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August 17, 2015


    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
 
Events & Industry Insider Info
  • PGCAR . . . The Value Proposition
  • RPAC . . . Expanding and Protecting Your Ability To Sell Homes
  • 2015 / 2016 PGCAR Officer and Director Voting Opens August 31
  • Annual Meeting and Installation - September 23
  • New Online Toolkit!  The real estate professional's guide to "Know Before you Owe"
  • MD and DC CEU at PGCAR
  • WCR Annual Crab Feast - Friday Evening, September 11
  • If Not Renewed, DC Salesperson Licenses Expire in 2 Weeks!
  • MD CEU Requirements Change October 1
  • PGCAR Offers RBI SmartCharts as a Member Benefit - Register for Training!
  • Join the PGCAR YPN School Supplies Drive!
  • STOP Patent Trolls and Frivolous Lawsuits Against Businesses
  • 2015 / 2016 Dues Renewals are Now Online - Due October 1
  • Making Home Affordable (MHA) - Free Training Webinars
  • Membership Applications


  • Consumer's Corner
  • Purple Line Approved for 2016 Construction Start
  • Prince George's Home Sales Increase Again in July!
  • Average 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate Rise, Still Below 4%



  • Message from the President - August 7, 2015

    PGCAR . . . The Value Proposition

      Desiree Callender photo
    Desiree Callender
    2015 PGCAR President

    I was recently asked the question, "Hey, what do I get for my association dues anyway?" Of course I responded formidably by rattling off the myriad of association benefits one by one.

    Afterwards I thought, what would my business be like if there were no professional trade group like PGCAR looking out for my best interests?
    • I wondered, how would my business function without the state-of-the-art MLS system, MRIS; which was created, in part, with the cooperation and capital investment of the metro region REALTOR® Associations, including PGCAR?
    • Would people buy homes here if Prince George's County had passed the $.15 property tax increase? Suppose PGCAR was unsuccessful in their very public fight against that proposal which resulted in only a $.04 increase?
    • Would home ownership here and nationwide be an attractive investment without the mortgage interest deduction which the National Association of REALTORS® is fighting to preserve?
    • I thought about the complex abundance of mandatory and necessary real estate contract forms offered by PGCAR and MAR. What would my legal expense be if my firm had to hire an attorney to draft and develop those forms, and what would my liability exposure be without them?
    • I considered my legal exposure, without an organized dispute resolution mechanism like the Grievance and Professional Standards processes offered by PGCAR and MAR. Without them I would be on my own, most likely before a judge, to resolve brokerage disputes. Disputes with clients would be dealt with before the real estate commission and possibly the court system. How much money and time would that cost me?
    Finally after considering what it would be like to NOT have a real estate association, I came to the conclusion that thankfully I have one. And I can turn to them for MLS, political advocacy, legal assistance, advice and more, and all for the relatively affordable price of about $1.95 a day.

    Hopefully you also find value in your Association membership? Listed below is a recap of the Association benefits included in your membership:
    • Advocacy through government representation
    • SentriLock Electronic Lockbox System
    • Members of PGCAR, a shareholder in the Metropolitan Regional Information Service (MRIS), receive significant discounts on MRIS participation fees and the addition of RBI SmartCharts Pro
    • Access to electronic real estate standard forms (Zip Forms)
    • REALTOR® Store - your one stop shop for all your real estate needs
    • REALTOR® Professional Designations and Education Trust
    • REALTOR® Federal Credit Union
    • Access to over 100 educational events per year including the annual REALTOR® EXPO and Trade Shows
    • Website - www.pgcar.com - Your source for timely information on Association activities
    • REALTOR® Connection
    • Zip Forms / Dot Loop
    • Continuing Education Programs
    • Ethics Enforcement / Mediation / Arbitration
    • Committee Participation
    • Legislative Advocacy
    • REALTORS® Guide to Rentals and other members only publications
    • Local NAR Institute, Societies and Council Chapters
    • Email updates on important issues and upcoming Association education programs and events
    • Networking opportunities with other members through various business and social events
    Thank you for your continued support, your membership in PGCAR and your active participation in the Association. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the PGCAR office at 301.306.7900.

