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 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 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