Friday, August 31, 2007

Twin Assault

Twin Assault

U.S. President George W. Bush will outline reforms on Friday to help struggling subprime mortgage borrowers, and his central bank chief will deliver a speech which will be pored over for hints of a looming rate cut.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks on "Housing and Monetary Policy" at around 10:00 a.m EDT.

Bush, who will make a statement at the White House an hour later, will announce assistance for homeowners with subprime mortgages to avoid default via changes to the tax code.

"He will also discuss reform efforts to prevent these kinds of problems from arising in the future," a senior U.S. administration official said.

Massive problems with U.S. home loans, stemming from aggressive lending mainly to poor people who have been squeezed as interest rates climbed, have fostered a liquidity crisis around the globe as banks have scrambled to calculate their exposure to the sector.

The risk of a credit squeeze arising from mass mortgage defaults has also raised the prospect of U.S. consumers trimming spending at a rate that could tip the world's largest economy into recession.

Investors have been pinning their hopes on an interest rate cut by the Fed, at its next meeting on September 18, to shore up the U.S. economy and stop the sickness spreading.

Bernanke reiterated on Wednesday the Fed was "prepared to act as needed" to ensure credit market problems do not adversely affect the economy, fuelling speculation the central bank will lower its benchmark federal funds rate from 5.25 percent.

But experts have said the Fed is in no rush to act as it wants to disabuse investors of the idea that it is there to bail out their poor decisions.

European shares rose as investor hopes mounted for dual action from the Fed and the U.S. government. U.S. stock futures pointed to a leap when Wall Street opens.

"It's comforting to investors that Bush and the administration are recognizing that there's a problem, but I still think the subprime mortgage problem is just going to get worse," said Benjamin Halliburton, managing director at Tradition Capital Management in Summit, New Jersey.

"I do think the market is going to have another panic down if Bernanke doesn't signal he'll cut rates in September."

Bush will press for legislation giving state agency the Federal Housing Administration flexibility to help subprime borrowers, including the power to guarantee loans for people at least 90 days behind in mortgage payments to help them avoid foreclosure, the Wall Street Journal reported.


Japanese Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga said he had been told by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson global economic fundamentals were strong, but that it may take some time for adjustments in markets to take place.

International Monetary Fund First Deputy Managing Director John Lipsky said market turmoil would dent but not derail world growth, but that it was too soon to declare the troubles over.

"Central bank action so far has been appropriate but market turbulence has not fully receded," Lipsky told Reuters on the sidelines of a gathering of central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

It is there that Bernanke will speak later.

There were plenty of signs the crisis was far from over.

Rates for three-month sterling hit their highest in 8-1/2 years and rates for other currencies also surged, reflecting persistently strong demand for cash from financial institutions.

Australia's central bank struggled to ease upward pressure on some market interest rates as renewed trouble in the global commercial paper market made institutions reluctant to lend.

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) has shut down its London proprietary credit trading desk and is laying off some of the team, a source familiar with the matter said.

Earlier this month a source close to the bank said Deutsche was set to ditch its credit relative-value trading strategy -- used by the London desk -- after losses of about $135 million.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment. It has said nothing so far about any losses stemming from credit market tremors.

Britain's Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research), meanwhile, turned to the Bank of England as the lender of last resort for the second time this month after at technical breakdown in the British clearing system, a source close to the matter said.

Barclays declined to confirm it had used the borrowing facility but said in a statement it was "flush with liquidity".

Mike Peacock

LONDON (Reuters)

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Friday, August 17, 2007

Free Chicago MLS Property Search Services

Here is a link to the newest MLS map search service I offer all of my clients and non-clients. Its a fast and effective search tool which allows you to enter your search parameters, drag a box over the area you are looking at and at the click of a button all the properties in that search area are shown including a scroll over feature where the picture and short info (price, bedrooms, baths, picture) pops up. Then click on that to get more info on that property.

Just one more way I am helping bring the latest tools in the industry to each of my clients (or future clients). Email login is required but that is the limit to the obligation you have to my company.

Enjoy and as always feel free to call me when you are ready to start making appointments to start seeing some of these properties in person. I will include my neighborhood market analysis and review all of my buyer services.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Market Pressure Cooker Good ?

This article written on site is interesting and while the general gist of the article is a bit slanted towards polyanna (the market jitters from last week and the US Fed $37 billion cash infusion is good for the market) doesn't really address the fact that this could be a major negative for the real estate market....I at least do agree that this will thin the heard of buyers and bring only the best qualifying buyers to the table/ At least I'd like to think so.

I like when the market puts pressure on the industry as a whole and weeds out the trouble spots like buyers who shouldn't be buying or realtors who shouldn't be selling...

What do you think??

Who can't get a mortgage now

Buyers with good credit and a down payment will make out well - all others, prepare to pay.

By Steve Hargreaves, staff writer

August 11 2007: 3:15 PM EDT

NEW YORK ( -- The stock market is going crazy. Hedge funds are going under. But for the average American looking for a home loan, the crisis in the subprime mortgage market may actually be good news.

"Not only is it nothing to worry about, it's an absolute positive," said Loni Graiver, president of the Maine-based Cumberland County Mortgage. "Not only have [home] valuations come down, but [interest rates] are still historically low."