    Respectfully,
    Desiree Callender, President
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    A Message From 2015 RPAC Chair, Joanne Darling - August 7, 2015

     
    Joanne Darling
    2015 RPAC Chair

    PGCAR and RPAC played a valuable role in the recent advocacy campaign against the $.15 property tax hike. Through grants from NAR and MAR, your Association (PGCAR) was able to run full-page advertising in the local press against the tax increase and generate close to 2000 calls and emails into the County Council. This effort most definitely swayed the vote away from the $.15 concept. This is just one example of how PGCAR and RPAC protect your ability to do business.

    Our influence can only be as strong as the relationships we build with our elected officials. These relationships pave the road to our political success. RPAC provides the opportunity to enhance our relationships with existing politicians (our REALTOR® Party Friends) and a chance to build relationships with newly elected officials, hopefully securing their membership in the "REALTOR® Party."

    Through RPAC, REALTORS® have seen solid victories in recent years:
    • Stopped the $.15 Countywide property tax hike
    • Defeated a proposal to create a moratorium on foreclosures
    • Reduced the rate of interest on rental security deposits
    • Defeated legislation restricting rental units in certain zones
    • Defeated rent control in College Park
    • Stopped transfer taxes on front foot benefit assessments
    • Defeated efforts to require energy audits at property transfer
    • Passed legislation to expand financial literacy education in public schools
    • Halted collection of tax on forgiven debt in a short sale transaction
    You can read more about how RPAC helps REALTORS® here: RPAC does NOT BUY VOTES. RPAC supports positions, NOT parties. RPAC is bipartisan, supporting political candidates who value protecting real estate transactions, homeownership and property rights. Your voluntary contribution . . . $15, $35, $99, or more helps in this necessary endeavor.

    SUPPORT YOUR INDUSTRY TODAY . . . SUPPORT RPAC.

    And remember, if real estate is your profession, politics is your business!

    Thank You,
    Joanne Darling, 2015 RPAC Chair

    RPAC contributions are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. Contributions to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes. The amounts indicated are merely guidelines and you may contribute more or less than the suggested amounts. The National Association of REALTORS® and its state and local associations will not favor or disadvantage any member because of the amount contributed or a decision not to contribute. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal. 70% of each contribution is used by your state PAC to support state and local political candidates; 30% is sent to National RPAC to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 52 U.S.C. 30116.
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    2015 / 2016 PGCAR OFFICER AND DIRECTOR CANDIDATES
    Voting Opens Monday, August 31

    In accordance with the applicable provisions of the Prince George's County Association of REALTORS® Bylaws governing the election procedure, listed below are the candidates for Officers and Directors for 2015 / 2016.

    This year PGCAR Members will have the opportunity to vote online from Monday, August 31 until midnight on Sunday, September 20.

    You are encouraged to go to the PGCAR website at www.pgcar.com to VOTE ONLINE when voting opens. If you are unable to vote online, you may contact the Association office at 301-306-7900 to have a paper ballot mailed to you.

    Please vote online at www.pgcar.com/vote, after it opens August 31. Then remind others in your office to vote! Voting is open from Monday, August 31 until midnight on Sunday, September 20.

    The 2015 / 2016 Candidates
    President: Chuck Ottley, SellState Dominion Realty
    President-Elect: Patricia Dowtin, Long & Foster Real Estate
    Secretary: Cheryl Abrams, RE/MAX United Real Estate
    Directors:
    (4 to be elected)
    Donald Frederick, RE/MAX United Real Estate
    Art Greene, Long & Foster Real Estate
    Doris Kessebeh, EXIT Bennett Realty
    Veera Phillips, Keller Williams Preferred Properties
    Shameeka Price, Capital Structures Real Estate



    All ballots must be cast online no later than midnight on September 20.
    Paper ballots will be accepted until 12 noon on Monday, September 21.


    Please contact the Association Office at 301-306-7900 with any questions.


