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Mortgage rates up a bit to 4 percent

WASHINGTON — The average rate on the 30-year mortgage hovered above the record low for a third straight week. But cheap mortgage rates have done little to boost home sales or refinancing.

Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan ticked up to 4 percent from 3.99 percent. Six weeks ago, it dropped to a record low of 3.94 percent, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.31 percent from 3.30 percent. Six weeks ago, it hit a record low of 3.26 percent.

Angie’s List gains on first trading day

NEW YORK — Consumer-reviews site Angie’s List Inc. saw it stock rise 25 percent on its first day of trading Thursday, showing ongoing investor appetite for Internet companies.

The company’s public debut came the same day that another reviews site – San Francisco-based Yelp Inc. – filed for an initial public offering of stock.

On Wednesday, Angie’s List priced its offering of 8.8 million shares at $13 each – at the top of the range it had expected.

The stock rose $3.26 to close at $16.26 on Thursday, valuing Angie’s List at about $904 million.

Economy blamed for birth-rate dive

ATLANTA — U.S. births dropped for the third straight year – especially for young mothers – and experts think money worries are the reason.

A federal report released Thursday showed declines in the birth rate for all races and most age groups. Teens and women in their early 20s had the most dramatic dip, to the lowest rates since record-keeping began in the 1940s.

Experts suspected the economy drove down birth rates in 2008 and 2009 as women put off having children. With 2010 figures, suspicion turned into certainty.

– From wire reports

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Stormwater fee to fund Columbia County repairs

Columbia County is set to invest an additional $600,000 in its aging stormwater system next year, with the hope that more money and manpower will result in half as many repair orders and fewer ...
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