Friday, July 27, 2007

Average, Not Speculative, Buyers Moving Market

The stories are similar across the country. More homes for sale and fewer people buying. The National Association of Realtors reports sales of existing homes fell for the fourth straight month.

David Hanna is the treasurer for the Chicago Association of Realtors.

"Overall, the market has just gotten back to a pace where it's more about the average person going out and buying a home, and that's what's driving our market today versus the investment activity that we were seeing before," said Hanna.

The American dream of buying a home isn't as easy as in some Chicago communities. Geoff Smith is the research director for the Woodstock Institute where they track financial services in Chicago's minority communities. He says foreclosures have gone up 50 percent since last year and he says that only makes it harder for low income families trying to buy or keep a home.

"It's going to be more difficult for borrowers who are having problems with their mortgage to refinance their loan because credit terms are going to be more restrictive. It's going to be more difficult for them to sell their homes because there is a much larger supply of homes on the market," said Smith.

In addition to sub-prime lenders aggressively marketing their mortgages to those who couldn't afford them, sometimes a job cutback or illness may put homeowners behind in payments. If that happens, housing experts recommend calling the lender immediately to work out some arrangement to change terms or work out a way to get up to date.

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