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Showing posts from January, 2009

Prospects for a Buyer's Market Coming Soon

I cannot imagine that this is going to be good news for anyone who is hoping to sell a home in 2009, but Matt Carter from Inman News reports today that the number of houses and condos on the market are about to swell dramatically as banks begin releasing foreclosed properties from their portfolios, at fire sale /clearance prices.

As banks have been foreclosing on delinquent mortgages, the numbers of properties they are holding as "REO" (Real Estate Owned) assets is swelling. According to Carter,
The value of REO property on the books of FDIC-insured banks at the end of the third quarter surged 21 percent from the previous quarter, to $23 billion. That total -- which includes single-family to four-family homes valued at $11.5 billion and another $1.5 billion in property purchased with FHA-backed loans securitized by Ginnie Mae -- represents a 134 percent increase from a year ago, according to the latest quarterly report from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.Repossessions b…

Chicago Area Homes Sales Declined 26% in 2008

The Illinois Association of Realtorsreported today that 2008 home sales in the Chicago PMSA were just 68,676, nearly 26% fewer sales than 2007. For those lucky enough to find a buyer, the median sale prices last year was 17.3% lower than 2007.

The PMSA includes Chicago, suburban Cook, and the eight surrounding counties.

There were 20,589 Chicago home sales in 2008, 25% fewer than in 2007.

Well. on the bright side, however gloomy the current market conditions might seem, there are still buyers buying and sellers selling. Also, I am pleased to note that my "market share" of Chicago house and condo closings last year increased over 2007. Here's to doing even better in this new year.

FHA Loans and Condo Sales - Is Relief on the Way?

By all outward appearances, state government in Illinois has ground to a complete halt, with all eyes focused on the Governor's "problem" and all the related fal-der-rah. Its hardly business as usual in Springfield, but not everything has ground to a halt. Several new bills have been introduced this week. That is not to say that they will be of benefit to we the people. Nonetheless, the cogs and gears are turning, and we are hoping for the best.

One such proposal comes from Rep. LaShawn Ford of Chicago's west side, who is himself a real estate broker and entrepreneur. He is the author of House Bill 155, introduced & referred to the Rules Committee Wednesday. It seeks to address one of the most common problems I am seeing in condominium resale transactions these days; the tension between many Declarations of Condominium and FHA loan guidelines.

Many Condo Declarations provide Associations with a "right of first refusal," which basically allows the associ…

Shopping for Mortgages in the New Year

The Inman News Wire is almost always good for an interesting read or two (assuming of course you find the business of real estate news even remotely interesting) but I was particularly taken by Jack Guttenberg's column today. The self-proclaimed "Mortgage Professor" has a very particular and analytical approach to mortgage financing. His web site is a GREAT jumping off point for anyone who wants to begin the process of understanding what, and where, to shop for a loan.

The good doctor surveyed the current landscape for fixed rate, adjustable, and interest only loans, both jumbo and conventional in mid December. Specifically, he checked in with seven (un-named) internet based lenders and the four major "depository" lenders (i.e. chase, citi, boa and wells fargo).

Read the whole article here for the details.

Bottom line #1: Borrowers can save a ton of money by shopping loan providers.
Bottom line #2: Buying down the interest rate is a very good investment.