Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gold Coast Old Town (Chicago) Market Report Fall, 2008

Chicago Home Buzz Market ReportMarket Snapshot of Gold Coast/Old Town (Chicago) condos for Fall Quarter, 2008 ChicagoHomeBuzz.com

The total number of Lincoln Park , Chicago condos sold for the third quarter, 2008 was 614 units compared with 846 units in 2007 down 27% from the previous year and down 10% since 2003.

The median sales prices of Gold Coast/Old Town (Chicago) condos for the same quarter was $397,000 compared with $377,000 in 2007 up 5% from the previous year and up 23% since 2003.

The average sales price of Gold Coast/Old Town (Chicago) condos for the same quarter was $540,821 compared with $526,148 in 2007 up 3% from the previous year and up 38% since 2003. Note the disparity between median and average prices showing the skewed effect the higher priced Gold COast condos has on the average price figures.

The average market time of Gold Coast/Old Town (Chicago) condos for the same quarter was 144 days compared with 119 days in 2007 up 21% from the previous year and up 129% since 2003.

For a full neighborhood and city wide report visit www.ChicagoHomeBuzz.com

Lakeview (Chicago) Condos for Fall Quarter, 2008

Chicago Home Buzz Market ReportThe total number of Lakeview, Chicago condos sold for the third quarter, 2008 was 576 units compared with 700 units in 2007 down 18% from the previous year and and down 23% since 2003.

The median sales prices of Lakeview, Chicago condos for the same quarter was $339,500 compared with $331,065 in 2007 up 3% from the previous year and up 13% since 2003.

The average sales price of Lakeview, Chicago condos for the same quarter was $368,824 compared with $367,738 in 2007 down 1% from the previous year and up 15% since 2003.

The average market time of Lakeview, Chicago single-family homes for the same quarter was 98 days compared with 94 days in 2007 up 4% from the previous year and up 85% since 2003.

For a full neighborhood and city wide report visit www.ChicagoHomeBuzz.com

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lincoln Park Single-family homes Fall, 2008

Chicago Home Buzz Market ReportMarket Snapshot of Lincoln Park (Chicago) single-family homes for Fall Quarter, 2008 ChicagoHomeBuzz.com

The total number of
Lincoln Park , Chicago single-family homes sold for the third quarter, 2008 was 47 units compared with 53 units in 2007 down 11% from the previous year and down 10% since 2003.

The median sales prices of
Lincoln Park , Chicago single-family homes for the same quarter was $1,300,000 compared with $1,425,000 in 2007 down 9% from the previous year and up 17% since 2003.

The average sales price of
Lincoln Park , Chicago single-family homes for the same quarter was $1,528,101 compared with $1,719,981 in 2007 down 11% from the previous year and up 31% since 2003.

The average market time of
Lincoln Park , Chicago single-family homes for the same quarter was 163 days compared with 174 days in 2007 down 6% from the previous year and up 159% since 2003.

For a full neighborhood and city wide report visit www.ChicagoHomeBuzz.com

Lincoln Park Condo Pricing Report Fall, 2008

Chicago Home Buzz Market ReportMarket Snapshot of Lincoln Park (Chicago) Condos for Fall Quarter, 2008 ChicagoHomeBuzz.com

The total number of
Lincoln Park , Chicago condos sold for the third quarter, 2008 was 309 units compared with 295 units in 2007 up 30% from the previous year but down 30% since 2003.

The median sales prices of
Lincoln Park , Chicago condos for the same quarter was $412,000 compared with $430,750 in 2007 down 4% from the previous year and up 17% since 2003.

The average sales price of
Lincoln Park , Chicago condos for the same quarter was $465,037 compared with $458,382 in 2007 down 1% from the previous year and up 21% since 2003.

The average market time of
Lincoln Park , Chicago condos for the same quarter was 101 days compared with 94 days in 2007 up 7% from the previous year and up 87% since 2003.

For a full neighborhood and city wide report visit www.ChicagoHomeBuzz.com

Market Snapshot of Lakeview Single-family Homes Fall Quarter, 2008

Chicago Home Buzz Market ReportMarket Snapshot of Lakeview (Chicago) Fall Quarter, 2008 ChicagoHomeBuzz.com

The total number of Lakeview, Chicago
single-family homes sold for the third quarter, 2008 was 30 units compared with 42 units in 2007 down 29% from the previous year and and down 35% since 2003.

