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Standard & Poors released its Case-Shiller Index Tuesday. The index is a monthly home valuation report from select cities and among the private sector's most popular home pricing models. In reviewing the April Case-Shiller Index and its accompanying analysis, it appears that the housing market's rebound is gathering momentum. In the index's 20 tracked cities: 18 of 20 improved from March to April 2010 Versus April 2009, home prices are up nearly 4 percent The two "down" cities from April -- Miami and New York -- are off just 0.5% and 1.0% annually, respectively Furthermore, as another sign of strength, (1 comments)
The 1 Force That Can Really Change A Mortgage Rate - 06/29/10 10:53 AM
All day, every day, conforming and FHA mortgage rates in Illinois are in flux. Rates move in response to hundreds of factors which exact varying levels of influence. Among the biggest influences on mortgage rates is inflation. When inflation is unexpectedly high, mortgage rates tend to rise quickly. Conversely, when inflation is unexpectedly low, rates tend to fall quickly. But what is inflation? By definition, inflation is when a currency loses its value; when what used to cost $1.00 now costs $1.10. As consumers, we recognize inflation by the items we buy on a daily basis becoming more expensive. However, it's (0 comments)
What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : June 28, 2010 - 06/28/10 11:06 AM
Mortgage markets improved last week in response to mostly negative data about the U.S. economy, and the Federal Reserve's acknowledgement that Eurozone financial ills could cross the Atlantic. Conforming and FHA mortgage rates fell last week, extending a rate rally that dates to early-April. Mortgage rates have fallen to several, new, all-time lows during this period and last week was no different. The best rates of last week hit Thursday morning. This week, mortgage rates should be volatile, and may rise, too. There's a bevy of data due for release, and market volume will be light with the long weekend looming. (1 comments)
One month after the federal homebuyer tax credit's official expiration, the New Home Sales report turned in its worst showing ever. In May 2010, for the first time in 11 months, the inventory of unsold new homes crossed the 8-month marker, posting an 8.5 month supply overall. Additionally, new homes sales volume fell to 300,000 units nationwide -- a drop of 32% and its lowest level since the Commerce Department started tracking data in 1963. Now, universally, the press is referring to the May New Home Sales report as "poor". A closer look, however, shows that may not be the (0 comments)
May 2010 Existing Home Sales Is Better Than The Headline Data Suggests - 06/23/10 04:29 PM
Existing Home Sales dropped in May for the first time in 3 months but still managed to post its second-highest since November 2009, buoyed by the expiring federal tax credit program. An "existing home" is a home that cannot be considered new construction; a resale of an existing home. Existing Home Sales fell 2.2 percent in May. The press is calling the drop in sales "unexpected" and disappointing, but a deeper look at the data shows the news isn't as bad as it first appears. First, on a regional basis, sales were mostly solid. Only the Northeast region posted a loss. (0 comments)
Making A Mortgage Rate Strategy Ahead Of The Fed's Meeting This Week - 06/22/10 12:09 PM
The Federal Open Market Committee begins a 2-day meeting today, its fourth scheduled meeting of the year, and fifth overall. The FOMC is the monetary policy-setting part of the government and its primary tool for that purpose is the Fed Funds Rate. The Fed Funds Rate is the dictated rate at which banks borrow money from each other and, since December 16, 2008, the Federal Reserve has voted to keep the benchmark rate within a target range of 0.000-0.250 percent. This is the lowest Fed Funds Rate in history. A rate near zero-point-zero percent renders borrowing by business and consumers cheap (2 comments)
What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : June 21, 2010 - 06/21/10 11:47 AM
Mortgage markets improved last week on weaker-than-expected jobless figures, ongoing troubles in Europe, and a tame reading on domestic inflation. As a result, conforming mortgage rates for Wisconsin fell last week, drawing loads of new refinance applications. For a brief moment Thursday afternoon, mortgage bond prices pierced a key support level, dropping rates in Oak Lawn to their best levels of the year. It didn't last long, however. By Friday morning, pricing was worsening on profit-taking and in preparation for this week -- a week that promises to be heavy on both data and rhetoric. To mortgage markets, this can be (0 comments)
The Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension Has Not Been Passed Into Law (Yet) - 06/18/10 02:33 PM
As its June 30, 2010 closing deadline approaches, the federal home buyer tax credit is back in the news. Unfortunately, the headlines are misleading. Contrary to what you may have read (or heard), the federal home buyer tax credit has not been extended past June 30, 2010. At least not yet. And here's why there's confusion. Look at these headlines from earlier this week: Senate Extends Date On Home-Buying Tax Credit (Philadelphia Inquirer) U.S. Senate Approves Extension Of Home Buyer Tax Credit (NASDAQ) Senate Approves Home Tax Credit Extension (Reuters) Now, nothing above is factually incorrect, but each neglects a key (0 comments)
Good News For Sellers : Housing Starts Fall To 1-Year Low In May 2010 - 06/17/10 12:20 PM
Single-family housing starts plummeted to a one-year low in May, just 30 days after soaring to a 20-month high. It's no wonder home builders are confused. Against a revised April figure, Housing Starts fell 97,000 units in May, a figure representing almost one-fifth of the total market size. It's the worst showing for Housing Starts since May 2009, a surprise to builders and economists alike. Furthermore, single-family Building Permits plunged in May, too -- down 10 percent from April. A permit is a certification from local government that authorizes home construction. Housing permits are a precursor to Housing Starts with 82% (0 comments)
Loan Application Alert : Conforming, Interest Only Mortgages Guidelines Change Next Week - 06/16/10 11:29 AM
If you plan to finance your Chicago home with a conforming interest only mortgage, get your loan application submitted no later than this Friday, June 18. Starting next week, Fannie Mae is clamping down on the popular loan product. An "interest only" mortgage is exactly what its name implies -- a mortgage for which the monthly payments consist entirely of interest with no principal reduction. Because there's no amortization, payments are less costly on a month-to-month basis. For example, assuming principal + interest payments at 5 percent, a $250,000 mortgage carries a monthly payment of $1,342. The payment on a comparable (0 comments)
In May 2010, Retail Sales at non-store retailers -- a category that includes Amazon and eBay -- topped $29 billion, up 16 percent from May 2009. Clearly, Americans are doing an increasing amount of shopping online. And we're paying our bills online, too. But how well are we protecting our identities? In this 5-minute piece from NBC's The Today Show, you'll learn the basics of online fraud and methods to minimize the likelihood of identity theft. Furthermore, the tips go beyond the basic "choose a challenging password". For example, you'll hear about: Why you shouldn't pay bills from a coffee (1 comments)
What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : June 14, 2010 - 06/14/10 10:52 AM
Mortgage markets posted four good days last week and one awful one. Unfortunately for rate shoppers in Indiana , that one bad day outweighed the gains of the other four and mortgage rates worsened on the week overall. Despite re-touching all-time lows on Tuesday and Wednesday, Conforming and FHA mortgage rates moved higher on the week. There wasn't much domestic data on which for mortgage markets to move so rates took their cues from global economic activity. Strong data from Japan and China, plus an improving outlook from the Eurozone, sparked optimism among Wall Street investors. Cash poured into the stock (0 comments)
Conforming Loan Costs Are Rising, Says Freddie Mac - 06/09/10 11:07 AM
Mortgage rates may be dropping, but mortgage costs are not. According to Freddie Mac, the average required discount points on a conforming mortgage rate are higher by 0.1 percent since early-May. A "discount point" is prepaid mortgage interest; an up-front fee paid by a borrower in exchange for a lower mortgage rate. In most cases, discount points are tax-deductible. Tax-deductible or not, though, rising costs are rising costs and Freddie Mac glosses over it. In its weekly press release, the government group offers mortgage rate comparisons to weeks prior, but doesn't do the same for required points. The press fails to (0 comments)
Fannie Mae's Loan Quality Initiative : Repulling Your Credit Just Before Closing - 06/08/10 11:29 AM
