There’s some good news for bank rate savers this week — and more bad news thanks to even lower certificate of deposit rates for the last week of August.
Hopefully, as investors turn the page to September, CD rates will stage a much-needed rally heading into the year’s last quarter.
The good news comes from the housing market, where the S&P/Case-Schiller Index recorded a 4.2% upward spike in U.S. housing prices from June 2009 to June 2010. Most economists expected the year-to-year housing number to clock in at 3.5%, so the news that housing prices outperformed analysts’ expectations should be treated as a positive development.
Housing has long been a prickly thorn in the economy’s side. Central bankers know that that consumers aren’t likely to start spending until one of their biggest sources of financial stability — their homes — start climbing in value again. Low housing prices are one big reason why the Federal Reserve has kept a lid on interest rates, which are near 0% these days.
While the jump in housing prices certainly has to do with the new homeowner’s tax credit which expired in July, there’s been more stabilization in the housing market, and that could drive higher bank rates. But that’s if — and a big if at that- housing prices continue to demonstrate growth going forward.
Even after the tax credit expired, home prices continued to rise, Case-Schiller concludes. The index pegs U.S. home prices as having increased 3.6% in the second quarter from the same quarter in 2009, and housing prices were up 2.3% from the previous three months of 2010.
There may be a caveat to housing growth, or at least the pace of it. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, speaking at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Symposium, in Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Friday, implied that any growth at all in the housing market will likely move at a glacial pace:
Going forward, improved affordability — the result of lower house prices and record-low mortgage rates — should boost the demand for housing. However, the overhang of foreclosed-upon and vacant housing, and the difficulties of many households in obtaining mortgage financing, are likely to continue to weigh on the pace of residential investment for some time yet.
The news from the housing market, even if it continues to have a significant impact on the economy, certainly won’t do the CD market any good this week. As usual, rates fell again for the week, as measured by the BankingMyWay Weekly CD Rate Tracker:
Description This Week Last Week
60-Month CD 1.799% 1.883%
48-Month CD 1.542% 1.589%
24-Month CD 1.019% 1.076%
12-Month CD 0.665% 0.672%
Six-Month CD 0.428% 0.433%
Three-Month CD 0.276% 0.277%
While the Federal Reserve slugs it out with the economy, your job is to find the best CD deals possible.
BankingMyWay’s CD Rate Search makes that task highly doable. Week-to-week, it’s the most thorough review of bank CD rates in the market.
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