Chicago Homes Sales, Prices Continue Gains in June

July 26, 2013

Chicago home salesThe Chicago-area’s housing market continued its recovery last month, as a steep drop in inventory continued to push June prices up to levels not seen in at least three years.

Sales of existing single-family homes and condominiums in the nine-county Chicago area last month totaled 11,103 properties sold, at a median price of $206,000, the Illinois Association of Realtors reported Monday. While slightly lower than May’s sales volume, the number of homes sold rose 18.7 percent from June 2012.

Meanwhile, at $206,000, the median area price was the highest one recorded for any month since July 2009’s $214,000, and comes as demand for the low inventory of homes available for sale not only is nudging prices higher but also is slashing the time it takes to sell a home. In June 2012, the median price of homes sold was $182,000.

While fewer homes also were sold in the City of Chicago last month than in May, the 2,623 properties sold was a 12.5 percent gain from a year ago. June’s median price of $254,900 was the best single month for prices in Chicago since October 2008 and the best June since 2008.

The median price of a condo sold within Chicago rose 14.5 percent from a year ago, to $286,750.

“We’re really starting to hit the mark,” said Zeke Morris, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors. “We’re still having some problems in some neighborhoods but overall things are really starting to come around. We still have neighborhoods where people are seriously underwater.”

A low inventory of homes available for sale is dramatically cutting the number of days it takes to sell a property, in addition to pushing prices higher.

For instance, in Cook County, where there were 40 percent fewer homes listed for sale than a year ago, it took an average of 61 days for a home to go under contract. That compares with 81 days a year ago.

Also helping pricing is continued declines in the number of homes that are entering the foreclosure process.

Auctions of foreclosed properties soared in the Chicago area last month, as banks pushed existing foreclosures through the court system, but the number of new foreclosure cases filed was down 39 percent from May and down almost 70 percent from June 2012, according to RealtyTrac.

Distressed sales composed about 28 percent of homes sold within the city in June, according to data supplied to the Chicago Association of Realtors by Midwest Real Estate Data LLC, the local multiple listing service provider. A year ago, foreclosures and short sales comprised almost 36 percent of the sales volume.

“Foreclosures may return to pre-recession levels in 1 to 1.5 pears from now, rather than 2 to 2.5 years,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of University of Illinois’ regional economics applications laboratory. “That’s going to be very important to support pricing recovery.”

Statewide, the number of homes listed for sale in the multiple listing service was down 27.4 percent from a year ago, and as a result, the time it took to sell a home was an average of 76 days. A year ago, it took an average of 95 days.

This article was originally published in the Chicago Tribune on July 22, 2013.

About The Author

Read All Stories By Chicago Tribune