Morning Minute: U.S. pending home sales at highest level in nine years, NAR says

Pending home sales rose higher in May, according to the latest Pending Home Sales Index released today from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Edging 0.9 percent higher than last month and 10.4 percent than a year ago, the pending sale index is at its highest level since April 2006, NAR reports. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said solid job creation and increased sales for both existing-homes and new construction homes are pointing to a strong market, but rising prices could ultimately impact affordability. Read more from NAR.

In other headlines:

U.S. pending home sales rise to nine-year high in May – Reuters

The Waiting Game for Millennials May Be Over – NAR Daily Real Estate News

Morning Minute: Chicago makes list of housing markets with healthiest outlooks

Chicago, Cincinnati and Cleveland are three major metros with the healthiest housing market outlooks, according to the latest Health of Housing Markets report from Nationwide Economics. The report determines housing market health by looking at employment, demographics, the mortgage market and house prices. Read more from Nationwide Economics.

In other headlines:

CFPB Proposes Mortgage Rule Delay – NAR Daily Real Estate News

4 reasons why now is a good time to buy a home – HousingWire

Morning Minute: First-time buyers returning to summer housing market

The number of first-time homebuyers picked up in May and helped drive U.S. home sales higher for the month, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports. In fact, first-time buyers rose to 32 percent in May, marking the highest market share since September 2012, according to NAR.

Read the latest news release from NAR.

“The return of first-time buyers in May is an encouraging sign and is the result of multiple factors, including strong job gains among young adults, less expensive mortgage insurance and lenders offering low downpayment programs. More first-time buyers are expected to enter the market in coming months, but the overall share climbing higher will depend on how fast rates and prices rise.” — NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun

In other headlines:

CFPB lists 10 compliance violation trends – HousingWire

Freddie agrees with Fannie: The economy is improving – HousingWire

Developer mulls 200 homes for Cabrini-Green redevelopment – Crain’s Chicago Business

Could USDA Rural Development programs be right for your clients?

On Monday, the Illinois Association of REALTORS® hosted an educational webinar by USDA Rural Development representatives that outlined details regarding the Single Family Guaranteed Loan Program and the Single Family Direct Home Loans Program.

If you have clients who are unsure they have the income or assets to secure financing for a home, be sure to share with them information you learned from the audio version of the webinar the PowerPoint presentation.

Image: Bigstock

According to the USDA Web site, the Guaranteed Loan Program in Illinois helps approved lenders provide “low- and moderate-income households the opportunity to own adequate, modest, decent, safe and sanitary dwellings as their primary residence in eligible rural areas. Eligible applicants may build, rehabilitate, improve or relocate a dwelling in an eligible rural area. The program provides a 90 percent loan note guarantee to approved lenders in order to reduce the risk of extending 100 percent loans to eligible rural homebuyers.”

The Web site also says the Direct Loan Program (Section 502) assists “low- and very-low-income applicants obtain decent, safe and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas by providing payment assistance to increase an applicant’s repayment ability. Payment assistance is a type of subsidy that reduces the mortgage payment for a short time. The amount of assistance is determined by the adjusted family income.” Applicants must “be unable to obtain a loan from other resources on terms and conditions that (they) can reasonably be expected to meet.”

If you have questions about these programs, a list of phone numbers are provided near the end of the PowerPoint presentation, including several regional offices for the Direct program. The webinar was conducted by Barry Ramsey and Nicki Morgan of the USDA at the suggestion of IAR Housing Policy Advisor Sharon Gorrell.

Illinois home sales, prices climb higher in May #IARMarketStats

The month of May brought strong home sales gains and higher median prices to the Illinois housing market, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. Statewide home sales totaled 14,980, a year-over-year increase of 5.6 percent while the statewide median price was $182,000, an 8.7 percent gain. Read today’s news release.