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08-10-09  Fixed Rates on 30-year mortgages dipped this week after economic reports came in better than expected. The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 5.22%, down from last week's 5.25%. A year ago, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate averaged 6.52%.

03-19-10  Mortgage rates stayed below the 5% threshold for the third straight week as the Federal Reserve prepares to end a program that has kept rates at or near record lows. The Average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was at 4.96%, up from 4.95% a week earlier.

05-21-10  Mortgage rates have fallen to their lowest levels of the year. The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage declined to 4.84% this week from 4.93% a week earlier - the lowest level since mid-December, when rates averaged 4.81%. A record low of 4.71% was set late last year after the start of a Federal Reserve campaign to lower borrowing costs. The program ended this Spring, but rates have remained low. There are still other low rate programs available, however.

06-24-11 The average fixed mortgage rate on a 30-year loan held steady at 4.50%, while the average on 15-year loans rose to 3.69%, both still close to the yearly low.

11-04-11 The Salt Lake Tribune reports the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.0% this week, nearly matching the all-time low hit just one month ago of 3.94%. Rates have been below 5% for all but two weeks in the past year. Just five years ago they were closer to 6.5%, and ten years ago, above 8%.

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  • IKEA Launches New Smart Lighting Line

    Following in the footsteps of GE, Phillips, and a host of others, IKEA is now officially offering its own line of smart lights scheduled to be available in the U.S. by the end of April.

  • JCPenney Gets Into the Remodeling Game

    Since 2012, not a year has passed that JCPenney didn’t close more stores than it opened due to falling revenue. Sales last year were down 30 percent from where they were in 2011, according to Fortune. But the department store has a plan to recapture at least some of that lost revenue: home remodeling. 

    “With the resurgence of the housing market, consumers are spending more than $300 billion annually to upgrade their homes since nearly two-thirds of the nation’s homes are over 30 years old,” said Marvin Ellison, chairman and CEO of JCPenney, in a release. 

  • NARI Rolls Out New Accreditation Program

    The National Association of the Remodeling Industry has unveiled a new accreditation program—a first for the trade group.

    Traditionally, NARI’s certification programs have focused on individual remodelers’ knowledge and professionalism. To date, there hasn’t been an accreditation program for remodeling businesses—until now.