Morning Minute: Mortgage interest rates remain flat for another week

Freddie Mac reports today that fixed mortgage rates were largely unchanged again this week with the 30-year, fixed rate averaging 4.12 percent, down slightly from last week’s 4.13 percent. It was a similar story with the 15-year, fixed rate averaging 3.23 percent compared to 3.26 percent last week. Read the full release from Freddie Mac.

HousingWire reports that ongoing low mortgage rates are pushing more homebuyers into the market. Read more.

In other headlines:

Homeowners increasingly satisfied with mortgage servicers, study says – Chicago Tribune

CoreLogic: Foreclosure inventory tumbles 35% – HousingWire

Morning Minute: Spring brings strong gains for the U.S. economy

The U.S. economy bounced back in the second quarter of 2014, growing by a 4 percent annual rate that exceeded the expectations of economists, Reuters reported today on the latest Commerce Department data. The gains were driven by stronger consumer and business spending and bode well for a stronger economy heading into the end of the year, according to media reports.

In other headlines:

Altos: Critics wrong about housing, it’s going to soar – HousingWire

$22B in government mortgage relief still left for struggling homeowners – HousingWire


Morning Minute: U.S. pending home sales slow in June, but rise in Midwest

The number of pending home sales slowed slightly from May to June, but in a few regions of the country — the Midwest and West — pending sales inched up compared to last month, according to the latest Pending Home Sales Index released today by the National Association of REALTORS®.

The overall index declined 1.1 percent compared to May. In the Midwest, the pending sale index increased 1.1 percent and in the West, it was up 0.2 percent. All regions are lower when comparing year-over-year.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said lower housing inventory, tight credit and employee wages that have remained flat continue to be factors impacting the housing market, but he is looking for sales to move upward through the rest of the year. Read more from Yun and NAR.


In Case You Missed It: Top IARbuzz blog posts from last week

In case you missed it, here are four of the top IARbuzz blog posts from last week.

Morning Minute: Illinois and U.S. housing markets pick up in June - The housing market continued to make positive gains in June as home sales and median prices rose in many regions. Available inventory, which has been lower this year, is beginning to increase, giving this summer’s buyers more options as they search for a home.

Study reveals the hidden cost of foreclosures in Chicago neighborhoods - What is the real cost of having a foreclosure in your neighborhood? A new study looked at the Chicago area and found that having one or two foreclosed properties within a tenth of a mile of a home can reduce its price by $6,535, based on a home worth $150,000, according to research by the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois.

You could win big in the Game On Giveaway! - How would you like to attend the 2014 IAR Fall Conference & Expo without having to pay for your two-night stay at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place or the conference registration fee? If you enter the Game On Giveaway, and your name is selected in the random drawing, you could win just that.

Sign up for Fall Conference to see the amazing Elizabeth Dozier - Chicago Fenger Academy High School Principal Elizabeth Dozier has been added to the roster of featured speakers for the 2014 Fall Conference & Expo. Join her on Sat., Sept. 6, as she talks about her family and what inspired her to become a teacher and – ultimately – the driving force behind remarkable change in her school and the surrounding community.