Chicago Home Prices, Sales See Boost

June 21, 2011

Existing home sales and home prices were down in May across the country, but not in Illinois.

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales fell 3.8 percent from April to May and 6.4 percent in the Midwest.

But, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors, statewide home sales in May increased for the fourth straight month, rising 13.9 percent from April.

That improvement hit locally too. From April to May, the city of Chicago saw home sales increase 16.5 percent, while the Chicagoland area posted a 15.7 percent gain.

Our median home prices rose as well:

*City of Chicago: The median price increased to $238,450 in May; that’s a 16 percent increase from April and a 3.7 percent rise from the price in May 2010. Chicago condo prices also posted an increase, up 10.3 percent from May 2010.

*Chicagoland area: The median price in May was $169,900; that’s an increase of 4.6 percent from April, though it’s also 10.8 percent lower than last May.

*Illinois: The median home price in May was $140,000, which is also down 10.8 percent from May 2010 but is a 2.9 percent increase from April 2011.

“The trend in rising home sales and median prices is a positive direction for the housing market as a whole as the strong buyer’s market and high affordability conditions continue,” said REALTOR® Sheryl Grider Whitehurst, ABR, CRB, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

“The economic impact of a healthy housing market cannot be discounted. Just one home sale in Illinois generates $28,581 in direct expenditures made by both the seller and the buyer, according to a study by Chicago-based RCF Economic and Financial Consulting. The resulting ripple effect across multiple industries for home improvements, moving and warehousing and others adds up to $7.9 billion a year in direct and indirect expenditures fueling the Illinois economy plus 85,677 jobs.”

Our economy might continue to get a boost, for as home prices and interest rates remain low, forecasters believe we will continue to see improvements in the local housing market.

“According to our forecast, annual sales rates will turn positive for both Illinois and the Chicago region in July and August, a 22-25 percent increase statewide and 25 to 36 percent for Chicago,” said Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois. “Median prices for June, July and August are expected to be higher than May in both Illinois and the Chicago region.”

We’ll take it.

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