December 2009

Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Year in Review – 2009, Uncle Sam Saves the Housing Market

It’s the end of the year, so it is appropriate to look back at where we were and what has happen over the course of the year. The newspapers and magazines are filled with these reflections – the top 10 lists of music, movies and such. Another end of year tradition is to name a man, or person, of the year. This has been a long, strange year in the mortgage and real estate market so I’m going to combine the list of what factors drove the market this year with my nomination for the man of the year in the mortgage and real estate market: Thank you, Uncle Sam There’s no doubt in my mind that Uncle Sam was the man of the year. The real estate  and mortgage market, as well as the economy in general, have all been been driven by government involvement this year to an…

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With an FHA Loan Your Home May be Worth More in the Future – Assumable FHA Mortgages

I’ve talked a lot about advantages of FHA mortgages lately. FHA is the only low down payment program left standing, and with conventional guidelines tightening continually, more and more home buyers (including many who can qualify for conventional financing) are finding FHA to be the best alternative. Most of the reasons people choose FHA is because FHA works best for their present situation (the advantages include lower down payments, more flexible credit standards, better approval guidelines for condos, and the list goes on). But there is one big reason why borrowers might look at FHA not for what it offers now, but for the future benefits. If you finance with FHA now, your home may be worth more when you go to sell it some time down the road. One of the great features of FHA mortgages (and VA mortgages) is that these loans are assumable. What that means is…

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Chicago Illinois Current Mortgage Rates for Today – 12-22-2009

Rates are sharply higher over the last two days. This is somewhat of a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that we are just days away from Christmas, and there aren’t a lot of people locking in their loans now (if you are refinancing your mortgage you probably already locked in, and if you are buying a home you’ve likely put it on the back burner until after the holidays). The bad news is that if you are ready to lock in, your paying about a quarter point higher than what you would have just a few days ago. Part of this volatility is low volume trading on the bond markets, which exaggerates any movements. Mortgage rates are still in the low range, but we are now nearing the high point of that range. Early in the day 3rd quarter GDP was adjusted lower from a gain of…

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Chicago Illinois Current Mortgage Rates for Today – 12-18-2009

After all the volatility of the last few days, mortgage rates today are flat. There are no new economic reports coming out today so this should mean a quiet end to the week. Rates are still near their all time lows, and I’m guessing that one year from now, these rates will be looked at as a real bargain. Here are the current Chicago Illinois Home mortgage rates for an A+ (740 Fico or above), full doc single family home purchase or rate/term refinance on a 45 day rate lock, with 0 points, and no origination fee. Mortgage rates in other states may be slightly different, give me a call and I will give you an accurate quote for your particular situation. The conventional and FHA rates are based on the highest conforming loan amounts, which give the best pricing. Again, there are many factors which affect mortgage rates and…

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Chicago Illinois Current Mortgage rates for 12/17/2009

Mortgage rates are getting better today. Yesterday’s FOMC (the Fed) meeting ended without any bomb shells dropped. The Fed sees signs of improvement in the labor market, but the key line was – “economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.” With rates for the big banks staying at the 0-.25% range they have been in all this year, rates for mortgages should stay low for some time. But not necessarily as low as they are now. The Fed also reaffirmed that they will be finishing up their program of buying mortgage backed securities by the end of the first quarter of 2010. This program has been a big reason that rates have dipped to historic lows. Estimates are that this Fed support accounts for up to…

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Chicago Illinois Mortgage rates for 12/16/2009

The Consumer Price Index (CPI – a measure of inflation at the consumer level) bumped higher this morning, coming in at a .04% increase for November. Inflation is the big threat now, and the reason rates have ticked up over the last few weeks. It’s hard to see how inflation will take hold when unemployment is over 10% and home and real estate values generally are under pressure. Mortgage bonds (which are the basis for mortgage rates) are improving this morning after hitting and bouncing off the worst part of their trading range. What happens now isn’t that important though as the direction of the market (at least for now) will be set after the Fed releases the statement from their meeting this afternoon. If they hold true to form we will see some wording reflecting that the economy is improving and there are reasons for optimism, but the recovery…

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Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates – Current Rates for 12-15-2009

Rates are moving up a little today, but it could have been much worse. The Producer Price Index (PPI) a measure of wholesale inflation, was released this morning and it came in higher than expected (mostly as a result of increases in gas and oil based products) . The expectation was a reading of .8% increase for the month, but the actual number was 1.8%. Any sign of inflation is bad news for mortgage rates (inflation means that mortgage bonds will be paid back with cheaper money, decreasing the investors yield) so there was a strong and immediate sell off in the mortgage backed securities market (which determines mortgage pricing). Too things kept this from being a bloodbath and sending rates much higher: 1 – the Empire State index dropped from 23.5 last month down to 2.6, an ugly decrease and a sign that the economy might not be so…

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Chicago Mortgage rates – Current Mortgage rates for 12/14/2009

There are no reports due out today and mortgage bonds are flat for the day. The big mover of mortgage rates this week is likely to be based on what the Fed says at the conclusion of the FOMC (Fed Open Markets Committee) on Wednesday afternoon. The good news is that, at least for now, the bleeding has stopped and mortgage rates aren’t getting any worse. Here are the current Chicago Illinois Home mortgage rates for an A+ (740 Fico or above), full doc single family home purchase or rate/term refinance on a 45 day rate lock, with 0 points, and no origination fee. Mortgage rates in other states may be slightly different, give me a call and I will give you an accurate quote for your particular situation. The conventional and FHA rates are based on the highest conforming loan amounts, which give the best pricing. Again, there are…

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Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending December 11th, 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Chicago Illinois mortgage rates. The week of Thanksgiving, just a couple of weeks back, mortgage rates had dropped to an all time low. Mortgage rates have risen since then and we are now near the highest rates in the last several months. What gives? Has the economy really recovered so quickly over the last few weeks? Has all the new debt the government has taken on finally reached the breaking point and it’s all down hill from here? Or is this just a matter of mortgage backed securities traders trading within a range, buying more when the cost is cheap and selling when the securities move toward the best part of the range? My vote is for the last one. There are…

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Is FHA About To Get Tougher? Why FHA Is, and Will Continue To Be, the Best Option For Most Home Buyers

Foreclosures rule the mortgage world. With home prices way down from where they were a few years ago, and  unemployment so much higher, foreclosures are still surging. The sad fact is that a record number of homeowners are in default and can’t pay their mortgages. A home foreclosure is a tragedy for the home owner and a problem for the community. The wave of foreclosures has also wreaked havoc in the mortgage industry. I don’t have much sympathy for the banks that made the loans because they knew what they were doing, or should have, and they made too many risky loans when the housing market was riding high. But the foreclosure wave has also had a big impact on the buyers who want to buy a home now, and it is effecting what they can afford and how they can qualify. Everything moves in cycles, and if the pendulum…

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