The median sales prices of Lakeview, Chicago single-family homes for the same quarter was $1,200,000 compared with $1,041,250 in 2007 up 15% from the previous year and up 64% since 2003.

The average sales price of Lakeview, Chicago single-family homes for the same quarter was $1.276,563 compared with $1.129,197 in 2007 up 13% from the previous year and up 51% since 2003.

The average market time of Lakeview, Chicago single-family homes for the same quarter was 169 days compared with 154 days in 2007 up 10% from the previous year and up 213% since 2003.

For a full neighborhood and city wide report visit www.ChicagoHomeBuzz.com

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chicago Home Sales Activity for the Third Quarter, 2008: The Chicago Home Buzz

Beware of summaries. They are for losers. Beware of the pessimist or the optimist. Look for the micro-economist in your neighborhood. This is an historic time in our national economy and it really is incredible to watch since it is directly affecting each and every one of us. General summaries and market data are for losers and we frown on them. Why? Real estate operates in a local economy. Block by block, street by street, subdivision by subdivision. One street could be booming and the next street busting. Beware the pessimists or the optimists. Look for the micro-economist in your neighborhood. Look at our median sales summary in our Chicago Home Buzz report: Median prices up almost 25%! Wow! This economy is doing great! Read on…summary points of view are worthless such as our summary used as an example of skewed data. The media in their infinitely diluted viewpoint continues to under report (or over sensationalize) the actual state of the real estate market. To their defense, it is impossible to write detailed reporting on the market because the real estate market operates on both a macro and micro level. Even when you get down to what you think is a micro-level, Gold Coast goes and screws everything up! The real estate macro-economic condition is obviously just as important to each of us as what is happening in our back yards as evident by the turmoil in the markets. I’ll refrain from getting into details about why we are where we are but needless to say “A” grade securities which included junk, sub-prime mortgages (mortgages given to people who had no right getting a loan) were traded on Wall Street and across the global market at a hugely profitable speed and no regulator or moderator or Hedge Fund manager wanted that gravy train to stop. Trillions were made just as trillions were just lost in these past few weeks. That said, let’s focus on what the crux of this Chicago Market report is about. Our LOCAL MICRO-ECONOMY. Chicago as compared to national indexes is doing well in many areas, and not so well in others. Our report focuses on the north side of Chicago with a focus on SINGLE FAMILY homes in the Fall Quarter, 2008 compared with Fall Quarter, 2007. Median Price Activity for the Third Quarter, 2008 in Chicago: Taking the Gold Coast/Loop out of the equation, median sales prices for the quarter dropped almost 14% to $412,444 down from $470,141 in 2007. If you add that area back in there is actually a 24.4% increase in median price, but that is because the single-family home median sales price had a few large transactions pushing the median price for the entire North Section up. All other areas showed a decline of median prices compared with last year with the WEST area leading the decline with an average 85% price drop on sales from $228,867 down to only $123,481. This is in large part due to the number of foreclosures leading the sales in this area. West Garfield Park led the decline in a staggering display of depreciation for the area with 5 units sold (up from only 3 in 2007) but a drop in median price from $189,000 down to a paltry $12,500, a 93% decline in median price. North Lawndale (down 78%), East Garfield Park (down 73%) and Humbolt Park (down 53%) were among the area leaders of decline in value. On the positive side, once again one of my HEAVY BULLISH neighborhoods (for condos, multi-unit or single-family investments) continues to be Lakeview in the LAKESHORE area. Median Prices saw a whopping 15% INCREASE from $1,041,250 up to $1,200,000 (average prices too saw an increase up 13%). Rogers Park too saw an unexpected increase in median price single-family homes up 11% from the previous quarter with a median sales price of $456,000. The bad news there was it took an increased market time average of 279 days UP 862% from 2007’s short 29 day market average. The leading declining area for the quarter was Uptown , West Ridge and Lincoln Square (down 21%, 18% and 17% ) for the area. Overall however, the Lakeshore section was down 5% for the quarter. Very little good news for the NORTHWEST section with the area prices down 18% from a median sale price of $387,450 to $329,357. The good news was the area saw good sales volume in units (there are deals to be had). The NORTH CENTRAL section saw Avondale and Albany Park leading area decliners down 30% and 23% but West Town (Wicker Park/Ukranian Village) saw a 5% increase in median price up to $727,000 for a median price home up from $690,000 last year. Bucktown/Logan Square too saw a slight uptick in median prices to $693,000 from $670,000 last year (average prices jumped 15% to $804,804 from $702,666 last year). Unit Activity: Total units sold is down only 70 units across the North Section (-8.5%). The NORTHWEST section of the city is only showing 3% less units sold down from 296 to 286. In that same section, Norwood Park saw a 15% jump in sales from 54 units up to 62 and Dunning saw a significant uptick from 56 units sold in 2007 to 70 this quarter, 2008. However, some losers on units sold were Edison Park with a whopping 48% decline in units sold down to 14 units from 27 in 2007 and Jefferson Park down almost 30% from 45 units to only 32 this past quarter. Moving to the CENTRAL area, Avondale saw a whopping 183 increase in units sold up from 6 in 2007 to 17 in 2008 but the area saw an overall decline of 5% for the quarter. The WEST section saw an overall drop of 12% but areas like Belmont Cragin and Humbolt Park where single-family homes abound saw significant drops in unit volume down 30% and 13% respectively. The NORTH section dropped from 179 units to 170 however, the big news there is Avondale (while median prices are down 30%) saw a 183% increase in units sold from 6 to 17 with people most likely taking advantage of the buyers market and finding those deals which are out there. Summaries are for losers. We already know there are pockets (and even pockets within the pockets we are reporting) where there are signs of growth in this dismal market. Overall for the City on the North section market times were longer (up 27.46%) to 185 days with no one area really better than the other. Uptown was the only neighborhood that saw an average market time below 100 at 93 days (down 36% from 2007). However, taking the skewed Gold Coast out of the microscope we can get a better glimpse of the actual numbers for the quarter. Total units sold were down 7.7% from 870 to 808. The median sales price dropped almost 14% with a few exceptions such as Uptown, Bucktown/Logan Square and West Town/Wicker Park which all showed a positive gain in median sales price compared to 3rd quarter 2007. If we do add the Gold Coast back in to the report we are really looking at a very positive gain in median prices for the quarter up 24.39%.

