Chicago and Suburban Home Sales Keep Moving Up

July 22, 2010

The Chicago real estate market is showing signs of stabilization.

On Thursday, the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR) reported that existing home sales went up for the 10th straight month in Chicago and throughout Illinois.

According to IAR’s latest report, there were 2,526 total home sales in June 2010 in the city of Chicago; that’s a 27.5 percent increase over the 1,981 homes that sold in June 2009.

Illinois home sales increased for the 10th straight month.

“We see an increase in the number of units sold in June 2010 over the same period last year, increasing the year-to-date number of homes sold in Chicago by 41 percent for the first half of 2010 versus 2009,” said Genie Birch, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS. “We believe this is a positive indicator that Chicago’s housing market is stabilizing.”

In the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), which includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will, the year-over-year home sales increased for the 12th straight month, up 27.2 percent after 9,085 homes sold in June 2010 compared to 7,140 in June of last year.

Throughout the state, home sales were up 18.3 percent in June 2010 compared to June 2009: 13,072 Illinois homes sold compared to 11,048. Total home sales were up in 47 of 102 Illinois counties reporting.

Now, when it comes to pricing, the news isn’t as positive. The city of Chicago median home sale price last month was at $234,250, which is a 3.2 percent decrease over the $242,050 median price a year ago.

In the PMSA, the year-over-year median home price was down 1.2 percent, from $210,000 to $207,500.

Statewide, however, the median price in June 2010 was $170,000, which is a 2.5 percent increase from $165,825 in June 2009.

“Once again price changes remain more stubborn with some slight upward movement in Illinois in July and August followed by little or no change in September,” said Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois. “In the Chicago region, the changes continue to trend down in the 1 to 5 percent range.”

There were several Illinois counties that reported an increase in total sales and median prices for the month of June 2010 versus June 2009. Those counties include:

*Grundy County: Sales up 16.7 percent, median price up 11.9 percent to $175,000

*Kendall County: Sales up 11.5 percent, median price up 5.3 percent to $178,000

*LaSalle County: Sales up 1.1 percent, median price up 10.0 percent to $110,000

*Lake County: Sales up 38.8 percent, median price up 5.2 percent to $222,000

Hewings forecasts that home sales in Illinois will continue to increase through September, but says unemployment continues to be a problem.

“The economy is certainly not helping the housing market; the loss of over 200,000 temporary census jobs overwhelmed the private sector gains of 83,000,” he said. “The unemployment rate fell nationally to 9.5 percent (from 9.7 percent in May). Illinois’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate followed the national decline, dropping -0.4 point to 10.4 percent in June.”

But that’s still above the national rate.

At least we can’t attribute the Federal Home Buyer’s Tax Credit to the increase in home sales.

And that’s a positive sign.

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