Sunday, July 27, 2008

Housing Bill

We saw a lot of coverage to last week’s House vote to offer $300 billion in assistance to troubled homeowners and to throw government support behind Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The bill has won endorsements from key senators in both parties and convinced President Bush to withdraw his long-standing veto threat.

Major provisions of the bill for mortgage markets include permanently increasing the cap on the size of mortgages guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to a maximum of $625,000 from $417,000. It would also raise the FHA maximum loan limits for high-cost areas to $625,000. For first-time home buyers, the bill includes a tax refund worth up to 10% of a home’s purchase price but no more than $7,500. That said, the refund really isn’t a refund – it’s more of an interest-free loan, because the “refund” has to be repaid over 15 years in equal installments.

The bill will likely give the mortgage and housing markets an immediate boost, but let’s not get carried away with the back-slapping. Artificial stimulus packages are fickle; you can’t be assured that what you want stimulated is actually being stimulated. Besides, markets, if left to their own devices, eventually get it right, though sometimes not as quickly as we’d like. But when they do get it right, they tend to get it right on a more permanent footing.

Eric P. Egeland

Monday, July 14, 2008

Old Farm Village Activity (6 months)

Old Farm Village (Buffalo Grove) Market activity

Active on the market
1301 MADISON DR $429,900 3 Beds 2.1 Baths
1366 DEVONWOOD DR $439,500 3 Beds 2.1 Baths
225 Stanton DR $440,000 3 Beds 2 Baths
136 COPPERWOOD DR $460,000 3 Beds 2.1 Baths
1502 Quaker Hollow CT $524,900 4 Beds 2.2 Baths
1176 Sandhurst DR $539,900 4 Beds 2.1 Baths
23 LONGRIDGE CT $542,900 4 Beds 2.1 Baths
1537 Madison DR $629,000 3 Beds 3.1 Baths

Under Contract
1402 Madison DR $484,900 4 Beds 2.1 Baths
103 Newfield DR $554,000 4 Beds 2.1 Baths

142 Thompson BLVD $399,900 closed for $378,000 4 Beds 2.1 Baths
1408 MARGATE DR $438,900 closed for $402,000 3 Beds 2.1 Baths
95 Newfield DR $424,500 closed for $410,000 3 Beds 2.1 Baths
250 Stanton CT $499,900 closed for $460,000 3 Beds 2.1 Baths
11 COPPERWOOD DR $489,000 closed for $477,000 4 Beds 2.1 Baths
85 NEWFIELD DR $524,900 closed for $510,000 4 Beds 3.1 Baths
393 THOMPSON BLVD $549,900 closed for $525,000 4 Beds 2.1 Baths
214 STANTON DR $575,000 closed for $543,500 5 Beds 2.1 Baths

Eric P. Egeland

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Weekly mortgage recap

An anemic economy, sinking home values and soaring gas prices pushed consumer confidence to its lowest level since 1992, the U.S. Confidence Board reported last week Many news outlets jumped on the news, spinning it to suggest the economy is spiraling downward like an unimpeded helix.
But maybe things really aren't all that dire. Gross domestic product – the output of goods and services produced by labor and property – increased at an annual rate of 1.0% in the first quarter of 2008, according to final estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In comparison, GDP increased only 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2007. The data suggest economic growth is accelerating.

Perhaps consumers would feel more upbeat if they knew that existing home sales are stabilizing, with sales rising 2% in May from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.99 million units. At the same time, inventory of existing homes fell 1.4% to 4.49 million units in May, which represents a 10.8-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 11.2-month supply in April.

The Federal Reserve appeared upbeat by switching its focus to abating inflation from inflating the economy. But although the Fed said it expects inflation to moderate "later this year,” it admitted that it is concerned over “continued increases in the prices of energy and other commodities.”
Credit markets didn't appear too terribly concerned about inflation; mortgage rates finally held firm for a week, with the prime 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 6.62%, the prime 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 6.19%, and the prime 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage averaging 6.28%, according to's weekly survey.

Eric P. Egeland
RE/MAX United