More snow here in Chicago tonight, slowing everyone's holiday travel plans here. Be safe in your travels over Christmas!
The dark cloud continues over home and condo sales, both here in Chicago, across Illinois, and nationally.
Figures released earlier today by the Illinois Association of Realtors for the City of Chicago indicate the sale of single family and condos sold dropped 41.3% in November as compared to 2007 numbers, while the median home and condo price fell 23.3% during the same period. The current Chicago Median Price is $222,500, down from $290,000 one year ago.
Across Illinois, units sold 33.9% versus one year ago, and the median price fell 13.2%.
The IL and local figures come on the heals of a discouraging report by the National Association of Realtors indicating a units-sold drop nationally of 8.6% in November alone, versus October, 2008. The national median home price dropped 13.2% year over year between November, 2007 and this November, to $181,300. That's the largest annual decrease in 40 years.
NAR figures indicate 4.2 Million unsold homes were on the market last month, representing a theoretical 11.2 month inventory for sale. This was up from the 10.3 month estimated national inventory in October.
But here is encouraging news!
Mortgage interest rates are down, on average, from 6.25% for a 30-Year Fixed Rate Loan in November, 2007, to a 6.13% average today. Last week, the Federal Reserve Board lowered its benchmark Fed Funds Rate to a target between 0 and 0.25%, immediately, yet temporarily, dropping average interest rates to a near-record 5.19% level for the week ending December 18th, according to data provided by U.S. Mortgage Investor and Guarantor Freddie Mac, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.
Initially, falling interest rates sparked a surge to refinance by existing homeowners. Continued lower rates could spur new purchases next year, many experts say, especially if mortgage rates fall near the 4.5% range targeted by the Fed.
Many also agree, however, that unsold inventory would have to be reduced, and the increase in home foreclosures abated, for a true housing rebound to begin.
Would you agree? What additional steps need be taken to turn the housing market, both locally and nationally, around to the positive side?
Please share your thoughts!
For more, read our post today via BlogChicagoHomes.com, with links to Alan Zibel's story in today's Chicago Tribune, as well as summary statistical information from the Illinois Association of Realtors, from their Press Release today.
DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO