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LATEST CHICAGO AREA HOME SALES NUMBERS NOT PRETTY!

JUNE CHICAGO IL HOME RESALES DOWN 28% VERSUS LAST YEAR - BUT THERE ARE POCKETS OF RENEWED INTEREST!

Here in the Chicago Metro Area, home resales and median selling prices dropped in June, indicating challenges may lie ahead before the area housing market here begins to rebound.  In some communities, however, interest in homes and condos seems to be increasing - although home prices and the rapidity of sales is far from the robust levels during the housing boom of a couple of years ago.

Versus June, 2007, housing resales in the nine-county Chicago Metro Area were off 27.9% last month, to a total of 7,656 units sold.  The median sales price of homes and condos in the area fell 3.3% over the past year - to its current $256,000 median, from its $264,700 median price one year ago.

Median home and condo prices were off a more modest 0.9% in Cook County alone over the past year.  Last month, the median Cook County home and condo price was $274,500, versus $277,000 in June, 2007.  (Cook County includes the City of Chicago).

Across the State of Illinois, home and condo resales fell 27.0%, with the median price tumbling 6.1%, to $200,000, from year-ago figures.

"Economic factors have weighed heavily on home sales activity in Illinois this summer," said Kay Wirth, President of the Illinois Association of Realtors. "Low consumer confidence, higher gas and food prices, plus turmoil in the financial markets and a tighter credit market have kept some would-be buyers on the sidelines."

There are large market variations state wide, and even between neighborhoods and communities, especially in Chicago.  Downstate Macon and Peoria Counties experienced resale growth over the past year - 28% and 11.3% respectively.  Kendall County, on the fringes of the Chicago Suburban Area, showed 5.4% growth in resales since June, 2007.

Although specific Chicago neighborhood figures for June, 2008 are not yet available, many close-in Chicago neighborhoods are seeing strong activity and showings, at the expense of more distant city neighborhoods and some suburbs. 

For example, many condo listings in areas such as Lincoln Park and The Chicago Loop, in which Dean's Team Chicago represents either buyers or sellers, are experiencing upwards of 30 showings during their first week on market - and, often, these showings result in multiple offers.  The price levels of these offers, however, is often less than the list price of the home or condo.

Geoffrey J.D. Howlings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois, predicts continuing declines in home sales during the Third Quarter, 2008, compared with the same period last year.  He expects "price declines comparing year-to-year will be more moderate in Chicago at around 3.5 percent and 5.5 percent in the state."

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central Region of the U.S., including the Chicago Metro Area, was 6.38 percent last month, up 0.34 points from the 6.04 average rate the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).  Last June the same rate averaged 6.69 percent.

Today's lower rates, however, apply only to those home borrowers with top credit scores, financial credentials, and substantial down payments (20% or more).  Those with modest scores and lower down payments may be charged a higher interest rate, closing points, or additional fees.

Sales data for comparison comes from local Multiple Listing Service Data, and compiled figures from the Illinois Association of Realtors and local Realtor Associations.

See Margaret O'Brien's story in today's Chicago Tribune for more info.

DEAN MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2008 3:26 PM by Dean's Team

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