    The Prince George's County Association of REALTORS® invites you to the
    Annual Installation of Officers & Directors
    Wednesday, September 23
    11:30 am - 1:30 pm
    at Camelot


    Reception: 11:30 am
    Dress: Business Attire
    Ceremony and Luncheon: 12 noon - 1:30 pm
    Registration: $40 per person
    Location: Camelot by Martin's
    13905 Central Avenue, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

    Registration closes at midnight Wednesday, September 16.
    Register online at www.pgcar.com >






    Be Prepared for the New Mortgage Closing Rules Known as TRID


    In our continuing efforts to keep you abreast of the latest news on the implementation of the Truth in Lending RESPA Integrated Document (TRID) rule by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), NAR is pleased to announce new resources to help REALTORS® prepare for the changes. On August 14, after close collaboration with NAR, the CFPB launched a new online toolkit for real estate professionals as part of its "Know Before You Owe" campaign. CFPB uses the term "Know Before You Owe" for its consumer facing communications regarding TRID. The new website is designed to help real estate professionals understand the changes to the closing process, that will go into effect on October 3, 2015, and how to explain the changes to clients. The site also includes resources that real estate professionals can provide to their clients.

    REALTORS® are highly encouraged to familiarize themselves and their clients on the new rules with these tools: PGCAR is your resource for education opportunities on this important topic. Another class will soon be held to cover these new rules:
    • Keep Calm, and TRID On. The new mortgage disclosure rules: What you need to know
      10:00 am to 1:30 pm on Wednesday, September 16
      Registration opens soon >
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    AT A GLANCE: EDUCATION HIGHLIGHTS AT PGCAR

    Early bird registration is only $18 for 3 CEU classes and $11 for 1.5 CEU classes.
    Wednesday, August 19
    Nuts & Bolts of an Alternative Dispute Resolution - 1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Wednesday, August 20
    Short Sales - 3 MD Elective CEU
    Reverse Mortgages - 1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Friday, August 21
    MD Legislative Update - 3 MD Required Legislative Update CEU; 3 DC Elective CEU
    MD Fair Housing - 1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU; 1.5 DC Elective CEU
    Tuesday, August 25
    DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending - 3 DC Required Fair Housing CEU
    DC Legislative Update / Exam Prep - 3 DC Required Legislative Update CEU
    Wednesday, August 26
    Financing Issues / Update - 3 DC Required Financing Issues / Update CEU; 3 MD Elective CEU
    Thursday, August 27
    MD Code of Ethics - 3 MD Required Ethics CEU; 3 DC Elective CEU
    Friday, August 28
    MREC Agency - Residential - 3 MD Required or Elective CEU;
    required for every 2-year renewal cycle as of October 1, 2015
    See the complete schedule and register at www.pgcar.com >
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    WCR ANNUAL CRAB FEAST
    Friday, September 11 ♦ 7 pm to 11 pm

    Join the Prince George's County Women's Council of REALTORS® at the Knights of Columbus in College Park for a summer swim and crab feast. Enjoy steamed ALL YOU CAN EAT HOT STEAMED MARYLAND CRABS, corn on the cob, fried and backed chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, sides, watermelon and other desserts, beer, soda and a cash bar service.

    Entertainment includes DJ Phil, dancing, door prizes and a raffle. Tickets are $58 in advance or $60 at the door.

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    DC SALESPERSON LICENSES EXPIRE AUGUST 31
    Earn Your 15 CE Hours at PGCAR

    Licenses Expire in 2 Weeks! The deadline to report CE requirements and renew licenses through the DC Real Estate Commission is Monday, August 31. Register for any needed CE hours TODAY!

    15 total CE hours are required for license renewal.
    Earn the 9 CE hours in required topics at PGCAR:

    3 CE DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending Tuesday, August 25 9:30 am - 12:30 pm Register >
    3 CE DC Legislative Update Tuesday, August 25 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm Register >
    3 CE Financing Issues / Update Wednesday, August 26 9:30 am - 12:30 pm Register >


    Also complete your 6 CE hours in DC-approved electives at PGCAR:

    3 CE MD Fair Housing Friday, August 21 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm Register >
    3 CE MD Code of Ethics Thursday, August 27 9:30 am - 12:30 pm Register >
    Register TODAY for the above DC required CEU at PGCAR.com >

    PGCAR also offers online CEU; please register and complete your classes promptly >

    Please don't procrastinate and miss the deadline!
    It is illegal to practice real estate in DC without an active DC license,
    and there's a late fee if you renew late.
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    MARYLAND CEU REQUIREMENTS CHANGE OCTOBER 1
    Meet All Required CEU Categories Every 2 Years

    Is your Maryland license expiring soon? If it expires October 1 or afterwards, you will need to meet the NEW Maryland CEU requirements.

    15 total CE hours are required for license renewal.
    Here are the required CE categories:


    3 Maryland Legal Update CE hours Category A Required every 2-year renewal
    1.5 Maryland Fair Housing CE hours Category C Required every 2-year renewal
    3 Maryland Ethics CE hours Category D Required every 2-year renewal
    3 Maryland Agency CE hours Category H Currently required every 4 years; Required for every 2-year renewal for licenses expiring 10/1/15 and later
    3 Maryland Supervision CE hours Category I Currently required every 4 years for Brokers, Managers and Team Leaders; Required for every 2-year renewal cycle for Brokers, Managers and Team Leaders for licenses expiring 10/1/15 and later
    Again, the 15 total CEU requirement will be more uniform across all Maryland real estate licensees for each 2-year renewal cycle as of October 1, 2015 and on:
    • Licensees who are not a Broker, Manager or Team Leader will have 10.5 hours in required subjects (Categories A, C, D and H) and 4.5 Elective hours.
    • Licensees who are Brokers, Managers or Team Leaders will have 13.5 hours in required subjects (Categories A, C, D, H and I) and 1.5 hours in electives.
    • The previous lowered 7.5 CE requirement for licensees who possess a graduate degree in law or real estate, and are not a broker, associate broker, or designated a branch office manager or team leader also expires as of October 1, 2015.
    PGCAR has you covered for all Maryland and DC CEU requirements. Many of our classes are approved for both Maryland and DC. See the complete CE schedule and register at www.PGCAR.com or take online classes 7/24 here or here!
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    PGCAR OFFERING SMARTCHARTS PRO AS A MEMBER BENEFIT
    One Click Access to Local Market Stats


    Well over 95% of customers and prospects actively use the internet when selling or buying. While there's a good deal of helpful information out there, there's also what we call TMBI - Too Much Bad Information.

    This includes the AVMs (Automated Valuation Models) featured by most consumer websites.

    PGCAR Offering SmartCharts PRO as a Member Benefit For Prince George's County, per Zillow stats, their ZestimateTM accuracy has a median variance of 8.7%, which for a $240,000 listing (PG median for 2015 to date) means the range of value can fall between $220,000 and $260,000. Human nature being what it is, $260k sticks in the seller's mind. Members tell us that ZestimatesTM often hurt rather than help customer interaction.

    PGCAR now offers a great new tool to help, SmartCharts ProTM from RBI. SmartCharts ProTM provides you with one-click access to vital LOCAL market stats on any device: phone, tablet, laptop or desktop on demand.

    We cover 44 zip codes as well as over 411 Prince George's County subdivisions. And SmartCharts ProTM is not just for working with sellers . . . your buying prospects also need your local market expertise.

    We're pleased to announce that PGCAR is among the first MRIS Associations to soon provide SmartCharts ProTM as a member benefit. Here's a 2-minute video to provide a quick and helpful overview.

    If you're a current SmartChartsTM subscriber, the new program will start upon expiration of your current subscription.

    If you're not a subscriber, we will be contacting you with sign on access.
    Go to getsmartcharts.com/pricing to sign up today and save $240!


