Illinois REALTORS® met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week to generate solutions for the challenges facing today’s real estate market and the overall economy. Among the issues discussed were reforming the secondary mortgage market so that financing remains available and affordable for people who want to buy a home, ensuring that the Federal Housing Administration continues to help first-time buyers become homeowners and making the higher loan limits established for FHA loans and mortgages purchased on the secondary mortgage market permanent.
In Illinois specifically FHA and GSE (government-sponsored enterprise) loan limits have not been raised despite the fact that select areas in Chicagoland have very high housing costs. This has closed the door on homeownership opportunities for many with the Chicagoland region capped at $417,000 for GSE conforming loans and $410,000 for FHA loans.
Another major issue for the real estate industry is improving liquidity in the commercial real estate market. Commercial real estate is the basis for much of the growth in the American economy, and right now many property owners are underwater. REALTORS® are asking lawmakers to increase the cap on credit union business lending to help commercial real estate owners refinance their properties.