A Manhattan judge on Thursday backed a $55 million settlement in a court battle over the Empire State Building, effectively clearing the way for a plan to let the public buy shares in the famous New York City landmark.
The average U.S. rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage fell to a new record low last week, and the rate on the 30-year fixed loan declined. Cheaper mortgages have encouraged more home-buying and refinancing.
U.S. worker productivity barely grew from January through March after shrinking in the final three months of 2012. Weak productivity growth could prompt employers to hire more if consumers and businesses continue to increase spending.
The shortage of homes is occurring just as ordinary Americans want to buy again. More of them feel confident about their job and retirement account. Mortgage rates are near historic lows. And prices are rising again.