Rates on 30-year fixed loans dipped last week, to 6.41 percent, according to the Mortgage Banker's Association.

In addition, tightened lending standards stemming from the subprime crisis likely mean fewer buyers, pushing down home prices.

The one catch is this: You've got to be a buyer with good credit, a low debt to income ratio, a healthy down payment, verifiable income, and looking to finance less than $417,000 (the cutoff for so-called jumbo loans).

Those characteristics basically define someone who qualifies for a loan through a government program like Fannie Mae, which makes up about 50 percent of all outstanding mortgages, according to Guy Cecala, publisher of the industry newsletter Inside Mortgage Finance.

Graiver said to expect to pay a down payment of at least 10 percent, and have a FICO credit score of 620 or higher in order to get a rate between 6.2 and 7.5 percent. Perhaps 90 percent of home buyers qualify for that prime rate, although if you want a rate below 7 percent you probably need a FICO score above 660.

To get the best deal, "plan on coming to my office with your tax returns and a down payment," said Bob Mouton, President of the Long Island-based American Mortgage Group.

If you're among the 10 percent of people with credit scores below 620 who need a subprime mortgage, things could get tricky.

"To a large extent, they are going to find that no one wants to lend to them," said Steve Habetz, president of Threshold Mortgage in Westport, Conn. "Those loans are being eliminated from the marketplace."

Someone with a credit score of 600 might have to pay as much as 9.5 percent, according to FICO, which provides lenders with borrowers' credit ratings.

You could also run into trouble if your loan is for more than $417,00, the maximum amount that can be channeled through a government lender. Loans over $417,000 are considered "jumbo" mortgages, which have recently seen rates jump due to a perceived increase in risk.

Mouton said money for subprime loans is still there, but be prepared to pay interest rates of 8 or 9 percent on them, compared to just over 7 up until recently.

Eugene Choi and Rich Bouchner, owners of Commodore Mortgage Group, say they've had to scramble to get loans for clients in the New York area that didn't meet the traditional criteria.

One was a waitress who made decent money at a high end restaurant, but couldn't prove it because so much of her pay was in cash tips.

Another was a young lawyer, making nearly $200,000 in the city but who didn't have the money saved for the down payment on a $800,000 Manhattan condo.

"A lot of people who should have qualified for credit are getting squeezed out of the market," said Bouchner. "Our lenders are turning off the spigot so quickly, these loans might not be here tomorrow."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Join Me on My Map

Welcome to my map.

When you visit the site just for kicks, add a picture and where you live/work and together we can grow this puppy all over the world.

Pretty cool....

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Non-Referendum Increase in Transfer Taxes Proposed

The Illinois legislature is still preparing to vote on an increase to the transfer tax to pay for mass transit. For the average police officer, firefighter, health care worker and teacher this increase would be over $900 on the average priced home. This will delay some in purchasing a home and will contribute to slowing down the market.. This bill would also authorize the Chicago City Council to increase its real estate transfer tax (currently $7.50 per $1,000 paid by the buyer) WITHOUT A REFERENDUM but merely by passage of an ordinance. The ordinance for the "supplemental" real estate transfer tax increase of up to $3 per $1,000 would be for the sole purpose of providing financial assistance to the CTA for funds for debt service for the pension bond. The city would have to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the CTA-the term of the intergovernmental agreement is to be "for a term expiring no earlier than the final maturity of bonds or notes that it proposes to issue" for pension bonds - stated to be the year 2039!

An increase of $3 per $1,000 represents a whopping 40% TAX INCREASE in the City's real estate transfer tax imposed on the city's property owners.

Chicago REALTORS® have long understood the linkage between transportation policy and housing. Chicago REALTORS® want to build Chicago and make it stronger. Chicago REALTORS® work to encourage people to live, work and play in Chicago. We oppose all Real Estate Transfer Tax increases that inhibit this City's growth.

AT 312-744-3300


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Some Available Foreclosures in Chicago

Here is a list of recent foreclosure properties in COOK COUNTY

07/17/07 07CH0018808 Mutual Bank vs. Nicholas Mitchell, 1050 E Oakton St, Des Plaines, Commercial Property, $2,206,900
07/17/07 07CH0018815 Hinsdale Bank & Trust Co vs. Rosewell Dev Llc Na, 6254 N Rockwell St, Chicago, Apartment Building, $2,187,473
07/16/07 07CH0018668 Wells Fargo Bank vs. Chicago H&s Hotel Property Llc Na, 71 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, Commercial Property, $100,785,289
07/24/07 07CH0019407 State Bank Of Countryside vs. Richard Zerth, 12301 S Hobart St, Palos Park, Single Family Residence, $2,006,656
07/24/07 07CH0019408 State Bank Of Countryside vs. Donald E Zerth, 18201 Harper St, Lansing, Single Family Residence, $2,006,656
07/24/07 07CH0019409 State Bank Of Countryside vs. Barbara T Zerth, 14416 S Harrison Ave, Posen, Apartment Building, $2,006,656
07/24/07 07CH0019428 Charter One Bank Na vs. Dharam Vir, 2 E Rand Rd, Mount Prospect, Commercial Property, $2,025,971

Let me know if you are interested in more information on these properties and I will get them to you...or visit my website at

Powered by ScribeFire.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,