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5 Reasons to Love Using a Real Estate Professional [Infographic]

The Truth About US Homeownership Rates [Infographic]

MRED Chicagoland Report for January, 2015

It’s already evident that 2015 will be marked by talk of changing mortgage rates and regulations. Rates should stay low, but consumers and finance experts alike believe that we’re at or near rate bottoms. Early indications point to more sales, more listings, more new construction and more excitement. It’s not expected to be the overblown land grab of the early 2000s, but it should feel like a healthy market, which, in and of itself, may feel like an odd sensation to real estate practitioners accustomed to the boom and bust of the 21st century.

New Listings in Chicagoland were up 17.8 percent for detached homes and 11.9 percent for attached properties. Listings Under Contract increased 27.6 percent for detached homes and 17.1 percent for attached properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 4.8 percent to $174,700 for detached homes and 15.0 percent to $153,500 for attached properties. Months Supply of Inventory increased 0.9 percent for detached units but was down 6.2 percent for attached units.

The 3 percent down payment programs from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should help potential new homeowners, but in a recent member survey by the Independent Community Bankers of America, three-fourths of respondents stated that regulatory burdens are hurting their ability to loan money. The wider economy shows slight wage increases and gas prices near five-year lows but rising along with extended daylight and buyer demand. These various economic pushes and pulls can turn stagnant markets into exciting ones. It’s all in how you look at it.

MRED real estate professionals can log into MREDLLC.com and click on the Statistics tab to get the latest Lender Mediated and Monthly Market Indicators Reports.  You can also click on the Local Market Updates choice under the Statistics tab and use our Interactive Market Analytics map for the latest local market metrics.

Any questions?  Please contact MRED’s Help Desk at 630-955-2755 or help.desk@MREDLLC.com.

3 Promising Graphs on the Nation’s Mortgage Market

black-knight-mortgage-monitor-december-2014-housing-market-recovery-delinquencies-foreclosures-seriousIt’s been roller coaster ride following the nation’s mortgage markets, so Chicago Agent Magazine decided to take a more long-term view at some of the key stats at play – and how, with only one exception, things have improved quite a bit.
Read the article to see the graphs that utilize the latest findings from the Black Knight Mortgage Monitor

Big Thinking by MRED’s New President/Chief Executive Officer

Rebecca Jensen Talks About the Dream MLS on Panel at Industry Conference

Inman 2015 Rebecca and DavidLISLE, ILLINOIS (February 4, 2015) – Rebecca Jensen, the incoming President/Chief Executive Officer of Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicagoland’s multiple listing service (MLS), was one of the featured panel members at the Real Estate Connect conference in New York, which took place January 28-30, 2015.

Ms. Jensen was on a panel titled “How I Would Do It: Big Thinkers Lay Out the Plan For Their Dream MLS”. Facilitated by David Charron, President and CEO of Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS), other speakers included Cary Sylvester, Vice President of Technology Innovation, Keller Williams; Christine Todd, CEO of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors; and Heather Elias Vice President of Industry Engagement, Century 21 Redwood Realty.

Initial discussion focused on what the MLS should be about, and if it can meet the needs of all of its stakeholders. The panelists also addressed concerns in the industry about MLSs providing services directly to consumers.

Ms. Jensen stated, “MLSs should offer technology needed for that specific marketplace. We can’t be everything to everybody, but it is incumbent on the MLS to reach out to the busy real estate professionals who don’t have the time to volunteer, and understand how they are impacted by possible changes being considered.”

Another subject for the panel was the Broker Public Portal project, which a number of large brokerages and MLSs are investigating, to provide a national consumer facing website. “There is significant interest in the Broker Public Portal at MRED,’ said Jensen. “There may be a need for a national portal even in a market that doesn’t have a consumer facing website, like Chicagoland.”

Ms. Jensen’s parting comment was a call for the differing interests in real estate to work together. “Fragmentation makes us weak; we can accomplish so much more when we work together to solve tough problems.”

This was Ms. Jensen’s first public appearance as MRED’s new President/Chief Executive Officer.

About MRED

Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) is the real estate data aggregator and distributor providing the Chicagoland multiple listing service (MLS) to nearly 40,000 brokers and appraisers and 8,000 offices. MRED serves Chicago and the surrounding “collar” counties and provides property information encompassing northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and northwest Indiana. MRED delivers over twenty products and services to its customers, complementing connectMLS™, the top-rated MLS system in the country for two years running according to the WAV Group MLS Technology Survey. MRED is the 2013 Inman News Most Innovative MLS/Real Estate Trade Association, and for four consecutive years the MRED Help Desk has been identified as one of the best small business centers in the United States and Canada by BenchmarkPortal. For more information please visit MREDLLC.com.

Why Have Interest Rates Dropped?

Why Have Interest Rates Dropped? | Keeping Current Matters

The headlines agree mortgage interest rates have dropped substantially below initial projections. Many who are considering purchasing a home, or moving up to their dream home, might think that they should wait to buy, because rates may continue to fall.

A recent article on the Economists’ Outlook blog by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) provides insight into one major factor in the decline in interest rates, the crude oil price.

“As of January 5, 2015, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the price of regular gasoline was $2.20/gallon, the lowest since gas prices peaked to about $ 4/gallon in May 2011.”

You may have noticed that filling your gas tank has become substantially less expensive in recent months. A welcome change from the close to $5 a gallon that many Americans were paying this time last year. The average US household is projected to save around $550 in 2015.

So what does that have to do with Interest Rates?

NAR explains the correlation like this:

“Lower oil prices mean lower inflation rate, which pushes down mortgage rates.”

Based on Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage survey as of January 22, 2015, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.63% and the 15-year fixed rate averaged 2.93%.

“The decline in oil prices is generally positive to households by way of the gas savings and lower mortgage payments. That savings will boost consumer spending in other areas. But there may be some layoffs in oil-producing states.”

How long will rates stay low?

No one really knows how long oil prices will continue to support low mortgage rates. In a New York Times article, the author points to the fact that “adding hundreds of billions of dollars to consumer spending” could start to have a “counter effect” on rates as the economy continues to strengthen.

“If firms start hiring again, and wages increase — that’s when the level of all interest rates in the U.S. would increase.” 

Don’t wait too long

The low interest rates we are currently experiencing are not going to stay around forever. The current projections from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, NAR and the Mortgage Bankers Association all agree that interest rates will increase to between 4.3-5.4% by the end of 2015.

Bottom Line

NAR reports: “At the median home price of $205,300, a 0.75 percentage point drop in mortgage rates will yield savings of about $1,000 annually.”

If you are in a position to buy a home make sure that you meet with a local real estate professional with their finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the market. Don’t let a delay in purchasing impact your family’s financial future.

Blog Post via KCM Blog

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