The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 6, 1997 · Page 41
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December 6, 1997

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 41

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Saturday, December 6, 1997
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THE PALM BEACH POST SATURDAY. DECEMBER 6. 1997 15B Mortgage Rates And Trends Unemployment at 24-year low; Wall Street nears record high z Palm Beach-Martin averages 1.50 1.00 7M 7.00 O J 50 5.S0 Today we see the latest evidence that our economy is growing, steady and strong, that the American dream is in fact alive and well.' PRESIDENT CLINTON IlinO 1M4 117 1114 1111 1124 121 15vf fixtd 30-yr fied "1-vradiustatl30-vrtrm 1997 Palm Beach County mortgage rates fell this week. The average 30-year mortgage loan dropped from 7.42 percent to 7.40 percent and the 15-year loan decreased from 7.10 percent to 7.09 percent The one-year ARM slid down from 5.97 percent to 5.93 percent. Latest events point toward a continued relaxation of mortgage rates. This means that, in all probability, home buyers and refinances who expect to close on their new loans in the next 30 to 60 days wont see any sudden Jump in the numbers. Rather, economic events in Asia, coupled with the most recent business indicators in the U.S., suggest that inflation is still well under control. And low inflation means low home-financing costs. In the past week, for example, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loan nationwide slipped again, to 7.17 percent. All but one of the 10 largest U.S. markets reported declines in rates. Meanwhile, world communities have come up with a massive $103 billion rescue plan to help Asia's weakening economies. The centerpiece is a $55 billion bailout of South Korea through the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in hopes it will stabilize that country's sagging economy. As part of the IMF package, So'uth Korea must slow its economic growth from nearly 9 percent to only 3 percent a year, which probably will cause higher unemployment. The story-which, believe it or not, has a huge impact on your local mortgage rates-isn't just confined to South Korea. There's evidence that all of Asia's problems, including the failure of one of Japan's biggest financial houses, is starting to hurt U.S. manufacturers and farmers. Here's why your mortgage payments will be affected: When Asia's economies weaken, those countries devalue their currency. Because their own consumers stop buying as much, Asian manufacturers must export to get business. So they slash prices on goods sold In the U.S. To compete, our manufacturers-who see their exports to Asia decline-must cut prices to keep their sales volumes up. It becomes a vicious circle. Hence, at its next meeting on Dec. 16, the Federal is "Something has got to give; Either the economy will slow or -inflation will accelerate significantly next year," said economist; Mark Zandi of Regional Financial r Associates in West Chester, Pa. Reacting to the inflation;' threat, interest rates edged higher on the bond market But the!"' stock market thrived on the re-. port The Dow Jones average of; industrial stocks rose 99 points tcr: close at 8,149 just 110 points -short of the record high reached Aug. 6. The strong employment rev port didn't raise the usual ruckus, analysts said, because Wall Street -traders have concluded Asia's; currency crises will prevent Fed- -eral Reserve Chairman Alan ' Greenspan and his colleagues from raising interest rates when f they meet next on Dec. 16 Two other reports Friday also depicted a vibrant economy. Or-" ders to American factories rose 0.3 percent in October, the fifth r consecutive increase, thanks tp. increased demand for aircraft, . autos, paper and food products," the Commerce Department said;'"1; And consumers picked up the I pace of their borrowing in Octo-;r ber. Their outstanding debt greMf j; at a 10.5 percent annual rate, the The Associated Press WASHINGTON A surge of job growth pushed the nation's unemployment rate to a 24-year low of 4.6 percent and fattened employees' paychecks as the holiday shopping season began. The stock market, often