    Remember to sign up for the morning or afternoon training on September 10.
    Get a jump start by registering for the SmartCharts Pro webinar being held this Thursday, August 20.
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    JOIN THE PGCAR YPN SCHOOL SUPPLIES DRIVE!
    Collect School Supplies in Your Office This Month

    Backpacks and School Supplies Plan A: Collect school supplies and donations now through August 31 in your office. Have fun shopping for extra backpacks, pens, paper and other school supplies with any cash donations you collect. Bring all to the PGCAR office on Monday, August 31.

    Plan B: Collect donations of new school supplies, and drop off or mail them anytime during August to: PGCAR, School Supply Drive (YPN), 9200 Basil Court, 4th Floor, Largo, MD 20774.

    Result: Members of the Young Professional Network of PGCAR will transport all of our donated school supplies to Prince George's County Public Schools. Hundreds of our County school children who wouldn't otherwise have backpacks and school supplies will be better prepared for learning, and beaming with smiles and appreciation of your good deed!!

    Extra Credit: Take a photo of your collected backpacks and school supplies. Email to comms@pgcar.org, if OK for us to publish on the PGCAR website or other communications.

    Supplies Needed: Backpacks and other basic school supplies. Here's an idea list:

    Elementary
    Composition books (wide ruled)
    Plastic school box
    Glue sticks
    #2 pencils
    Crayons
    Scissors
    Facial tissues
    Secondary
    3-inch, 3-ring binder
    Subject dividers
    College-ruled notebook paper
    Composition books (college ruled)
    Blue or black ballpoint pens
    #2 pencils
    Colored pencils
    Highlighter
    Ruler
    Book covers
    Intermediate
    Ruler
    Protractor
    College-ruled notebook paper
    Highlighters
    Book covers
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    Please Help Stop Patent Trolls and Frivolous Lawsuits Against Businesses

    Please tell your U.S. Representative to support H.R. 9, the Innovation Act to stop patent trolls and protect the real estate industry from frivolous lawsuits.

    REALTORS® across the country receive threatening demand letters and lawsuits alleging patent infringement based on the use of common business tools such as drop down menus or search alert functions on websites and the scanner function on a copier. These patent trolls buy vague patents and use them to turn everyday business practices into potential lawsuits.

    H.R. 9 will be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives when they return from recess. Please continue to contact our Representatives while they are back here in their districts. Congress MUST PASS this common-sense comprehensive patent litigation reform to protect Main Street businesses and REALTORS® from patent troll abuse.

    Thank you for your advocacy efforts!
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    2015 / 2016 DUES RENEWALS ARE NOW ONLINE
    Membership Renewals are Due October 1

    Please renew your dues early, online at www.pgcar.com/dues.

    Renewing online gives you an immediate itemized dues receipt, adds your dues payment to your Members Only dues report . . . and saves your Association manual processing time and expenses.

    THANK YOU for your involvement in PGCAR! We look forward to serving you and continuing to improve, through another upswing year!
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    MAKING HOME AFFORDABLE (MHA) PROGRAM WEBINARS

    There are sessions for MHA Trusted Advisors and MHA Servicers. Click here to see all scheduled classes. Click on Event Center tab if not immediately directed to webinar listing.

    Upcoming sessions:

    Tuesday, August 25, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    Case Escalations for Trusted Advisors

    Monday, September 14, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program for Trusted Advisors
    This updated live webinar is designed for trusted advisors to discuss the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program. As part of MHA, HAFA provides homeowners with additional options to avoid costly foreclosures, and offers incentives to those parties who utilize a short sale or deed-in-lieu (DIL) alternative. This webinar outlines the HAFA program, as well as the process that borrowers and servicers must follow to ensure that every borrower is evaluated accurately, timely, and appropriately.

    Thursday, September 17, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
    CheckMyNPV.com
    Learn how this free online tool helps homeowners understand the net present value (NPV) evaluation process under HAMP by conducting an NPV evaluation of their mortgage. This session describes the calculator's easy step-by-step data entry process that allows homeowners to conduct an independent NPV evaluation and obtain a downloadable copy of the results.
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    2015 MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS

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    A WEALTH OF INFORMATION - 24 X 7! - Find important industry information, as well as details and registration for PGCAR Events and Classes - all at the PGCAR.com Events Calendar.
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    - - - CONSUMER'S CORNER - - -
    Great reasons to stay in touch! Share these with your customers.


