Yet Another Mortgage Issue: Rising Closing Costs

August 16, 2010

As if Chicago homeowners aren’t having enough mortgage problems, now comes word that average closing costs in our state have gone up 40 percent this year.

Bankrate, Inc. released its 2010 Closing Costs Survey, which shows that the average origination and title fees on a $200,000 mortgage in Illinois went from $2,486 last year to $3,505 this year.

The personal finance company reports that costs associated with buying a home increased throughout the country; the national average on a $200,000 mortgage rose 36 percent from $2,732 in 2009 to $3,741 in 2010.

Finally, a number in which our state doesn’t sit above the national average.

After ranking 43rd in the country last year, Illinois moved up to No. 31 in the nation for most expensive average closing costs.

Still, we’re closer to the bottom than the top.

Arkansas, ranked as the least expensive area, records an average fee of $3,007, while New York, the most expensive, has an average fee of $5,623.

Bankrate officials say that the dramatic rise in average estimated closing costs can be attributed in part to new regulations implemented in January regarding the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) of costs.

The new law requires lenders to provide a title and closing fee estimate within 10 percent of the final cost. Previously, estimates could be lower without penalty, so there is now more research involved in the process.

“The big rise in average closing costs may scare some homebuyers, but it’s important to keep things in perspective,” said Greg McBride, CFA, senior financial analyst for “Increased regulation on lenders’ GFEs means more accurate estimates and less expenses popping up for consumers on the back end.”

Categories: Mortgages

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