unnerved by such figures, extended its comeback rally into a sixth consecutive trading session. November's seasonally adjusted rate of joblessness down from 4.7 percent in October matched die rate in October 1973, the Labor Department said Friday. It hasn't been lower since March 1970, when it was 4.4 percent "It's certainly a merry Christmas for American workers," said economist William Dunkelberg of the National Federation of Independent Business. The rate fell to a near-record low for Hispanics. It also declined for adult men, whites and teenagers but it rose slightly for blacks. Employers added a seasonally adjusted 404,000 workers to their payrolls, the most since February 1996. Retail establishments from department stores to catalog sales operations accounted for a quarter of the increase but manufacturing, construction expected to postpone any interest rate hike instead of raising interest rates to slow the economy. At the same time, there's enough slippage in the new economic data coming out of Washington to also suggest that a rate increase is out of the question. New home sales, for example, slipped in October for second time in three months. U. S. manufacturers reported that their November business Increased, but at a slower pace. And at least one major index that measures business confidence said its October index fell to its lowest level in four years. Yet, another index reported that its gauge of future U.S. economic growth rose slightly for the sixth consecutive month. It's a confusing, mixed picture, all right, but what it says is that the tilt is toward the downside on mortgage rates. At least for the moment. ROBERT K. HEADY and a range of services reported gains too. Americans' average earnings jumped 7 cents an hour in November to a seasonally adjusted $12.47. That's 4.1 percent, or nearly 50 cents, higher than a year earlier. Today we see the latest evidence that our economy is growing, steady and strong, that the American dream is in fact alive and well," President Clinton told reporters at the White House. But economists warned it could be too much of a good thing. Accelerating wage gains could lead to rising inflation, although they haven't yet And that could draw a growth-dampening interest-rate increase from the Federal Reserve. What Banks and Thrifts Charge additional closing costs, such as an appraisal and title search. Rates are based on a $125,000 loan amount with a 20 percent down payment. Rates cover single-family, owner-occupied homes up to the Federal National Mortgage Association limit of $214,600, but may vary by branch location. Phone numbers were provided by the lenders, and there may be a toll for the call. Here are rates Palm Beach and Martin county banks and thrifts were charging for 15-year fixed-rate, 30-year fixed-rate and one-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) on December 5. In almost all cases, rate is based on a lock-in period of 30-60 days. On a one-year ARM, the rate is subject to change annually based on index fluctuations. Borrower should review how the rate Is calculated and Inquire about fastest pace in 15 months, the Federal Reserve said. No ruling yet on Microsoft browser casei in contempt of court, saying it vj olated a 1995 consent degree that ? bars the company from bundling its word processor, spreadsheet j and other products with Wu1 dows 95. It wants the court to impose a -fine of $1 million a day until Ml-;, crosoft complies. After hearing 90 minutes of arguments from both sides;, Jackson deferred making a rul-f ing. I ; In the courtroom, Microsoft-revealed that between 70 percent ' and 75 percent of personal com , puters crafted in December will " ship with both Windows 95 andr, Internet Explorer on their hard disks. "It Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson to bolster their view mat the browser, known as Internet Explorer, and Windows 95 are separate items that need not be shipped in tandem. The government contends that Microsoft wants to leverage its huge market power with manufacturers who preload Windows 95 onto their machines to force Explorer into the bundle. Windows 95 currently runs on nine of every 10 personal computers. After Feb. 1, 1998, Microsoft