With a new season upon us, encouraging news in Chicago real estate, and more activity among homebuyers, I’m really looking forward to seeing what the rest of 2012 holds for the market. We’ve seen several signs already that indicate the real estate market has hit bottom and is beginning to turn back around. The Wall St. Daily recently listed out 11 solid signs for a real estate recovery, and monthly indicators continue to bring encouraging news for the market.  Here’s a look at some of the recent evidence that Chicago home sales and the market overall is looking up: Increased demand for mortgage loans: Banks have reported that they’ve seen stronger demand for home loans in the past few months as more buyers make moves to purchase real estate. It’s important to note though, that this isn’t a move toward unstable lending–banks still have tight reins on who they are lending too. Buyers in today’s market should have an excellent FICO score and be able to make at least a 15-20% down payment. Increase in key housing stats: There are a number of reports each month that give an indication of the state of the real estate market. Those that have seen an uptick since the beginning of the year include housing starts, building permits and existing home sales. And some of these numbers are increasing quicker than projected. Pending home sales alone increased in March to the highest level in two years, according to the National Association of Realtors. The NAR chief economist noted with those numbers that it’s a clear sign that the real estate market is poised for recovery. Low inventory, increasing demand: While a low inventory has been a source of frustration for realtors and buyers, it could be a sign that more building is on the horizon to answer that demand–especially in the Chicago real estate market, where I’ve personally seen an increase in buyers looking for new construction properties. And as I discussed last week, the lower inventory is leading to bidding wars and competition among buyers, which is a good sign for the market in general. Increase in home prices: This is a lagging indicator, so one of the last signs we’ll see in a recovery. But even still, some of the hardest hit markets across the country are showing rebound signs. As I said earlier this week, April was busier than expected among potential homebuyers in Chicago. These are all great signs, but also signal that buyers considering a purchase will want to make a move and take advantage of the market we’re in. To learn more about Chicago homes for sale or discuss the state of the local real estate market, contact me at 312-264-5853 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.cxmmcx