Feb
28

Chicago Home Prices at Lowest Point in Over a Decade

February 28, 2012

Last year was not a good one for the housing industry, and the statistics are still coming out to prove it. Here’s one: Metro Chicago real estate prices fell more in December than almost any city in the country.

house with an arrow as a roof pointing down.According to the Standard & Poor/Case-Shiller home price index, Chicago-area home prices fell 2 percent in the final month of 2011. It was the fourth straight drop in home values, and only Detroit posted a bigger decline at 3.8 percent.

Metro Chicago home prices have now dropped nearly 35 percent from their peaks back in 2006 and are at levels not seen since April of 2001.

Across the country, the index has fallen 33.8 percent since the housing peak in 2006.

Nationwide, index dropped 3.8 percent in December and was down 4 percent on the year. The 10-City and 20-City Composite each fell 1.1 percent in December while posting year-over-year annual returns of -3.8 percent and -4.0 percent respectively.

That puts all three composites at new record lows.

“In terms of prices, the housing market ended 2011 on a very disappointing note,” said David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices.

“While we thought we saw some signs of stabilization in the middle of 2011, it appears that neither the economy nor consumer confidence was strong enough to move the market in a positive direction as the year ended.”

When compared to December 2010, home prices in the Chicago area fell 6.5 percent in December 2011. The only cities to post bigger declines were Atlanta, down 12.8 percent, and Las Vegas, down 8.8 percent.

Blitzer said the experts had thought the worst was over until this new data was released.

“After a prior three years of accelerated decline, the past two years has been a story of a housing market that is bottoming out but has not yet stabilized. Up until today’s report we had believed the crisis lows for the composites were behind us,” he said.

“The pick-up in the economy has simply not been strong enough to keep home prices stabilized. If anything it looks like we might have reentered a period of decline as we begin 2012.”

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