says it will no longer license Windows 95 to PC makers without Explorer also loaded aboard. The Justice Department wants Jackson to hold Microsoft 15-TR. FIXED JO-TR. FIXED ONE-YEAR ADJUSTABLE BANKS INDEXED CAPS INDEX I LENDER PHONE RATE PTS. RATE PTS. RATE RATE PTS. YHAIFE MARGIN Admiralty Bank 561-624-4701 7.25 0.00 7.50 0.00 6.25 8.38 0.00 26 A2.88 Barnett Bank 800-833-5363 6.88 1.00 7.25 1.00 6.13 8.38 1.00 26 A2.88 Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp. 800-888-3844 6.50 2.25 6.63 3.25 4.38 8.25 2.88 26 A2.75 Colonial Bank 561-683-1600 7.13 0.00 7.50 0.00 6.88 8.38 1.00 26 A2.88 Enterprise Natl Bank 561-624-4400 7.25 1.00 7.63 1.00 6.63 8.38 1.00 26 A2.88 EuroBank 561-750-9999 7.63 0.00 7.75 0,00 5.75 8.25 2.00 26 A2.75 First Natl B&TTreasure Coast 561-288-6050 7.13 0.00 7.50 0.00 6.00 8.25 0.00 26 A2.75 First Southern Bank 561-930-1200 7.13 0.00 7.38 0.00 iiS 8.38 0.00 26 A2.88 First Union National Bank 561-838-5500 7.25 0.00 7.38 0.00 6.50 8,25 1.00 26 A2.75 First United Bk 561-286-9706 7.25 0.00 7.50 0.00 6.25 8.25 0.00 26 A2,7S NBD Bank 561-6244728 7.25 0.00 7.50 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 NationsBank 561-689-5550 6.88 1.00 7.13 1.00 5.63 8.25 1.00 26 A2.75 Northern Trust Bank 561-622-4600 7.25 1.00 7.63 1.00 5.63 8.25 1.00 26 A2.75 Regent Bank 800-240-3138 7.13 0.00 7.38 0.00 5.88 8,38 2.00 26 A2,88 Republic Security Bk 561-863-2543 7.13 0.00 7.38 0.00 6.50 8.25 0.00 26 A2.75 SouthTrust Bank 561-4954000 6.75 2.00 7.00 2.00 5.25 8.25 2.00 26 A2.75 SunTrust Bank.So Florida 561-838-5178 7.13 0.00 7.50 0.00 5.50 8.38 1.00 26 A2.88 SunTrust Bank.Treasure Coast 561-467-6215 7,25 0,00 7,63 0.00 6.00 8.38 0.00 26 A2.88 Transflorida Bank 561-347-0007 7.13 0.00 7.38 0xT 7.13 8.38 0.00 26 A2.88 15-TR. FIXED 10-TR. FIXED ONE-YEAR ADJUSTABLE THRIFTS INDEXED CAPS INDEX LENDER PHONE RATE PTS. RATE PTS. RATE RATE PTS. YRAIFE MARGIN AmTrust Bank 888-268-7878 6,88 0.00 7.25 0.00 5.63 8.25 0.00 26 A2.75 Bank United 561-495-5020 7.13 0.00 7.50 0.00 5.88 8.25 0.00 26 A2.75 BankAtlantic 800-741-1700 7.13 0.00 7.38 0.00 6.38 8.38 0.00 26 A2.88 Bankers Savings Bank 800-275-6847 7.13 0.00 7.38 0.00 5.50 8.25 1.50 26 A2.75 California Federal Bank 800-225-3334 7,13 1.00 7.38 100 0.00 0.00 0.00 Citibank (Florida) 800-876-1944 6.B8 1,00 7.13 0.88 5.38 8.25 0,88 26 A2.75 Comerlca B 4 T 800453-8389 6.75 1.00 7.25 1.00 5.63 8.25 1.00 26 A2.75 Community Savings 561-8814953 7,13 0.00 7.50 0.00 6.00 8.38 0.00 26 A2.88 Crown Bank 561-6414639 7.13 0.00 7.50 0.00 5.88 8.25 0.00 26 A2.75 Fidelity Federal Savings Bank Of Fl 561-203-9900 7,13 0.00 7.50 0.00 6.00 8.25 0.00 26 A2.75 First Bank Of Florida 561-655-2464 7.00 0.00 7.38 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 Great Western Bank 800492-7587 6.88 1,00 7,25 1,00 5.63 8.25 1.00 26 A2.75 Harbor Federal Savings & Loan 661-283-2414 7,00 1.00 7.38 1.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 Savings of America 800-975-5051 7.20 0.00 7.50 0.00 5.88 8.25 1,00 26 A2,75 SouthBank 561-627-7100 7.13 0.00 7.50 0.00 5.13 8.25 1.00 26 A2.75 Sterling Bank 561-968-1000 7.13 0.00 7.50 0.00 6.00 8.25 0.00 26 A2.75 World Savings Bank 561-746-3420 7.10 1.50 7.45 1.50 0.00 0.00 0.00 PBWataiCwBttAwriji TM 740 BJ3 BftHltoioMHwcty 181 7J7 SJ3 Controversial proposals Many of the recommendations included in the FDA's proposed food safety guidelines are accepted practices in the Florida produce industry, but others drew sharp criticism Friday. Among them, suggestions that farmers: B Establish detailed record-keeping procedures so contaminated produce can be traced to its place of origin. B Protect water supplies by covering open reservoirs and conducting more frequent tests for microbial contamination. B Implement a pest control program to limit the number of animals including birds that have access to crops. B Enforce worker hygiene practices by monitoring health and barring any employees with food-transmissible diseases from working with produce. By Andrew J. Glass Palm Beach Post Washington Bureau WASHINGTON Attorneys for Microsoft Corp. and the Justice Department argued Friday whether the software giant violated a consent decree by requiring computer makers that want to use its Windows operating system to accept its Internet browser as part of the package. Microsoft attorneys said its Windows 95 operating system would be "fractured and shattered" if the company were forced to strip away the browser. But Justice Department antitrust lawyers held up two different Microsoft shrink-wrapped packages before U.S. District Fla. billing firm sues Columbia It says the health-care provider fell short of its contract in the amount of work and pay. Bloomberg News NASHVILLE A Florida billing company has sued ColumbiaHCA Healthcare Corp. for $2 billion, saying the largest U.S. health-care company breached a contract for processing claims at Columbia facilities. Florida Software Systems, which provides the software for transmitting bills electronically to insurance companies and other third-party payers, filed the complaint yesterday in U.S. District Court in Tampa. The lawsuit was reported in Friday's edition of the St Petersburg Times. Nashville, Tenn.-based Columbia already faces a number of lawsuits from shareholders and former employees. Sarasota-based FSS said it agreed to provide its services for Columbia's 340 hospitals and outpatient facilities at a reduced rate, but ultimately was limited mainly to Columbia's Florida operations at below-contract rates. The $2 billion is what FSS alleges it would have received over the life of the contract due to expire in about 4' years, FSS attorney John Blair said. Columbia believes the case is What Some Other Lenders Charge nies wanting to have their mortgage rates considered for publication should write to Bank Rate Monitor, P.O. Box 088888, North Palm Beach, FL 33408. Following are rates offered by a sampling of some mortgage companies In Palm Beach and Martin counties on December 5. The listing will change week by week. Compa County health director endorses federal proposals 15-YR. FIXED SO-YR. FIXED ONE-YEAR ADJUSTABLE INDEXED CAPS INDEX I LENDER PHONE RATE PTS. RATE PTS. RATE RATE PTS. YRAIFE MARGIN ACS Mortgage Svcs, Inc 800-266-2296 7.25 0.00 7.38 0.00 6.63 8.38 0.00 26 A2.88 ASAP Mortgage Corp 800-929-2727 6.75 1.00 7.00 1.00 6.50 8.25 1.00 26 A2.75 Access Financial Svcs 800-905-5363 7.00 0.00 7.25 0.00 5.75 8.25 0.00 26 A2.75 American Mortgage & Inv 561-744-1210 7,13 0,00 7,38 0,00" 5.50 8.25 0.00 26 A2,75 Dominion Financial Svcs 561-969-2020 7.00 0.00 7.38 0.00 6.75 8.38 0.00 26 A2.88 Eastcoast Financial Corp 561-744-1217 6.75 1.50 7.13 1.50 5.75 8.38 1.50 26 A2.88 Emigrant Mortgage 800-513-2552 7,25 0.00 7.50 0.00 5.38 8.25 0.00 26 A2.75 Equity One Mortgage 561-6914441 6.88 0.00 7.25 0.00 5J5 8.38 0.50 26 A2.88 ' Mid Atlantic Mortgage Corp 561-641-3911 7.25 1.00 7.50 1.00 563 8.38 1.00 26 A2.88 Nexus Financial Group 561-655-7042 7,13 0,00 7.50 0.00 588 8.25 0.00 26 A2.75 Abbreviations: A One-Year Treasury Constant Maturity Yield Florida Fruit & Vegetable Assort", ciation, the Florida Department-of Citrus, the Florida Strawberry! Growers Association, and Mecca ' Farms, a local vegetable grower. ' Most of them said current gov-, ernment regulations and the ub-.t dustry's own safety guidelines are sufficient. -.'.'j One of the few commentators who supported the FDA effort was Jean Malecki, director of the.a Palm Beach County Health De-; partment, who said the produce, industry should embrace the; guidelines. "If the industry wants to sur-' V vive and prosper, it has to," she 5 said. .f; Key Definitions PRODUCE From 9B "I wish the process would slow down," Archer said. "Once tilings are on paper, it can be very difficult to erase them." Bobby McKown, of Florida Citrus Mutual, which represents more than 11,600 citrus growers in the state, said the FDA's water protection guidelines including covering reservoirs and increased testing for contamination are "unwarranted, time consuming, and expensive." Others who objected to the FDA guidelines included the One-year adjustable: Mortgage whose annual rate changes yearly. The rate is usually based on movements of a published Index plus a specified margin, chosen by the lender. Lock: Lender's guarantee that the mortgage rate quoted will be good for a specific number of days from day of application. Index: A floating index lenders use to calculate the