Morning Briefing: Realtors react to new conforming loan limits for 2017

by Steve Randall25 Nov 2016
Realtors react to new conforming loan limits for 2017
The announcement by the FHFA that it’s increasing the 2017 conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has been welcomed by real estate agents.

The new limits of $424,100 on one-unit properties and a cap of $636,150 in high-cost areas are up from $417,000 and $625,500 respectively.

California Association of Realtors’ president Geoff McIntosh says that the raised limits will benefit thousands of Californians the chance to become homeowners and give stability to the market.

“The FHFA recognizes that home prices have recovered, not just in California but also across the nation. Many higher-priced areas of the state will benefit greatly from the higher limit,” McIntosh said.
New home sales down 1.9 per cent
Sales of newly-built single-family homes dropped 1.9 per cent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 563,000 unit, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau data reveals.

“Though slightly down from last month, new home sales have been on an upward trend since last year,” said Ed Brady, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill.

Inventory increased to 246,000, a 5.2 month supply at current pace. Median sales price was $304,500.
Chicago is world’s most exciting city, no wonder inventory is tight
Time Out magazine has just named the twenty most exciting cities in the world and Chicago tops the list in many key factors, outpacing New York (ranked 4th), Los Angeles (8th) and Miami (12th). 

The Windy City beat international peers such as London, Melbourne, Madrid and Paris and ranks highly for bars and restaurants, neighborhoods, work-life balance and dating.

It is also highly-scored for affordability but tight inventory is starting to change that.

RE/MAX says that metro Chicago sales were down in October due to a lack of supply with 10 per cent fewer homes for sale compared to a year earlier. Detached home sales slipped in five of the metro’s seven counties and were down overall by 5 per cent.

“This is an outstanding market for those with a home to sell,” emphasized Jack Kreider, executive vice president and regional director of RE/MAX Northern Illinois. “An average market time of under 90 days puts upward pressure on prices, and we certainly saw that play out in October.”

The median sales price was 9.5 per cent higher than a year earlier, reaching $219,000.

“The increase in mortgage interest rates since the presidential election will serve to reinforce the urgency homebuyers already feel, so we expect an active market right through the holiday season and into 2017,” added Kreider.