Tag Archives: earlier

Homeowners who missed out on ultra-low interest rates earlier this year are getting another chance

The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 2.88%, according to Freddie Mac, the lowest level since mid-February and the third consecutive weekly drop. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 2.22%.
The downward slide could pull some weary buyers, who have considered bailing out of buying, back into the market with low rates.
“Since their peak at 3.18% in April, mortgage rates have declined by thirty basis points,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “While this decline is not large, it provides modest relief to borrowers who are purchasing in a market with strong home appreciation and scant inventory.”
These favorable rates will help to offset rising home prices, said George Ratiu, Realtor.com’s senior economist.
“For buyers seeking predictable monthly payments, the continuation of low rates will enable them to keep searching for a desirable home with the peace of mind that their housing costs will remain steady for years to come with a low fixed-rate mortgage,” he said.
The number of homes on the market have ticked up over the past few weeks, with listings up 5% last week as more sellers took advantage of record-high prices, according to Realtor.com.
“The influx of fresh listings is helping moderate record-breaking price growth, presenting more opportunities for buyers. However, affordability will remain a challenge for many first-time buyers, as the monthly payment for the typical home is still $ 116 higher this week than it was a year ago.”
It could be a chance for people who didn’t refinance in the past year to do that.
In June, the number of refinances dropped from earlier in the year, in spite of rates being as low as March’s rates. Refinances in which the homeowner improved their rate or term were down 30% in June from March, and down 60% from January, according to Black Knight, a mortgage data company. But cash-out refinances remain strong, making up 42% of all refinances.
Now is a good time to revisit refinancing your mortgage said Melissa Cohn, executive mortgage banker at William Raveis Mortgage.
She said the question isn’t why so many people “missed out,” but rather: “Why can’t millions of people qualify for these rates?”
For most current homeowners, perhaps the best thing to do is to sit down and do the math: Consider how much it will cost you to refinance and how long you will remain in your home, Cohn said.
It may also be smart to make some moves related to a home equity line of credit, or HELOC, with rates low.
“Now is a great time to consolidate a first mortgage and a HELOC,” she said. “HELOC rates will be the first to go up when the fed raises rates,” she said.
Cohn also said that the situation with the pandemic, although improved, is still causing waves in the market. Banks have still not fully gone back to their pre-pandemic guidelines, she said, and with more employers requiring people to go back to the office, that is causing hesitancy for both buyers and sellers.

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Pound to euro exchange rate: Sterling in 'rangebound' despite new highs earlier this week

Sterling stood just above the 1.16 handle yesterday as it did not benefit from the weaker dollar like other currencies did, according to one finance expert. The pound has been trading from the mid-to-low €1.16s since the start of the week, but it has this morning dropped further.
However, sterling did perform better yesterday than Monday, where it experienced a “quiet day” and remained in the low-€1.16s.

This is despite the pound hitting new highs for 2021 over the weekend.

On Monday, Mr Brown said: “Sterling had its best day against the euro since last December yesterday, rallying to three week highs.

“This is as the market reacted positively to the weekend’s election results, and the perceived lower risks of a second Scottish independence referendum.”

So, what does this mean for your travel money?

The ban on international travel was lifted on Monday, May 17, meaning that Britons are now permitted to holiday abroad.

The UK’s travel traffic lights system means that holidaymakers can travel to “green” countries without having to quarantine on return.

These destinations include Gibraltar, Iceland, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand.

However, travel experts have warned that “extra caution” is due in the coming weeks when booking holidays and swapping travel money.

James Lynn, CEO and co-founder of Currensea, said: “While it’s excellent news international travel is opening up, the proposed traffic light system will mean there will still be an element of disruption this summer, both to travel companies and consumers.

“Extra caution and careful planning will be really important when it comes to planning holidays this year – and keeping abreast of the latest updates will be key.

“Financial safety when travelling must also be top of mind for consumers. Sudden changes and cancellations, which remain likely could put travellers at risk if the right precautions aren’t taken.”

In other travel news, British Airways launched £40 PCR tests yesterday to help drive down the price of COVID-19 testing before travel.

BA’s CEO Sean Doyle said: “We are working hard to drive down the costs, so we just launched a £40 PCR test today.

“We are working with the Government and are pushing them to drive down the costs of testing.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Thousands of people due second Covid jab four weeks earlier – full list of side effects

Chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), Professor Wei Shen Lim, advised government to bring forward the second dose of the Covid vaccine from 12 to eight weeks. First, however, is the need that “every effort is made to promote vaccine uptake in those who remain unvaccinated in priority cohorts one to nine”. This includes everyone aged 50 and above, including over-16s who are either clinically extremely vulnerable or in an at-risk group. “Where vaccine supply allows, particularly in areas where B1.617.2 is a major threat, the second dose of vaccine should be brought forward from 12 to eight weeks,” confirmed Professor Lim.
The second dose of the Pfizer jab, in particular, is more likely to cause:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Headache

Clinical trials demonstrated that the Pfizer vaccine was 95 percent effective at preventing Covid illness in laboratory settings.

The Moderna jab – another mRNA vaccine – might cause the same side effects as the Pfizer vaccine.

Where it differs, however, is that the Moderna vaccine is seemingly less effective at preventing illness from Covid.

In laboratory trials, the Moderna vaccine was 94.1 percent effective against Covid disease.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – a Government agency – said side effects are more common after the first dose of AstraZeneca.

However, this doesn’t mean that some people won’t experience side effects after their second AstraZeneca jab. Side effects can include:

  • Feeling tired
  • Tenderness, bruising, pain or itching in the arm where you had the vaccine
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Redness or swelling where you had the injection
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • A low platelet count
  • Reduced appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Sweating
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Rash

“Very unusual blood clots with low platelets are a very rare side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine,” said the HSE.

The HSE said that between four to 10 people in every one million people who get the vaccine may develop a blood clot, which can lead to fatality.

“For people aged 50 and older, the risk of getting this side effect is very low,” confirmed the HSE.

Emphasising its point, the HSE added: “You are more than 30 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than get this very rare side effect if you are aged 50 or older.”

People classified as clinically extremely vulnerable:

  • Solid organ transplant recipients
  • People with specific cancers
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Severe asthma
  • Severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Rare diseases
  • Taking immunosuppressants
  • Spleen issues
  • Adults with Down’s syndrome
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • On diaylsis

At-risk groups:

  • A blood cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia
  • A heart problem
  • A chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma
  • A kidney disease
  • A liver disease
  • Lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as HIV infection, steroid medication, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or psoriasis (who may require long term immunosuppressive treatments)
  • Have had an organ transplant
  • Had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • A neurological or muscle wasting condition
  • A severe or profound learning disability
  • A problem with your spleen, example sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed
  • Are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)
  • Are living with a severe mental illness

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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