rate on a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage. The most common indexes are the one-year Treasury Constant Maturity Yield and the FHLB 11th District Cost of Funds. Caps: The maximum amount the mortgage rate can change annually or over the life of the loan on a one-year adjustable. For example, If the caps are 2 annual and 6 MortgageShopping When applying for a mortgage, here are some of the key - questions you should ask the lender: What will my monthly payments be, Including taxes and mortgage Insurance? Can I "buy down" the rate to a lower figure by paying ' more points? What will all my closing costs total, and which Items do . I have a choice of waiving? Is this mortgage assumable, and'under what conditions? At what date will the rate be locked in? Is private mortgage insurance necessary? If so, at what point will I no longer be required to carry it? What is the minimum down payment required? Are there any prepayment penalties on this mortgage? If you are applying for an adjustable-rate mortgage, you should also ask these questions: In a worst-case scenario, what would be the maximum payment on this loan? Can the mortgage rate be converted to a fixed one at some point in time? If so, what would be the cost and rate? Is the first-year rate discounted? What is the fully Indexed rate and monthly payment, based on your index and margin? Does this adjustable-rate mortgage have negative amortization, that is, could the outstanding balance rise even as I am making regular payments? "without merit" and has several concerns, including "questions about FSS' performance," spokesman Jeff Prescott said. He declined to comment further. Columbia shares rose 6 cents to $30.50. New Sharp SF 2020 With Document Feeder & Two Universal Paper Drawers For only $89.00 per month Includes 50,000 free copies 848-1644 or 848-4770 life of loan, a mortgage whose first-year rate Is 10 could rise to no more than 12 the second year and 16 over the entire loan term. Margin: The number of percentage points added to the index on a one-year adjustable. For example, if the index rate is 9 and the margin is 3, then the fully Indexed rate Is 12. Points: A percentage of the loan amount, paid at closing. Each point Is one-hundredth of the loan amount. Indexed rate: The sum of the published Index plus the margin. For example, If the index were 9 and the margin 2.75, then the indexed rate would be 11.75. Often, lenders charge less than the Indexed rate the first year of an adjustable-rate mortgage. Adjustable Indexes The Indexes to which fates on adjustable-rate mortgages are tied change periodically.Following is a history of four of the most-common Indexes: li-3 The Post's Saturday WEEKEND STOCKS publication contains expanded stock and mutual fund tables, stats on more markets and more listings for other investment vehicles than any other South Florida publication. This 20-page investor's resource is available at no cost to readers with Saturday PaymentCalculator When shopping 30-year mortgages, you can estimate your monthly payment using the following figures. They show what your principal and Interest payments would be on each $ 1,000 borrowed. For example, the payment on an 8 rate Is $7,338 per month per $1,000 borrowed. If you borrowed $50,000, your monthly payment would be 50 times that, or $366.90. Escrow payments on taxes and mortgage and hazard insurance would be additional. Here are other RATES () ON ADJUSTABLE INDEXES home delivery oi The Palm Beach Post. But to get it, you must call ana order dm r loan payment factors based on rates currently being charged: 7 Fin fan 3.82 4.60 4.86 484 WEEKEND STOCKS. Call, toll-free, 930-POST today and request the best investor's tool published in South Florida The Post's WEEKEND STOCKS. Ynt 5.41 4.84 4.76 4.84 latest 5.50 4.96 4.92 4.92 Vm 5.46 4.94 4.84 4.97 1-Yr Treasury Constant Maturity (1128) 11th District Cost of Funds (October) 4th District Cost of Funds (September) OTS Nat Median Cost of Funds (September) Changes weekly $6,653; 7V4$6.822; 7y2$6.992; 7J 7.164; 87.338; 8y4$7.513. ' SOURCE: BANK RATE MONITOR, NORTH PALM BEACH, "FL 33408 3 (561) 627-7330 'Changes monthly i

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