Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Upward Trend Expected for Evanston Real Estate

As we wind down 2011 and prepare for the New Year, a topic on the minds of Evanston home buyers and home sellers is, "What will home prices be like in 2012?"

No one knows for sure, but some real estate economists predict a gradual improvement in home values nationwide. For example, the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun, expects 2012 home values to improve by an average of 2%, with sales volumes expected to increase by 4%.

In Evanston and the Chicago North Shore area, we have additional reasons to be optimistic. Chicago is the most-searched real estate market online, out of 146 metropolitan areas. When you combine this fact with our rising rental costs, and improving employment trends, there's a case to be made for pent-up demand.

What's holding back the homebuyers? According to Lawrence Yun, restrictive mortgage underwriting policies are holding back many credit-worthy buyers. He estimates that potential home sales would be higher by 20%, if lenders would restore reasonable mortgage guidelines.

One bright spot in the mortgage lending picture is the resurgence of FHA mortgage financing. While FHA still requires decent credit, the down payment requirements are as low as 3.5%. The catch for our market is that FHA loan limits were not increased for Illinois. Some areas of the county allow FHA loan limits as high as $729,750. For much of Chicago and the surrounding area, FHA loan limits top out around $410,000 for a single-family home.

Fortunately, The Evanston real estate market includes a great selection of homes and condos priced within FHA lending limits. If you're looking to buy a home in Evanston, Wilmette, or other communities in the North Shore area, 2012 could be the year to make your move! Give yourself contract credibility by seeking pre-approval from a reputable mortgage lender. Contact us for market reports that will help you find the most attractive and affordable homes.

Evanston home sellers will need to remain flexible during 2012 while distressed properties are processed through the market. What should you expect when selling your home? For starters, you should expect it to sell! At The Thomas Team, we will expertly prepare a marketing strategy to sell your home, and provide you with the responsive, professional service that you deserve. Contact us and see the difference for yourself!

Wishing you all the best during the holidays and the New Year,

The Thomas Team
Chicago's #1 Real Estate Brokerage

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