Beware of summaries. They are for losers. Beware of the pessimists or the optimists.

Look for the micro-economist in your neighborhood.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

7700 W Summerdale Affordable Oriole Park Single-Family Home

Welcome to affordable living in Oriole ParkThis very affordable well kept and updated single-familyhome will make anyone a new great home. All the majorupdates are done (see back). Large yard in great location near shopping,expressway and Oriole Park. Lots of space and well designed and functional layout. Large front living room. Formal dining room. Large kitchen with spacious family room in rear which leads to large outdoor deck and back and side yards.

Very clean and move-in condition. New roof in 2006.Large fenced in side and rear yards. 2 1/2 car detached garage. Low taxes $2,359.87 (2006). Shopping and expressway all nearby. Oriole Park a few blocks away. Top performing Oriole Park Elementary School district.

Visit REMEMBERJIM.com or 7700Summerdale.info forphotos, slideshow, downloads, and more information

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Stunning Edgewater Condo For Sale

Absolutely stunning 1800 square foot chic-vintage 3BR condo in Edgewater at 1432 W Elmdale. Large front living room and sitting area with extra wide entry foyer. Custom built cabinetry and hardware throughout. Large bedrooms and ample closet storage. Separate dining area and family room off of this custom gourmet chef’s kitchen with Viking oven.

Clean and move-in condition. A true must see. Parking available for only $15,000 additional . Low taxes and assessments are only $213 per month. Visit www.edgewatercondo.info or call today for a private showing.

Lincoln Park Landmark Battle

Have you heard there may be a top-down authorization (law passed) in Lincoln Park which may force all properties in certain areas to be labeled "landmarked" whose purpose is to preserve the original older properties 'with character' while also attempting to decrease the amount of demolition going on to make way for the mega mansions which have been going up over the past decade.

This would have a huge impact on development and construction in the area not to mention a 'regular' homeowner who is interested in a renovation or addition. Both would see costs soar and the impact on property value would be significant.

Lincoln Park is one of the few areas that has benefited from the construction of these larger single family homes so much that an average tear down in the area is as high as $1.1 million since what is driving the land value are the ceilings of the new developments averaging around $3.3 million.

I am all for preserving the fabric for those who choose to keep and maintain the vintage structures within our community, but when large areas are forced to be considered landmarked to prevent a few buildings from moving aside to keep the developments and new single-family homes coming, I wonder to what end this purpose serves.

