April 2010

Fed Meeting – Economy is Improving, Rates Will Remain Low

The Fed Open Market Committee met yesterday and released their report on the health of the economy. The FED meeting report is always looked at as something akin to stone tablets brought down from the mountain, the word from the highest authority. But unlike the stone tablets, the FED meeting reports aren’t clear or direct. Instead, their meaning is wrapped in code, vague and ambiguous so they don’t completely tip their hand as to what their monetary policy will be down the road. This means that financial analysts and FED watchers pour over the statements, looking for any change in wording to see if this signals a change in the FED’s direction. The FED’s mission is to maintain growth and stable employment while vigilantly defending against inflation. With short term rates set at 0-.25% (the rate available from the FED to the biggest banks) the threat of inflation is real….

Read More

Home Buyer’s Tax Credit Expires This Week – What Happens Now?

The home buyer’s tax credit expires at the end of this week. If you don’t have a contract together by then (you have until the end of June to close), you are out of luck for the tax credit. Last November, when the previous tax credit expired, the housing market feel off the edge. At the time the consensus view was that the tax credit hadn’t so much brought new buyers into the market, but had motivated many home buyers who were already planning to buy, to buy earlier than they would have otherwise. Without the tax credit the market floundered, and a month after the tax credit expired it was started up again. That isn’t likely to happen this time. It’s not that the credit hasn’t increased business, it has worked well this time. Home sales last month were the highest in years, and this month will have sizzling…

Read More

Deadlines – Tax Day Today, Only 2 Weeks Left to Secure the Home Buyer’s Tax Credit

If it weren’t for deadlines nothing would get done. I’m a procrastinator, and I know that I’m not alone. Waiting until the last minute is the American way of life. My kids put off work on major school projects until right before they are due, then complain about how much work they have, and how little time there is to do it. I was the same way when I was in school, and though I try to be more proactive now, I’m often guilty of the same behavior. Today is tax day, and you can bet that the local news will have a segment filmed at the post office with cars lined up bumper to bumper waiting to get in so they can get the April 15th postmark. I know it will be on because they do this every year. I’m happy to say that I won’t be in that…

Read More

Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates week in Review for 04/02/2010

Is this the turning point we’ve all been waiting for? Is the economy finally starting to gain traction, and is this the start of a real recovery? Are the low interest rates we’ve gotten used to, really gone for good? This week seems like a turning point, but we won’t know if it is for months, at least. This could just be a head fake before we slip back into a downward trend. Or it could be the start of a slow, but meaningful recovery. Even if this is the real thing, we aren’t going to be on the fast track any time soon. Unemployment is still too high and the housing market is still on life support, so even though we are much improved from where we were a year ago, there is still a long way to go. But this does look like a turning point, and there…

Read More