"You've Caught the NET!"



Good Morning, AR!

It seems, sometimes, when things begin to "feel" like they are turning around here in the Chicago Real Estate Market, the realty of the numbers hits you in the face saying "Not So Fast!"

Although, through our own personal experience, we're seeing interest and activity increase on our City of Chicago and Chicago Suburban listings over the last few weeks, the stats for the Chicago Metro Area remain somewhat grim.

Compared to June of last year, housing resales in the nine-county Chicago Metro Area were off 27.9% at the end of June, 2008, to a total of 7,656 units sold.  The median sales price of homes and condos in the area fell 3.3% over the past year - to its current $256,000 median, from its $264,700 median price one year ago.

Figures for home and condo median sales prices in Cook County itself (the City of Chicago is wholly in Cook County) were off a more modest 0.9% over the past year.  Last month, the median Cook County home and condo price was $274,500, versus $277,000 in June, 2007.  (Cook County includes the City of Chicago). 

"Economic factors have weighed heavily on home sales activity in Illinois this summer," said Kay Wirth, President of the Illinois Association of Realtors. "Low consumer confidence, higher gas and food prices, plus turmoil in the financial markets and a tighter credit market have kept some would-be buyers on the sidelines."

There are large market variations state wide, and even between neighborhoods and communities.  Downstate Macon and Peoria Counties experienced resale growth over the past year - 28% and 11.3% respectively.  Kendall County, on the distant edges of the Chicago Suburban Area, showed 5.4% growth in resales between June, 2007 and June of this year.

Within Chicago, activity on our Lincoln Park and Chicago Loop-area Listings has gained in strength over the past few weeks - but interest in more-distant neighborhoods and suburbs remains somewhat sluggish.

Geoffrey J.D. Howlings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois, predicts continuing declines in home sales during the Third Quarter, 2008, compared with the same period last year.  He expects "price declines comparing year-to-year will be more moderate in Chicago at around 3.5 percent and 5.5 percent in the state."

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central Region of the U.S., including the Chicago Metro Area, was 6.38 percent last month, up 0.34 points from the 6.04 average rate the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). 

However, the best rates are only available to those with absolutely stellar credit and asset credentials, and larger down payments, at or exceeding 20%.  Borrowers with modest credit and less-than-20% down are often assessed a higher interest rate.  They might also have to pay additional loan fees, and/or closing points.

Market data comes from local Multiple Listing Service Data, and compiled figures from the Illinois Association of Realtors and Chicago-Area and Downstate IL Realtor Associations.

For more info, check out our post from last night @ BlogChicagoHomes.com.  Here, you'll also find a link to Margaret O'Brien's story in yesterday's Chicago Tribune.


Comment balloon 0 commentsDean Moss • July 25 2008 10:42AM


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