Where we really need regulation is on the design pallet of some of these new houses (here and throughout the city). I have no idea how some of thise ugly monstrosities are being built but let's police the general facade improvements and not limit the development opportunities which are significantly improving the land values in our neighborhood

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

FHA and Condo Loan Options

FHA was once considered a four letter word. Builders could care less about qualifying and lenders were hard pressed to justify the amount of time and work required to close on an FHA loan.

Are you wondering what is happening with the local, regional and national real estate market. Well me too. I am working twice as hard these days to hep assist my clients with securing their mortgages since that seems to be the biggest obstacle to the bulletproof transaction I like to create around each of my client purchase contracts.

So, lately many of my first time buyer's are inquiring about whether this property is FHA qualified or what the requirements are for an FHA loan. Usually the two main barriers to securing an FHA loan on a property are that the builder is still in control (not an established association yet) OR the bylaws of an existing association have a right of first refusal which is an immediate NO to qualifying.

So, now many of my clients are asking me "is this one qualified"...

So now I am referring them (or checking myself) at this Federal Housing Authority (FHA) site:


I hope this helps and remember, there are options available to buyers with less than 5% down to make a purchase. Of course, usually the more money you put down the better your rates and loan terms (for the most part) will be.

Good luck!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

1900 South State Condo For Sale

Make your next home in Chicago's dynamic & bustling South Loop. Visit www.1900SouthState.com for more information.

This bright, sunny west facing condominium will make anyone an affordable great home. This newer construction phase 2 improved layout one bedroom, one bathroom condo being offered for sale was finished in 2006 and it features include an open and sunny living/dining room with hardwood floors and private balcony. This home also includes upgraded Cherry kitchen cabinets with granite counters and stainless appliances and floor to ceiling wall time in the bathroom as well as in-unit washer and dryer. In addition to the indoor parking space and ‘cage' storage this home comes with an additional private secure storage room unique.

Relax each morning looking right out your private balcony with tree-top views towards the skyline to right (not direct) and watch the sunsets over Chinatown to the west. East access to transportation including one block to the Red Line "L" Cermak Chinatown stop, Metra Train or catch one of the CTA buses right out front on Archer. Expressways such as Lake Shore Drive and I-55 are very easy access from the building.

Hop on the lakefront trail and take a bike ride or jog to the Field Museum or Shedd Aquarium and Lake Michigan in just a few minutes. Clean and move-in condition. Solid association. Low taxes and monthly assessments at $279 include Electric/AC, Heat/Gas, Cable & Fitness Room.

Accessible from within the building are retail shops and stores such as the local cleaners, restaurants, coffee shops, Athletico gym, Chase Bank and other businesses right in building (walk indoors during cold winter months). Other restaurants in the area include Room 21, Cuatro. Bongo Room, Cafe Bionda and Chicago Firehouse.

Right around the corner from The Pointe 1900 are Chess Records studios where "the blues gave birth to rock and roll" in the 1950's and its one block from the site of Al Capone's headquarters at the Lexington Hotel whose vault was filmed live on television in 1986 by Geraldo Rivera only to find them empty. Lots of history made and being made in this great vibrant South Loop community.

Call with questions or to schedule your appointment today

location, location, location

Monday, May 05, 2008

Pet-friendly Condo Search Site

Chicago, IL, May 5, 2008 - DogPads.net is a unique real estate website geared towards dog owners who are looking to purchase a Chicago area home. Real estate broker associate Jim Gramata, Keller Williams Lincoln Park Realty, recently launched his dog-centric home buying website with the intent of properly finding the best "pad" for both the canine and owner. Current websites are geared towards pet owners looking to lease places, however, Gramata took this concept one step further by offering a similar search service for dog-owners looking to buy a home in a pet-friendly building and neighborhood.

"The dogpads.net site was created out of lots of slobber and perspiration for the dog lovers out there who would absolutely never consider living in a home without their pets." He went on to say the one mission of the site "is supplying a demand for pet-friendly home buyers who are interested in filtering out the thousands and thousands of properties that do not allow pets of their size and weight saving time and money."

