Pending home sales rose in July to their highest level in nearly a year, according to a new report.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage leveled off this week at a record low for the year - 4.1 percent, the same as last week, a Freddie Mac survey showed.

Q: I live in a 55-and-over condominium. A neighboring property recently was sold at a foreclosure auction to a young couple who moved in with their small children. This goes against the rules of our community. Is there anything we can do?

Markets for financial services often don't work well for consumers. The trial and error technique that consumers rely on in navigating many markets, such as food and clothing markets, does not work well when transactions are large and infrequent. Financial firms who expect to see a customer only once may have little incentive to provide good service. Because of the complexity of many financial products, consumers often have less information about the products than those who sell it. The new consumer complaint facility created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can be viewed as an attempt to offset these factors so that financial markets will work better for consumers.

Home prices continued to cool off in June, according to new figures out Tuesday.

New home sales fell unexpectedly in July as buyers in the West pulled back sharply.

The breeze carries the tinny jingle of the approaching ice cream truck, so Mike Puma leaves the railing he's painting on his two-family, electric-blue home to buy a milkshake.

Sales of previously owned homes rose more than expected in July, a sign of growing strength in the housing recovery.

Breaking into the home equity nest egg is becoming a very real possibility for more Americans as home prices rise. But raiding the house bank is not as easy as it was before the recession, and not everyone meets the requirements to borrow from home equity.

The seeds of this article were planted in my brain some 30 odd years ago, when I did a consulting project for the United State Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, for which they contracted to pay me $2,500.

Q: We are under contract to buy a home. We have our loan approved, and the closing is in about two weeks. The sellers just dropped a bombshell on us that the home they are moving into won't be ready for another month, so they want to push back our closing date. We really want this house. What should we do?

The buyer who purchased Dwight Howard's estate in Seminole County, Fla., last month wasn't the Orlando market's only luxury seeker to come with cash in hand.

New home construction surged to an eight-month high in July, providing a lift to the broader economy.



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