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DESPITE REBOUND IN HOME SALES NATIONALLY, Chicago Home Sales Off Considerably Versus Year Ago!

CITY OF CHICAGO HOME SALES DOWN 40.4% IN FEBRUARY, 2009 VERSUS FEBRUARY, 2008!  MEDIAN HOME PRICE OFF 27.4%!

Amid some encouraging news at the national level, local home sales numbers seem to paint a far different picture.

According to the National Association of Realtors data released yesterday, as summarized in Kelly Evans and Justin Linhart's story in today's Wall Street Journal, aggregate resales of single-family homes and condominiums climbed 5.1% in February versus January, to an annualized 4.72 Million Units - in part to a resurgent interest from first-time homebuyers.  Many first-time buyers can take advantage of a new $8,000 direct tax credit when they buy.

However, roughly 45% of these sales were foreclosures and short sales - distressed properties selling at a substantially discounted amount.

Across the U.S., the median price of homes sold fell 15.5% between February, 2008 and this past February - from $195,800 in February, 2008, to $165,400 last month.   With so many homes selling at discount prices, builders of new homes, and those with higher priced resales in the same neighborhoods, are priced too high for the market.  This further weakens the housing sector overall, and dampens chances for a housing market revival.

Quoting data from James P. Millers article in yesterday's Chicago Tribune, in Chicago, only 841 homes closed last month, compared to 1,412 one year ago in February.  That represents a 40.4% drop from year-ago levels.  The current City of Chicago Median Price for houses and condos now stands at $218,250, versus $290,000 one year ago.

Figures across the State of Illinois for the same period show units sold down 27.8% year over year.  Statewide median home prices are down 20.8% - from $177,950 in February, 2008, to $141,000 one year later.

The Illinois Association of Realtors blames low confidence in the economy last month, coupled with fear of continued high unemployment, for the continued housing doldrums.  Many potential buyers are waiting to see if things improve before stepping in to the housing market.

However, according to IAR President Pat Calan, a continued erosion of unsold inventory, even at discounted prices, will lead to stabilization in home prices overall, and eventually lead to housing market recovery locally.

Read more in the articles we cited.

DEAN MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 10:35 AM by Dean's Team

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