Some of the current features of the site include a report request where a free list of properties meeting the buyer's needs and wants, neighborhoods of interest and price ranges are sent via email. The second more advanced search method includes daily online reports of active properties meeting buyer's search requirements. The buyer can mark them as "interested," "not interested" or "maybe" and can view interior pictures when available and request showing appointments. Another method coming soon will be giving buyers the ability to independently search for properties by selecting their own parameters and stretching a box over an area of a map and seeing what active properties fall within the search areas.

"Buyers will have more interactive control of where they look since search criteria and interests can change daily," Gramata said.

In addition to these direct property search features, Gramata envisions the site evolving to offer a complete list of property addresses that allow pets in each neighborhood and any association bylaws. While a seemingly monumental task, the information would be quite valuable. "We also want the site to contain useful current information from local businesses and organizations that share the same philosophy that dogs (and all animals) are an important part of the family and deserve a home in this great city of ours." When asked if this meant the site would eventually be dominated by corporate sponsors, Gramata replied "we do not want to create a site whose sole purpose is to create advertising space for companies. Our mission is genuinely to distribute valuable information to our site visitors as it relates to improving their (and their pets) experience of finding a home and living in the city."

The site is live now at http://www.dogpads.net/ and Gramata reports there are currently visitors who are using the services and are actively searching for properties in the area. "We are happy to report that so far the dogpads.net has been very well received. We are diligently creating daily search reports for each of our recent visitors and are trying to find their dog (and them) their next home." The site is a refreshing original concept that offers a service long overlooked and it seems if the site continues in the direction it has started it should continue to serve the needs of buyers looking for a place to call home for both them and their dog and it will enhance the pet-friendly experiences for dogs and their owners for years to come.

# # #

Franchise opportunities available. Contact via dogpads website.

This site is owned and operated by a licensed real estate agent. No obligations for using site. See site for details

Thursday, April 03, 2008

When is a Buyers Market a Buyers Market?

The news stories these days are scary. If you start to separate out the fact from the fiction or fear, you can begin to make an educated decision about what makes economic sense buyers you when making their next home purchase.

Keep your eye on those interest rates NOT the property prices. They will have more long term impact on your home buying power.

"The thing that will make home prices stop falling is the very same thing that will push mortgage rates higher," says Jim Svinth, chief economist at mortgage firm Lending Tree. "So anything you gain by a further drop in prices might be offset by rising financing costs."

Rather than being concerned about the what-ifs, I'd suggest focusing more on the what-wills: The interest rates will continue to climb (which is an inevitable outcome from an economy such as ours) to head off inflationary pressures which is a reason Bernanke will not likely cut the Fed Rate again - in order to keep inflation in check.

Since January 24th, mortgage rates have climbed 0.6% which is the fastest increase in two decades and rates should continue to rise. That increase in mortgage rates is the same effect as a property losing 5% of its value! That means if you were able to afford a $600,000 home, now you would be limited to $570,000. Look at the numbers on the enclosed sheet and let's talk about why they call it a buyers market. Because rates are still historically low (but rising) and that is what will have the most impact on getting the best deal on a home.

Experts who specialize in macroeconomics know that rates will raise and so will the cost to own the longer you wait.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Award-winning Townhomes hit 50% SOLD!

The Award-winning Somerset Townhomes at The Residences of Downtown Lake Zurich are here, and we are over 50% sold!

It’s happening. Lake Zurich is rediscovering its heritage as a quaint, charming and welcoming town. A place where friendly people share a strong sense of togetherness. Lake Zurich will soon have a fresh new look and the Somerset townhomes play a large part in that new image. Carefully designed to have their own unique charm and character the Somerset townhomes are indeed, setting the standard for quality and convenience.

We currently have 9 units which are move-in ready and another 20 that are available for sale at pre-construction prices.

Our sales center is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am to 5pm or by appointment. Call 847-550-6705 or visit our website at www.AtoLakeZ.com for more information.

See our video here....

Friday, March 14, 2008

Do Your Property Transfer Taxes Stink?

Here in Chicago there is a big stink over raising the property transfer taxes to pay for the ailing transit system.

Currently here in Chicago, buyers pay $7.50/1000 and sellers pay $1.50/1000 (some of which is state, county and city).

A recent proposal was to raise the buyers fee by $3/1000 to $10.50/1000 which in my argument would create a disincentive (if that's a word) towards buyers ESPECIALLY in this market where we need all the stimulation we can get (economic and otherwise).

