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January 11, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Rising worries about a weak economy pushed rates on 30-year mortgages below the 6% mark for only the second time in more than two years. Mortgage company Freddie Mac said 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.87% this week, down from 6.07% last week. Other types of mortgages also showed declines. Rates on 15-year mortgages, a popular choice for refinancing, dropped to 5.43% this week, down from 5.68%.
May 13, 2001
Hogwash! Your reporter got the numbers fed to him by the insurance companies ["Auto Insurance Seen Returning to Era of Annual Rate Increases," May 1]. I can tell specifically about one: 21st Century. You say they increased rates by 6.4%. Well, my rates rose more than 30%, despite a spotless driving record and for the same coverage. After all, the electric companies did it, OPEC did it, so why shouldn't the insurance folks stick it to us also? Bernard L. Lee Laguna Woods
May 15, 2008
Underrated: Jennifer Aniston. She is being herself rather than trying to please the public. She is funny and talented -- so will somebody get her into a good TV show? Grace Hampton Burbank
November 4, 2001
Thanks, Liz Pulliam Weston, for addressing something that is truly hurting many investors, both young and old--the low interest rates at banks ["Low Yields Hurting Retired Investors," Sept. 30]. It appears Alan Greenspan's thought is that low rates will encourage buying. Well, you can't buy if you have little or no income. One of the lucky ones who has followed the old advice of "Don't put all your eggs in one basket," I've opted for municipal bonds, etc., as wells as stocks and CDs. Even so, incomes are down.
March 24, 1988
For those vocal citizens who thought it was not a good idea for South Gate to own and operate its own electric company at reduced rates for the consumer, how about this bit of news? Southern California Edison Co. is asking a $628-million, 11.6% increase in rates, effective July 1. This, after receiving a 4.9% increase in December, 1987. I think all citizens everywhere should become advocates against these high rate increases before it's too late to voice your opinions. They should write or telephone the California Public Utilities Commission in Los Angeles.
April 9, 1989 | A. Gary Shilling, A. GARY SHILLING is a New York-based economic consultant and author of "After the Crash: Recession or Depression?" published by Lakeview Economic Services
The widespread use of variable-rate mortgages makes U.S. consumers more susceptible than ever to rising interest rates and could mean that current Federal Reserve credit tightening will lead to an early recession. Before the advent of variable-rate debt, only the last few people to apply for loans during a time of tightening credit costs agonized much over higher rates. Now, with a third of U.S. consumers holding adjustable-rate mortgages and other consumer debt also subject to floating rates, many households will be sweating out higher interest payments.
September 28, 2008
It amazes me that people complain about irresponsible Democrats who want to raise their taxes, totally ignoring the tremendous burden of the Iraq war, the unaccounted billions given to selected subcontractors to carry out this war, etc., and the deregulation philosophy of the Republican Party. In the Sept. 19 story ("PUC says phone rates can rise 30%"), the California Public Utilities Commission says that telephone companies will be allowed to raise rates 30% in 2009, and an additional 23% in 2010, with the final goal of totally deregulating the companies.
April 29, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
The percentage of homes that are vacant and for sale in the U.S. set a record in the first quarter, the government said. A Census Bureau report showed that 2.9% of U.S. homes -- excluding rental properties -- were vacant and for sale, compared with 2.8% in the fourth quarter of 2007. It was the highest quarterly number in records going back to 1956. The West had the biggest gain in vacancy rates, rising to 3.2% in the quarter from 2.6% a year earlier.
May 21, 1989
San Diegans have been told for two years that their sewer bills--a bargain at $8 a month in 1987--would be rising substantially to pay for a much-needed overhaul of the city's sewer system, to further clean up the waste water dumped into the ocean and for water reclamation. Predictions have varied. But, generally, officials have warned that rates could rise to $25 to $33 a month by 1995 to pay for the city's share of the $2.4 billion to $4.2 billion in long-overdue improvements.
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