More than 25 percent of Americans raiding 401(k)s to pay bills

March 17, 2013 12:00 am Shan Li Los Angeles Times

More than 25 percent of Americans are dipping into 401(k) retirement accounts to pay bills, according to a recent report.

U.S. workers are tapping into nearly a quarter of the $293 billion placed into their retirement savings each year to pay for mortgages, credit cards and other debts, according to a report from financial advisory firm Continue reading

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Low down-payments are back as lenders ease rules

Diana Olick ,

house for sale by ownerAs housing heads into the critical spring market, credit is finally beginning to thaw. Lenders are increasingly approving low down payment loans, and government sponsored mortgage giant Fannie Mae is buying more of them. Continue reading

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Housing Jobs Jump, but Many Workers Aren’t Coming Back

After lagging housing starts for several months, construction jobs surged inFebruary to the highest level in six years. Builders are clearly acting on the
big jump in new home orders, but those jobs numbers could actually be higher,
were they not hamstrung by a severe lack of workers. During the housing crash
construction workers left the business in droves, and many are not coming back.

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Home Buyers Are Back, but Where Are the Houses?

The first official day of Spring may still be 20 days away, but the Spring housing market is120925123845-case-shiller-home-prices-story-top already underway. Buyer traffic is rising along with home prices, but one traditional Spring phenomenon is sorely absent: rising supply. The raw number of homes for sale is now at its lowest level in over 13 years, according to the National Association of Realtors, and the numbers continue to fall.

“Some listings are vanishing from a strategic decision of waiting for an even a higher price later. Some are due to few newly built homes Continue reading

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Struggling homeowners turned to short sales in 2012

By Les Christie @CNNMoneyFebruary 28, 2013: 12:45 AM ET

There were nearly three times as many short sales as there were sales of foreclosed homes in 2012, according to RealtyTrac. Foreclosures accounted for 11% of all sales, down from 13% a year before. Meanwhile, short sales rose 5% year-over-year, accounting for 32% of all home deals.

“We’re seeing fewer of the most disruptive sales, the [bank-owned foreclosures], hitting the market but there are still a lot of distressed property sales,”  said Daren Blomquist, spokesman for RealtyTrac. “They’re shifting to short sales, though.”

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