December 2011

Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Week in Review for the Week Ending 12/16/2011

After hovering near all time lows for the last month or so, mortgage rates dipped another notch lower and are again at all time lows. The best rates dropped below 4.00% on Friday for the first time since October. When it happened then, the best rates only lasted a couple of days before heading back to their prior range. This dip in rates is of course a reaction to the European situation. Europe now has a plan going forward to prop up the Euro and keep all the weaker economies in line. This week the Union will be meeting to provide extra funding for the region’s troubled economies. The problem is, the markets don’t have a lot of faith that the plan will work in the long run. The rating agencies last week threatened credit rating down grades of France, as well as Belgium, Spain, Italy and several other countries….

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Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Week in Review for the Week Ending 12/09/2011

The European soap opera is still the center of attention for the economic world. Last Monday the European Union announced that they had come to an agreement that would solve the crisis, but by the end of the week it was clear that nothing had really changed. As has been the case all along, the problem is that the EU is a group forced together by their currency, but each country has their own economy and their situations and needs are different. Germany, the strongest of the group, wants the weaker more debt ridden countries to take on the austerity regime, cut their spending drastically and work their way out of this. While the leaders of these countries are going along with this, for now, this causes political crisis’s for them as austerity and high unemployment is never a popular option. The big fly in the ointment last week was…

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FHA Chicago Area Max Loan Limits Are Officially Raised Back to their Previous Highs

Last month congress passed a bill which restored the temporary high loan limits for FHA mortgages. The news at the time was for the higher cost areas, but last week week HUD made it official and the higher temporary loan limits are now in place across the country and these higher limits  will be set until the end of 2012. This is good news for home buyers who are buying larger homes or smaller apartment buildings (2 to 4 unit buildings), since it allows these buyers to purchase with just a low 3.5% down payment, and it the more lenient qualifying standards FHA offers. It is also good for the housing market in general because more qualified buyers means a stronger and more robust market. These loan limits were originally put in as part of the economic stimulus bill as a way to increase financing options and help stabilize the…

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Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Week in Review for the Week Ending 12/02/2011

Good, or at least better than expected economic news was the norm for this past week. The stock market had its best return for a week in over two years with a run-up of almost 500 points on the Standard and Poors 500, a broad based index. The main driver for the optimism here was based on actions by leaders in Europe to bring their crisis under control. It is a true soap opera over there, and what happens on today has no relation to what may happen tomorrow, and there are more twists and turns yet to come. So optimism now may be replaced by fear again soon, since no one has a true solution that doesn’t cause more pain for some of the participants. The problem here is that each country has their own set of interests to protect. What is good for Germany may not be good…

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