Archive for March 2018

Chicago Voter Support For Rent Control A Huge Mistake

Chicago Voter Support For Rent Control A Huge Mistake
Last week 75% of Chicago voters who were given the chance to weigh in on Illinois’ current ban on rent control supported lifting the ban. I guess technically they didn’t actually support rent control – i.e. lifting the ban would merely give local governments the option of imposing rent control. However, I have a strong... Read more »

Case Shiller: Chicago Area Home Price Appreciation Still Lagging Nation

Case Shiller: Chicago Area Home Price Appreciation Still Lagging Nation
Dow Jones S&P CoreLogic just released the January Case Shiller Chicago area home price index along with the indices for 19 other major metro areas and the nation as a whole. As has been the case for several years now single family home prices have been up on a year over year basis across the... Read more »

Chicago Foreclosure Activity Hits New Low While Foreclosures Increase

Chicago Foreclosure Activity Hits New Low While Foreclosures Increase
Yeah, I intentionally wrote a confusing headline in order to make a point. Attom Data Solutions just posted the February foreclosure activity data on their RealtTrac Web site, though they did not issue a new report (that will likely come with next month’s data release). The Chicago foreclosure data apparently tells a contradictory story. On... Read more »
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Chicago Real Estate Investment Market Unfazed By Higher Interest Rates

Chicago Real Estate Investment Market Unfazed By Higher Interest Rates
In theory a real estate investment can be valued like a bond. It produces a stream of cash flows so its value should be based on the discounted cash flows. Even though they may not know how to calculate a net present value most real estate investors get the general concept. A higher cash flow... Read more »

Fannie Mae: Responsible Mortgage Lending Or More Homeownership?

Fannie Mae: Responsible Mortgage Lending Or More Homeownership?
You remember the subprime mortgage crisis, right? Skyrocketing homeownership levels, assuring everyone in America that they could become wealthy by participating in the American dream? And the ever popular narrative of evil bankers, forcing people to take on mortgages that they couldn’t afford to pay back? Soaring home prices, followed by a crash? Banks taking... Read more »

A Map Of Chicago's Demolitions Tells Two Stories

A Map Of Chicago's Demolitions Tells Two Stories
In 2017 over 1200 demolition permits were issued in Chicago. After I was unable to easily find out where these were happening I decided to just pull the data myself and map them out for everyone’s amusement. The resulting map below is interactive: the icon in the upper left corner reveals an interactive legend, you... Read more »
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Chicago Real Estate Market: Huge Decline In February Contract Activity

Chicago Real Estate Market: Huge Decline In February Contract Activity
If you simply look at how many home sales closed last month the Chicago real estate market looks reasonably healthy. Closings were down slightly from last year but only by 1.0%. Of course, the Illinois Association of Realtors will report that as a 2.6% decline because of a flaw in their methodology. The graph below... Read more »

What Do Rapidly Rising Mortgage Rates Mean For The Real Estate Market?

What Do Rapidly Rising Mortgage Rates Mean For The Real Estate Market?
Just in case you missed it mortgage rates have really been rising since mid-September when the 30 year fixed rate bounced off of a short term low of 3.78% and has recently hit 4.43%. For historical perspective you can check out the interactive mortgage rate graph below from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis... Read more »