A new loan quality initiative from Fannie Mae is making it harder for Chicago home buyers and refinancing homeowners everywhere to close on a mortgage. Beginning June 1, 2010, with all new applications, Fannie Mae wants lenders to verify that borrowers have not taken on new debt during the underwriting phase of the mortgage. If new debts are found, the mortgage is subject to a re-underwrite and a possible turndown. For Fannie Mae, the goal is to reduce the number of loans that go bad because of new, non-disclosed debt. Lenders have the freedom to verify in whatever manner they wish, (2 comments)
What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : June 7, 2010 - 06/07/10 11:49 AM
Rate shoppers caught another break last week as mortgage markets improved on weak jobs data. The May Non-Farm Payrolls report fell well short of expectations while ongoing jobless claims rose. The two combined to cast doubt on the speed of the U.S. economic recovery, hurting stocks and helping bonds. Conforming and FHA mortgage rates in Wisconsin dropped for the fifth time in six weeks and, once again, rates are trolling back near all-time lows. No doubt you've heard that before -- "mortgage rates at all-time lows". Mortgage rates have dipped to these levels four times in the last 19 months. However, (0 comments)
May 2010 Jobs Report Gives A Temporary Boost To Home Affordability - 06/04/10 12:54 PM
On the first Friday of each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its Non-Farm Payrolls data from the month prior. The release is more commonly called "the jobs report" -- a major factor in mortgage rates and monthly payments. Especially now. With the recession officially over and growth returning to the U.S. economy, the recovery's next frontier is jobs. As job growth increases, home affordability should take a hit. Here's why: As the number of working Americans increases, so should total consumer spending As consumer spending increases, so should a return to risk-taking on Wall Street As risk-taking returns to (0 comments)
Pending Home Sales Data Shows Great Deals On Homes Are Getting Harder To Find - 06/03/10 10:57 AM
The Pending Home Sales Index shot higher in April as low mortgage rates and a soon-to-expire federal tax credit spurred home buying in Chicago and across the county. A "pending home sale" is a home that's under contract to sell but not yet closed. Region-by-region, April's pending home sales varied versus March's data: Northeast Region: +29.5% Midwest Region : +4.1% South Region : -0.6% (after a +15.9% posting in March) West Region : +7.5% On an annual basis, the Pending Home Sales Index is higher by 22 percent. April marks the third straight month that pending home sales are up and (1 comments)
Consumer Confidence Hints At Higher Home Prices And Higher Mortgage Rates, Too - 06/02/10 11:47 AM
The Consumer Confidence Index is rising, a potentially double-edged sword for residents of Oak Lawn and for Americans, in general. According to The Conference Board, economic confidence is as high as it's been since August 2007 -- 4 months before the start of the recession. Americans are optimistic again. Confidence matters to the economy because as confidence increases, in theory, consumer spending follows. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of the U.S. economy. It's why Wall Street is responsive to confidence data. When consumer confidence is rising, households start to make big-ticket purchases they may have otherwise put off indefinitely. Maybe (0 comments)
What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : June 1, 2010 - 06/01/10 12:28 PM
Mortgage markets worsened last week as concerned of a global debt crisis lessened and stock markets rebounded. The gains in stocks came at the expense of bonds -- including mortgage bonds. Conforming and FHA mortgage rates rose in Illinois for the first time in 5 weeks, pulling mortgage pricing off its best levels of the year. The best mortgage rates of last week were locked Tuesday morning. This week, mortgage rates may rise even more. In addition to the release of May's jobs report and consumer confidence data, fears of broader economic slowdown appear to be easing.
Do you know what causes mortgage to rise and fall each day? Everyday I post relevant articles and stats that directly influence the direction of mortgage rates. I also will feature relevant real estate news that can educate you about the market. Have a question or a topic you would like me to cover? Feel free to comment!
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.