Chicago home buyers haven’t let the pandemic discourage them from home ownership! During the month of April, we continued to write new purchase offers. Meanwhile, most of our transactions from March have closed or are on schedule to do so. Only two of our contracts fell through due to pandemic-related reasons.

However, as we reported in our prior blog post, the Chicago area real estate market could throw some curve balls as we head into the summer. There are two main challenges we’re watching: tightening mortgage approval criteria, and the volume of homes for sale. 

In recent weeks, several major lenders have raised their minimum FICO credit score requirements to 700 for new mortgages. They have also scaled back debt-to-income ratios and increased down payment requirements. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, overall mortgage availability has fallen to its lowest level in over 5 years. 

Current homeowners aren’t finding mortgages any easier. HELOCs, or Home Equity Lines of Credit, are no longer being issued by Chase and Wells Fargo. Cash-out refinances area also getting hard to find. Lender caution could keep some Chicago homeowners from tapping equity when they need it most. 

Crabby bankers could be causing home sellers to feel a bit pessimistic about the market. Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index fell to a 9-year low in April. About 65% of survey respondents said it was a “bad time to sell” due to economic conditions. Let us be the first to tell you that Chicago home buyers are still in the market! In fact, we could use more inventory, especially in entry-level and mid-range price points.

Turn to StartingPoint Realty for real estate updates! Contact us for home sales trends, mortgage referrals, new listings and more!

StartingPoint Realty – your first-time home buyer specialists!

StartingPoint Realty proudly serves first-time home buyers throughout the Chicago area. Learn about home buying by attending our free home buying webinar! There’s no sales pressure and no obligation. Please register for the date and time of your choice! 

Always feel welcome to contact us for help with your Chicago home buying questions!

Ryan Gable Broker/CEO Starting Point Realty
Phone: 847.348.1154

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