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CHICAGO AREA HOME SALES DOWN 29% SINCE MAY, 2007 - But Is Trend Reversing?

Enjoy your Sunday, AR!

Is the Chicago Real Estate picture beginning to brighten?  Perhaps . . . but, not so fast!

For the one-year period between May, 2007 and last month, home sales in the Chicago Metro Area and a few surrounding counties - Cook, Lake, DuPage, Will, McHenry, Grundy, Kendall, DeKalb, and Kane - are off nearly 30%.  However, the median home and condo price in the Chicago Region is about the same - shedding only 0.5% in the last year, to $251,000.

However, between April and May, 2008, sales actually INCREASED 17.3%!

Illinois sales, outside of the Chicago Metro Area, were up 17.3% in May, compared to April, 2008.  11,173 houses were sold across Illinois in May, versus 9,523 in April.  Year-to-year, however, sales dropped 22.9% statewide between May, 2007 and May of this year.  The median sales price of a home or condo across Illinois fell 7.3 percent year-to-year, to $190,000.

National Association of Realtors Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, feels the underlying fundamentals indicate some pent-up demand nationwide.  "Home sales are at about the same level as they were 10 years ago, yet the population has grown by 25 million people and we have over 10 million more jobs,"  he said.

"The housing market has been under performing by historical standards, partly because buyers were hampered by mortgage availability issues, but that's improved and an upturn is likely."

In the opinion of Kay Wirth, President of the Illinois Association of Realtors,  "The Illinois housing market showed some positive signs of stabilizing in May, with a sizable jump in sales from the previous month and the fourth consecutive month-to-month increase."

Many economists surveyed feel the soft economy will stall a housing sector rebound in the near future.  Others, however, are somewhat more optimistic.

"I think we are close to a bottom," says Lehman Brothers Holdings Economist Michelle Meyer. "Sales will probably fall another 5 percent or 10 percent before bottoming by the end of the summer. It will be a feeble recovery, we will kind of bounce along the bottom."

Here in the North and Northwest Sides of Chicago Neighborhoods we serve frequently, inventory of homes for sale exceeds 27 months.  This high level of supply is more than four times the generally-accepted stable-market level of 6 months supply.  Inventory levels closer to Downtown Chicago and The Loop are far lower - just over 14 months in The Loop and Near North Neighborhoods of Chicago.  (Data drawn from Chicago MLS Statistics).

Looking at the data around Chicago indicates that some home buyers are beginning to buy new homes, condos, and investment property.  However, market balance in our area may still be months away.

See our post from yesterday evening @ BlogChicagoHomes.com, with links to detailed coverage in Friday's Chicago Tribune, for more info.

DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

Comment balloon 0 commentsDean Moss • June 29 2008 07:28AM
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