Morning Minute: Mortgage interest rates experience slight uptick, remain low overall

Freddie Mac reports today that fixed mortgage rates climbed slightly higher this week to 3.48 percent for a 30-year fixed, but continue to hover near historic lows. The 15-year fixed rate averaged 2.78 percent. Read Freddie Mac’s news release.

“The 10-year Treasury yield remained flat this week in anticipation of the Fed’s July policy meeting. Mortgage rates, on the other hand, rose another 3 basis points to 3.48 percent. Nonetheless, home sales continue to benefit from the persistently low mortgage rates with June’s new home sales coming in at an annualized rate of 592,000 homes — its fastest pace since 2008,” said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti in the release.

In other headlines:

Illinois Realtors report home sales and prices on the rise – Inman

Bad Neighbors, and Other Nightmares You Might Need to Disclose to Buyers –

Congressman Bill Foster to host Aug. 4 discussion on FHA appraisals

Foster photo 1.3.13_0Illinois REALTORS® are encouraged to attend an Aug. 4 discussion with Congressman Bill Foster on the topic of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) appraisals and mortgage insurance. Register now to attend this free event at 10 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 4 at the Mistwood Golf Club, 1700 Renwick Road, Romeoville, Ill. 60446.

Property eligibility for FHA mortgage insurance is established through an FHA-approved appraisal and this one-hour event will cover the requirements of the FHA valuation process, the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, important regulations and market misconceptions, according to the Congressman’s office.

Joining Congressman Foster in the discussion are:

  • Jim Cunningham – Deputy Regional Administrator for HUD Chicago
  • REALTOR® Jeff Gregory – Owner/Managing Broker of Realty Executives Success in Shorewood and a REALTOR® Federal Political Coordinator for Congressman Foster’s district
  • Carl E. Heckman – Chief of Technical Branch II, Processing and Underwriting Division, Atlanta Homeownership Center
  • Malcolm Jefferson – Chief of Technical Branch I, Processing and Underwriting Division, Atlanta Homeownership Center

For more information and to register for the event, go to

Morning Minute: U.S. pending home sales up slightly in June

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports today that its Pending Home Sales Index, which tracks contract signings, moved marginally higher in June with a 0.2 percent increase compared to the month before. Tight housing inventory and rising prices are continuing to impact the market and potential homebuyers, said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

“Until inventory conditions markedly improve, far too many prospective buyers are likely to run into situations of either being priced out of the market or outbid on the very few properties available for sale,” Yun said. Read more and watch a short video with Yun.

In other headlines:

What Are Americans’ Top Housing Concerns? – Daily Real Estate News (REALTOR® Magazine)

New home sales reach 8-year high – HousingWire


Morning Minute: Chicago makes list of top cities for real estate investors

Thinking about investing in real estate? Then Chicago would be a good bet since it ranked as the No. 4 U.S. metro when it comes to first-year home price appreciation for those who will be looking to sell later, according to the real estate investment company, HomeUnion. covers those findings and more in the blog post, “The Best Cities to Invest in Real Estate on a Budget.” The post also looks at cities with the best returns for owners who want to be landlords.

Infographic by Find the infographic and full blog post at

Infographic of HomeUnion data by Find the infographic and full blog post at


In other headlines:

11 modern closing gift ideas for every type of buyer – Inman

Obama administration presents a look at life after HAMP – HousingWire

IHDA to reopen foreclosure prevention program

IHDAStarting Aug. 1, homeowners who have experienced at least a 15 percent drop in income through no fault of their own and need help paying their mortgage can apply for federal assistance from the Hardest Hit Fund Program.

According to information from the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), qualifying homeowners could receive up to $35,000 in reinstatement assistance and/or monthly mortgage payment assistance.

Reinstatement assistance is a one-time payment of all mortgage arrearage, fees and penalties, while monthly mortgage payment assistance will pay 100 percent of the homeowner’s monthly mortgage payments for up to 12 months. The assistance will be provided as a five-year forgivable loan and funds may have to be repaid to the IHDA if the owner sells the home at a profit or refinances during the five-year loan term.

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk of Illinois and Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer made an announcement last Friday in Chicago about the program reopening.

For more information, go to: