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Chicago Home-Loan Rates Fall To A Low Of 3.7%; Where Are Listings?

Mortgage lenders literally are trying to give away 30-year fixed loans with interest rates as low as 3.7% or less, while Chicago Realtors ask: “Where are the for-sale home listings?”

“Plummeting existing home inventories continue to pose significant challenges for buyers,” said Doug Carpenter, president of Illinois Realtors. “The lack of homes for sale in the most popular price bands is making it critical for buyers to be ready to hustle when it comes time to make an offer.”

A local survey by showed Chicago-area lenders were charging a range of 3.737% to 3.8% on benchmark 30-year home loans on August 9th.

Freddie Mac’s national Primary Mortgage Market Survey reported on August 10th that average 30-year fixed mortgage rates declined to 3.90% down from 3.93% a week earlier. The benchmark rate dropped to its lowest point in six weeks. A year ago, the 30-year fixed loan average was 3.45%. Fifteen-year fixed loans averaged 3.18 percent on August 10th, Freddie Mac reported. A year ago, the 15-year fixed loan average was 2.76%.

“After holding relatively flat a week earlier, the 10-year Treasury yield fell 4 basis points last week,” said Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“The 30-year mortgage rate moved in tandem with Treasury yields, dropping 3 basis points to 3.90 percent. Earlier last week, Federal Reserve officials highlighted the influence of continued weak inflation data on rates,” Becketti noted.

The city of Chicago saw a 1.7 percent year-over-year home sales decline in June of 2017 with 3,266 units sold, down from 3,321 units sold in June of 2016. The median price of a home in Chicago in June was $308,000, up 2.7 percent from $299,900 in June of 2016.

“The market exhibited a bit of a holding pattern in June,” said Matt Silver, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors. “Inventory was a contributing factor. Once you sell your home, you’ll need to then buy another. So, sellers are being firm on their pricing, and while some buyers are willing to wait for their perfect home, other motivated buyers are driving down the time on market.”

Statewide in Illinois the time it took to sell a home in June averaged 49 days, down from 55 days a year ago. The for sale homes inventory totaled 59,088 units, a 14% decline from June of 2016 when there were 68,720 units on the market.

“While the housing market continues to record gains in prices and sales, the inventory problem remains an important issue,” said economist Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, of the University of Illinois. “Hopefully, now that the state has a budget, a recovering state economy will encourage more investment in housing—both new construction and investment by first-time buyers.”

So, where are those Millennials—the first-time buyers? Millennials age 36 years or younger represent the nation’s largest share of home buyers at 34%, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). However, the supply of starter homes in the national market has declined 17% from a year ago.

Unfortunately, 43% of the Millennials who have completed college said student-loan debt caused them to delay buying a home, reports a TD Ameritrade survey. And 27% of Millennials between the ages of 20 and 26 years said repayment of educational loans delayed them from moving out of their parents’ home, the survey revealed.

Baby Boomers, those nearing retirement age at the other end of the housing market, are a big part of the home-listing shortage, experts say. The Baby Boomer homeownership rate is 78%, accounting for 33 million properties.

However, a nationwide study by found that 85% of the Baby Boomers surveyed said they have no plans to sell their home in the next year.

For more housing news, visit Don DeBat is co-author of “Escaping Condo Jail,” the ultimate survival guide for condominium living. Visit

“The book is Escaping Condo Jail by Sara Benson and Don DeBat. I would say that anybody thinking about buying a condo, or even anybody serving on a condo board, or anybody who has any connection to a condo, this is must reading—all 600 and something pages. Thanks a lot for a great book!”


Steve Sanders, “Your Money Matters” WGN TV, December 22, 2014

By Don DeBat

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