • ​​Between the fourth quarter of 2013 and the fourth quarter of 2014, the seasonally adjusted, purchase-only HPI rose in 48 states and the District of Columbia. The top five areas in annual appreciation: 1) District of Columbia: 12.5 percent; 2) Nevada: 9.0 percent; 3) North Dakota: 8.4 percent; 4) Colorado: 7.9 percent; and 5) Michigan: 7.8 percent.
  • ​As measured with purchase-only indexes for the 100 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S., fourth quarter price increases were greatest in the San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA area, where prices increased by 6.0 percent. Prices were weakest in the El Paso, TX MSA, where they fell 6.6 percent.
  • Of the nine census divisions, the Mountain division experienced the strongest increase in the fourth quarter, posting a 1.8 percent quarterly increase and a 5.5 percent increase since last year. House price appreciation was weakest in the New England division, where prices fell .03 percent.
  • The monthly seasonally adjusted, purchase-only index for the U.S. has increased for 23 of the last 24 months (November 2013 showed a decrease).
FHFA’s “distress-free” house price indexes, which are published for 12 large metropolitan areas (page 33), have shown lower quarterly appreciation in the last several quarters than FHFA’s traditional purchase-only indexes. In more than half of the areas covered, the new series—which removes short sales and sales of bank-owned properties—shows lower quarterly appreciation than the purchase-only series in the fourth quarter.

FHFA Index Shows Mortgage Interest Rates Decreased in January

Nationally, interest rates on conventional purchase-money mortgages decreased from December to January, according to several indices of new mortgage contracts.

The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 3.88 percent for loans closed in late January, down 10 basis points from 3.98 percent in December.

The average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 3.89 percent, down 11 basis points from 4.00 in December.

The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.06 percent, a decrease of 13 basis points from 4.19 in December.

The effective interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.04 percent in January, down 11 basis points from 4.15 percent in December. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.

The average loan amount for all loans was $291,300 in January, down $7,000 from $298,300 in December.