Anyways, it just passed yesterday that the transfer increase burden would indeed be placed on the sellers so our new structure is as follows with this example:

$7.50/1000 for buyers
$4.50/1000 for sellers
On a $300,000 property purchase that would mean
$2250 for buyers
$1350 for sellers

How does it play out in YOUR neck of the woods?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New FHA Loan Increases: The Sky is Not the Limit

Many of my clients have been excited to hear that the government has increase the Federally insured lending limits to over $700,000 without the loan being considered a jumbo (ie higher interest rate) loan.

Great news , right?

Hold it. That news is based on the average sales price of a home. Areas like California and New York City will reap the higher rewards, but here is what Cook County Residents can expect from the increase. Basically, if you are buying a multi-unit family building your conforming loan limits improved but standard single-unit condos or homes are at the same limits as before (for Cook County and the collar counties). See how your area is impacted here:


Effective 03/06/2008

MSA Name

County Name








































































Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Chicago Transfer Taxes May Move Burden to Sellers

Chicago Transfer Taxes May Move Burden to Sellers

Well it seems the City Council is getting the message that by increasing the transfer tax on buyers by 40% will act as a disincentive to make home purchases in the city (not to mention the increased sales tax, but thats another topic).

In a blog post earlier (several actually), I complained and vented that this move would place an unfair burden in buyers and that the sellers would be better suited in most cases to absorb the tax since most end up with equity from the sale which can be used to pay the tax (as opposed to having to save for it).

Well Finance Committee leader Patrick O'Connor has asked that the sellers absorb that tax much to the chagrin of lobbyists from the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago--most of their associates are builders who would be required to absorb the cost as a part of doing business, so they are obviously against it).

Sellers are currently paying only $1.50/1000 of sale price and buyers are paying $7,50/1000. If this new proposal is accepted, sellers would pay $4.50/1000 and buyers would still be paying the $7.50/1000.

Glad to hear someone was reading this blog :) Actually this makes fiscal sense and should not prohibit buyers (especially first time buyers who are saving every penny to buy a home) from making their home purchase and getting this economy (micro and macro) back on its feet.

Appeal your 2006 Cook County Taxes Again!

Appeal your 2006 Cook County Taxes Again!

The City of Chicago and the Cook County Assessors office announced today that all property owners in the City can appeal their 2006 taxes between March 17 and march 31.

The last time this was allowed was NEVER!

Take advantage of this 'limited time offer' and get those appeals in to the assessors office asap. If you feel your property value as decreased recently this is your chance to appeal those taxes.

Let me know if you need help with this 'burden of proof' as I am about to write an appeal letter and include in it my Chicago Home Buzz quarterly market report which shows neighborhood by neighborhood the 4th quarter market valuations and their volume reductions.

Consult with your attorney or tax specialist but what do you have to lose? Good luck!

For more information contact the Cook County Board of Review at 312-603-5542 or visit their site:


Monday, February 25, 2008

Chicago Bucktown Real Estate For Sale

Scroll over the box below for video tour of my latest single family home being offered for sale in Chicago's Bucktown Neighborhood on the north side near Armitage and Oakley.

Visit http://www.rememberjim.com and click on the property image in the left column

Or go here now for a link to this Bucktown property webpage we've created with property features, descriptions, flyer downloads and more.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Mortgage Rates Roller Coaster Ride

Bond prices and home loan rates were all over the place this past week. Some of my lenders told me that there were 1/4 point swings in one day!

Why this flurry? The Fed has been dropping their rates! That's what my buyers think. I try and give them a minor tutorial that the mortgage rates are tied to the bond market not directly connected to the Fed Rates which are more short term loans (car loans, HELOC loans, etc).

The bonds like it when inflation is in check and not increasing. Well this week we got news that showed inflation increasing and not staying in check. That has caused the roller coaster ride of rates whi week ( a quarter point swing in one day is unbelievable).

Keep your eyes on the bond market news and see how this plays itself out in the coming weeks and months. We need inflation to stay in check in order to dig ourselves out of this shifting market.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hold the Press. Are Rates that Low?

Syndicated columnist, Lou Barnes has hit the nail on the head regarding how inflated media coverage of the current downclick in rate adjustments have been and how I as a realtor have to coach my clients about how the Feds rate reduction really has no major effect on mortgage rates but more so on short term interest rates like car loans, home equity loans and credit card loans.

Rates have dropped a bit but they are back up to 5.75% and my advice is still to wait and see on the refi decision after more economic news is seen and if you've got a place your interested in purchasing and the loan calculations are within your comfortable means then by all means, make that purchase.

