Mortgage rates hit another record low

McLEAN, Va. – July 9, 2010 — U.S. mortgage rates fell for the second straight week to the lowest level in five decades, as a refinancing boomlet took hold.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) average 4.57 percent, down from last week when it averaged 4.58 percent. That’s the lowest level since Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971.

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Kitchen comebacks: popular for remodeling

ORLANDO, Fla. – July 8, 2010 – The explosion of remodeling shows on TV and makeover spreads in magazines has whetted America’s appetite for glamorous rooms brimming with the latest furnishings, appliances and color schemes.

Kitchen remodels are among the most popular, according to a report in the just-published August issue of Consumer Reports and online at consumerreports.org. And the economic slowdown means there are outstanding deals on everything from cooktops to countertops. It also means kitchen designers and building contractors are eager for work and willing to negotiate.

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Mortgage rates hit new low

Freddie Mac said Thursday the going rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 4.69%, its lowest level since the company started keeping track 38 years ago.

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‘Masterpieces’ on hold, waiting for better times

By Kyle Almond, CNN

http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/06/15/architecture.economy/index.html

(CNN) — Some stunning buildings have appeared in American cities the past four years — buildings, like the Aqua skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois, that attest to the creativity of 21st-century architecture.

But there might be fewer of them in the near future, because the recession has forced many architects to tone down their ambition.

“A lot of projects have been delayed, a lot of projects have been scaled back, a lot of projects have been scrapped. … It’s not a time to see a lot of architectural masterpieces being created,” said Kermit Baker, chief economist of the American Institute of Architects.

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