Mortgage applications up 11.3 per cent last week
New mortgage applications increased by a seasonally-adjusted 11.3 per cent in the week to August 28 according to figures from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association. The MBA Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey revealed that the unadjusted figure was 10 per cent; the Refinance Index increased 17 per cent to its highest level since April; the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 4 per cent to its highest level since July; the unadjusted Purchase Index increased 2 per cent and was 25 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
"Although mortgage rates were unchanged for the week, Treasury rates were down sharply early in the week due to the global stock market rout and this led to a significant increase in application volume," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's Chief Economist.
Chicago homeowners set to face 60 per cent property tax hikes
Property taxes are set to increase sharply in Chicago after Mayor Rahm Emmanuel announced Wednesday that he wants to raise $500 million for public services. The hike would add around $500 to the tax bill for a $250,000 property in the city. The 60 per cent hike would be accompanied by other tax increases, making the largest tax rise ever seen in the city. The Sun Times reports that the tax-raising measure comes amid a huge structural deficit for the city including a $30 billion pension crisis.
Griffiths, Banderas opt to rent out hard-to-sell home
An 8,000 square foot home in Aspen, CO owned by divorcees Melanie Griffiths and Antonio Banderas is now on the rental market having failed to attract a buyer. The compound on the back of Aspen Mountain has a total of 7 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms spread across a main house and guest property and is set in more than 12 acres. Zillow reports that the former couple listed the home for $8.9 million and a buyer is still being sought however in the meantime it can be rented for $65,000 a month!