Here is the full article from Inman News:

Commentary: Average rates on mortgages unchanged in recent surveys

Friday, February 01, 2008

By Lou Barnes

Contrary to the conviction of deeply confused civilians and reports by lazy news media, mortgage rates are unchanged, about 5.75 percent for the lowest-fee 30-year paper.
If you don't believe me, visit http://www.freddiemac.com/ and its weekly survey. It is unbiased by sales jive, although it suffers from "survey lag" (early-week data released on Thursdays always misses real-time reality), and assumes a fractional origination fee. Last week's "5.48 percent" captured the one-day hysterical bottom when the industry could not log onto rate-lock Web sites. Yesterday's "5.68 percent plus 0.4 percent origination" is still about right, and all but identical to the prior week's "5.69 percent plus 0.5 percent."

Yet, the media refer constantly to "dramatically lower mortgage rates." They are better, but ... drama? Freddie's average for the whole of 2007 was 6.34 percent. A half-percent drop is nice for buyers, and a help to a few refinancers, but no fire sale.

"How can it be the same ... !?!" says the client, after a cumulative 1.25 percent cut at the Fed in only eight days? Answers follow.

Brand-new January economic data are not that bad. They're not bad enough to justify the Fed's panic, let alone to anticipate more cuts. Payroll growth slipped to flat in January (negative 17,000 is within the huge range of error and revision), unemployment down to 4.9 percent in a workforce statistical quirk -- soft, but hardly a recession. The purchasing managers reported their first gain in six months, likewise soft, but with persistent strength in foreign orders. Fourth-quarter GDP grew by a mere 0.6 percent; however, aside from a temporary drawdown of business, inventories grew at 2 percent.

The Fed's form is disturbing to long-term investors. Central banking is not figure skating, but Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has departed his predecessor's 17 years of gradualism for lurching on the rink. A Fed that will lurch down will lurch up.

Investors bought long Treasurys and mortgages at these levels 2002-2004 because former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said after every meeting into 2006: Excessive monetary stimulus most likely will be "removed at a measured pace." Translation: You're safe for now, and we'll give you time to get out before we kill you.
In those late Greenspan years, deflation was the problem. Today, inflation is rising all over the world: Australia at a 16-year-high of 3.8 percent core; Europe at a 14-year-high of 3.2 percent; U.K. at 2.6 percent core; China at 6 percent-plus; and an economy completely out of control beginning to export inflation to us.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Loan Rates Fall again

Loan rates for residential mortgages are down again as the economy continues to put pressure on the downward trend for fixed loan rates. The questions I am hearing from my clients is should I refinance or should we wait to buy. The answer I am telling people is rates should remain flat and continue on the downward trend pending of course good economic news (something we haven't seen in a while nor will in my opinion). If however, the stock market continues to get slammed then perhaps investors will be shifting their money to bonds and we can see a weakening of these historically low interest rates.

Waiting to refinance is probably a safer bet, but waiting to purchase in order to capture an 1/8-1/4 points on a loan is possible if you're not in any hurry but look at where the rates are right now! Really really low. If you're out looking at properties and see a glut of properties fitting your wish list then waiting is a consideration, however, if the area you are looking does not have a large selection I would say continue the search and when the property comes along that looks good, put in an offer and secure those low rates now. I don't think we will see the rates going below 5.0% unless the recession which is looming becomes a certainty.

Long-term mortgage interest rates continued lower Friday, and the benchmark 10-year Treasury bond yield held steady at 3.59 percent.

The 30-year fixed-rate average dipped to 5.47 percent, and the 15-year fixed rate slipped to 4.95 percent. The 1-year adjustable rate sank to 5.1 percent.

The 30-year Treasury bond yield was down at 4.31 percent

Friday, January 11, 2008

January Loan Rates Dropping

Long-term mortgage interest rates continued to fall Tuesday, and the benchmark 10-year Treasury bond yield dipped to 3.78 percent.

The 30-year fixed-rate average sank to 5.55 percent, and the 15-year fixed rate slid to 5.06 percent. The 1-year adjustable rate, however, was up at 5.34 percent.

My recommendations are still to secure a 30 year loan since the margin continues to shrink between the fixed and adjustable rate mortgages.

The 30-year Treasury bond yield slipped to 4.31 percent.