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.


Morning Minute: Selling your home this summer? 10 tax tips you need to know


With lower available inventory and rising home prices, this summer could be a great time to decide to list your house for sale.

If you are ready to sell, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has pulled together 10 quick tax tips that you need to know. One rule: If you have a capital gain on the sale of your home, the gain may not be taxable.

Click here for this and other IRS selling tax tips.

In other headlines:

Good time to buy? Home sales, inventory rise in June – Chicago Tribune

NAR Identifies Best Purchase Markets for Aspiring Millennial Homebuyers –

Good news if you are buying a home: mortgage rates remain low

Fixed mortgage rates were stable this week and remained near the lows for the year, according to the latest data from Freddie Mac. The 30-year, fixed rate averaged 4.13 percent and the 15-year, fixed averaged 3.26 percent this week. Read more from Freddie Mac.

“Mortgage rates were little changed for the week with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remaining unchanged. Meanwhile, we received some good news on housing with existing home sales climbing 2.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in June, the highest pace since October 2013,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac, in a release.

In other headlines:

Haisler: McHenry County real estate market improving – Northwest Herald

3 Challenges Still Facing the Housing Market – Daily Real Estate News

Chicago Housing Market’s Road to Recovery – Chicago Tonight

Majority of Buyers Unaware of True Costs of Home Ownership – Daily Real Estate News

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.

In Illinois, statewide home sales increased year-over-year for the first time this year, rising 0.1 percent compared to last June. Prices continued their strong trend upward, marking the 22nd consecutive month of annual gains. Read more from the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR).

“After several months of declining annual sales, it’s great to see home sales come roaring back. Increasing prices and sales point to an improving economic situation and a strengthening real estate market,” said Phil Chiles, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and Broker-Associate with The Real Estate Group in Springfield.

And nationally, the news for the U.S. housing market was also promising as existing-home sales rose 2.6 percent in June compared to last month and were at the highest pace since October 2013. Annually, sales were down slightly, 2.3 percent, compared to a year ago.

National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said housing fundamentals are moving in the right direction as inventories increase and price gains are slowing, giving buyers more affordable options. Read more from NAR.

Here’s a roundup of some of the media coverage of the latest state and national housing reports:

Illinois Home Sales and Prices Slightly Higher – WMBD

Home prices rising in Chicago, suburbs – Chicago Sun-Times

IL Home Sales Finally Post Gains –

Illinois Home Sales See Slight Uptick in June – National Mortgage Professional

Chicago-area home prices continue climb in June as sales lag - Chicago Tribune

Local foreclosures decline, but still higher than U.S. average - Chicago Tribune

US home sales increase 2.6 percent in June – WAND

Pace of U.S. home resales rises to eight-month high – Chicago Tribune

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.

REAL looked at five years of data (2008-2013) to determine the impact foreclosures were having on Chicago neighborhoods. Click here to read the full report.

While the study shows that foreclosures do impact neighborhood home prices, it is important to note that the foreclosure crisis has eased and as more of the distressed properties come off the market, Chicago’s inventory levels, and overall foreclosure outlook, are moving in the right direction. REAL provides forecasts for the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and sees foreclosures returning to pre-recession levels by as early as this fall, according to the latest forecast.

There is help available if you are a struggling homeowner trying to avoid foreclosure. Here are some foreclosure resources to consider: