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The Future of Lending

by Chicago Agent

stephanie-sims-chicago-agent-managing-editor-zappos-real-estate-2011 I know that our last issue focused on the election, but Mitt Romney, President Obama and Election Day apply heavily to this issue, too.

Harris Interactive performed a survey recently that showed that 25 percent of homebuyers are considering the election as a factor in their homebuying decision. In addition, 13 percent of homebuyers are delaying buying a home until after the election, and 4 percent would buy before the election. (Read more in our article on the survey.)

While it’s true that there’s some uncertainty as to what will happen to the housing industry after the election, especially depending on the election’s outcome, it’s also entirely possible that it will remain mostly unchanged. With so many variables that play into what makes interest rates increase or decrease, and some not even related to the housing market, they are very difficult to predict long term. Colleen Bara, senior vice president and home loan retail regional manager at JPMorgan Chase, who graces our cover, agrees.

“What we do know is that interest rates will increase soon – we’re just not sure when,” she says in our cover story.

But if anything could change, I think agents and consumers alike would agree that requirements to obtain loans is the first thing that everyone would like to see changed – and, more specifically, they’d like to see the requirements loosen. Bara also speculated on that issue in our cover story, saying, “In order for requirements to loosen, more buyers need to come to the table with their credit in order … If this were made a priority, more homebuyers would be more successful or more likely to have more options when applying for financing.”

For this issue, we asked Bara and four other prominent mortgage industry professionals about how certain products work, how to mitigate appraisals, trends and what predictions they have for the future, as well as what it will take to get there.

Do you agree? Disagree? Think other steps are necessary to “fix” the housing industry when it comes to lending? Email me at stephanie@chicago.staging312.com or comment on our cover story online and let us know.

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