Christopher Norris, the Chicago market manager for mortgage retail lending at BMO Harris Bank, sees an improving atmosphere in which credit is readily available for qualified buyers. By many measures, the national housing market is showing strong signs of recovery from the prolonged slump that began in 2007. Home values and sales numbers are up. Foreclosures – though still a factor – have fallen to their lowest levels since 2006. Employment statistics and consumer confidence have improved, and a new generation, Millennials, may finally be ready to start considering homeownership. However, fallout from the market crash continues to haunt many would-be buyers.