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VOL. 127 | NO. 230 | Monday, November 26, 2012

Daily Digest

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Rheumatology Clinic Buys Germantown Office Building

Rheumatology Specialty Clinic PLLC has bought the 4,728-square-foot building at 7660 Poplar Pike in Germantown for slightly less than $1 million.

The company acquired the mixed-use office building Nov. 14, from Dale C. Bregenzer, who took ownership of the property earlier this year via quitclaim from his company, Bregenzer Properties LLC.

Built in 2008, the Class A building sits on 0.38 acres along the north side of Poplar Pike across from Germantown High School.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2012 appraisal is $803,900.

Bregenzer Properties bought the office building in September 2008 from Nancy S. Waddell, who acquired it the previous March from the builder, The Salvaggio Group LLC.

The two-story, 5,000-square-foot building resembles a 1920s, Midtown-style residence, as do two neighboring buildings that Salvaggio built at the same time.

In conjunction with the purchase, Rheumatology Specialty Clinic filed two loans – one for $807,800 through Trustmark National Bank and one for $150,996 through the seller.

Sudha N. Ganguli signed the trust deeds as chief manager of Rheumatology Specialty Clinic.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

30-Year Mortgage Rate Hits Record 3.31 Percent

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell to fresh record lows last week, a trend that is boosting home sales and aiding the housing recovery.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Wednesday, Nov. 21, that the average rate on the 30-year loan dipped to 3.31 percent, the lowest on records dating back to 1971.

That’s down from 3.34 percent the previous week, which was the previous record low.

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage also dropped to 2.63 percent. That’s down from 2.65 percent the previous week and also a new record.

The average rate on the 30-year loan has been below 4 percent all year. It has fallen further since the Federal Reserve started buying mortgage bonds in September to encourage more borrowing and spending.

Home sales and construction are rising, providing a much-needed boost to the economy.

Home prices are also increasing, which makes consumers feel wealthier and more likely to spend.

Lower rates have also persuaded more people to refinance. That usually leads to lower monthly mortgage payments and more spending. Consumer spending drives nearly 70 percent of economic activity.

Still, the housing market has a long way to a full recovery. And many people are unable to take advantage of the low rates, either because they can’t qualify for stricter lending rules or they can’t afford the larger down payments that many banks require.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for 30-year loans was 0.7 point, unchanged from the previous week. The fee for 15-year loans also remained at 0.7 point.

The average rate on a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage ticked up to 2.56 percent from 2.55 percent. The fee for one-year adjustable-rate loans rose two-tenths to 0.5 point.

The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage was 2.74 percent, the same as the previous week. The fee was unchanged at 0.6 point.

– The Associated Press

Malco Ridgeway 4 to Host Winter Wine Tasting

Malco’s Ridgeway 4 Cinema is hosting a winter wine tasting soon to celebrate the release of the Focus Features film “Anna Karenina.”

The event will take place Friday, Nov. 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the theater, 5853 Ridgeway Center Parkway. Participants will have a selection of reds, whites and sparkling wines to sample, as well as the chance to get door giveaways and win prizes.

Admission is $10 per person. Malco also will be accepting additional donations for Literacy Mid-South.

Film admissions and concessions are separate from the wine event.

– Andy Meek

Tennessee State Parks Offers Special Winter Rates

Tennessee State Parks is offering special winter rates for 360 villas and cabins.

The discount, which also includes six state park inns, lasts through March 15, 2013.

The special rate allows park visitors to stay at one of Tennessee’s six state park inns for $54.95 a night, excluding tax.

The inn discount can be used seven days a week and applies to both individuals and groups.

A 50 percent discount also is being offered for villas and cabins with a two-night minimum stay.

For more information about the special promotion, call the Tennessee State Parks information line at 615-532-0001 or toll free at 1-888-867-2757. To make online reservations, visit the Tennessee State Parks website at www.tnstateparks.com.

– The Associated Press

Measure of Future Economic Activity Up

A measure of the U.S. economy intended to signal future activity rose only slightly last month, suggesting growth could stay weak.

The Conference Board said Wednesday that its index of leading indicators increased 0.2 percent in October after a 0.5 percent gain in September. The index is intended to anticipate economic conditions three to six months out.

The strength in October came from lower interest rates, a drop in applications for unemployment benefits, and an increase in demand for large manufactured goods.

Applications for unemployment aid have spiked this month because Superstorm Sandy closed businesses and cut off power to 8 million homes in 10 states. People can claim unemployment benefits if their workplaces are forced to close and they aren’t paid.

In all, only four of the 10 indicators that make up the index improved. The major areas of weakness were a decline in building permits, a drop in consumer confidence, a decline in the Institute for Supply Management’s new orders index and lower stock prices.

Many analysts predict growth at an annual rate of roughly 3 percent in the July-September quarter, up from the initial estimate of 2 percent reported last month. The government releases its second estimate for third-quarter growth on Nov. 29.

But many economists expect growth to slow in the current October-December quarter to an annual rate below 2 percent. Part of the slowdown is likely to occur because of Superstorm Sandy, which disrupted businesses and cut off power throughout the Northeast.

Many companies may also hold off on hiring and new investment until the White House and Congress resolve the “fiscal cliff,” the package of tax cuts and spending increases scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.

If the cliff is avoided, many analysts think growth could accelerate next year.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 56 94 12,852
MORTGAGES 23 50 8,053
BUILDING PERMITS 285 422 30,356
BANKRUPTCIES 23 67 6,131