    GOVERNOR HOGAN APPROVES MORE COST-EFFECTIVE PURPLE LINE PLAN
    16-Mile New Carrollton-to-Bethesda Light Rail Line Construction Begins in 2016

    On June 25, 2015, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced go-ahead on the Purple Line project and stated, "The Purple Line is a long-term investment that will be an important economic driver for Maryland. It will be built in a part of our state that has demonstrated strong support and use of mass transit. The Purple Line will integrate seamlessly with our current transit system - combining Metro, MARC and Amtrak. Construction alone will mean 23,000 new jobs for Marylanders over six years. And it will be a long-term asset to our state - attracting businesses and making Maryland a better place to live, work and retire." Earlier this year, Governor Hogan had called for cost-saving changes to the former Purple Line proposals. The changes include:
    • Initially buying fewer trains and downsizing the train maintenance facilities to support a peak period frequency of 71/2 minutes rather than 6 minutes
    • Modifying station architecture requirements, including downsizing canopies
    • A complete list of the cost-saving changes may be found at purplelinemd.com under the new Purple Line Scope Changes icon.
    Keep up with the Purple Line project at www.purplelinemd.com.


    Read more about selection of a project team, right of way acquisition, support for businesses along the Purple Line corridor, and upcoming public meetings in the Summer issue of Purple Line Progress.
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    PRINCE GEORGE'S HOME SALES INCREASE AGAIN IN JULY!


    Prince George's July 2015 County Home Sales Statistics July home sales contracts and all major year-to-date market statistics continued this year's positive trend.

    In our county's July 2015 single family market:
    • Contracts were up 1.7% over June 2015; were up 12.1% from July 2015 year to date (YTD)
    • Settlements were down 6.8% from June; up 15.8% YTD
      This follows a large June month-to-month gain of 19.4%. 115 more single family homes went to settlement in June 2015 than in May 2015.
    • Average sales price increased .6% over June
    In Prince George's July 2015 condo / coop market:
    • Contracts were up an amazing 28.3% over June; up 6.3% YTD
    • Settlements stayed even with June; up 6% YTD
    • Average sales price decreased 0.4% from June
    See more details at www.pgcar.com/stats >

    Be one of the first to see August market statistics when they're released. Follow us at www.facebook.com/pgcar >
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    FIXED MORTGAGE RATES REMAIN BELOW FOUR PERCENT

    "The jobs report for July showed that the economy added 215,000 jobs, in line with expectations," said Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "Wage growth remains modest at 2.1 percent compared to the same time last year, and another solid if not stellar employment report leaves a potential Fed rate hike on the table for September. However, this year's theme of overseas economic turbulence continues with the focus shifting east to China. Over the past few days the Chinese Yuan has fallen sharply. In the midst of these mixed data mortgage rates inched up, increasing 3 basis points to 3.94 percent. Headed into the fall, we'll likely see continued interest rate tension, with dollar appreciation weighing against possible Fed rate hikes leaving the rate outlook clouded."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending August 13, 2015:

    The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.94%, up from 3.91% ~ Last year: 4.12%
    The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.17%, up from 3.13% ~ Last year: 3.24%
    The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.93%, down from 2.95% ~ Last year: 2.97%
    The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.62%, up from 2.54% ~ Last year: 2.36%

    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >

    Like PGCAR at www.facebook.com/pgcar to see monthly home sales statistics and weekly mortgage rate reports as soon as they are released!

    National Industry News:

    Trending Topics & Tips:
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    SHARE HOMEBUYER SAVINGS FROM PGCAR.COM

    First-time homebuyers, homeowners buying again, Military homebuyers, teachers... There are real estate deals for everyone in Prince George's County. It's easy to find the right information and send links from www.pgcar.com >


    9200 Basil Court, Suite 400  |  Largo, MD 20774  |  Phone 301.306.7900  |  Fax 301.306.8273
    PGCAR.com  |  mikeg@PGCAR.com  |  ©2015 PGCAR
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