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THE "MAGIC BULLET?" WHAT WILL FINALLY SHAKE THE CHICAGO HOUSING MARKET OUT OF THE DOLDRUMS?

CONTINUED RECORD-LOW INTEREST RATES?  TUMBLING HOUSE VALUES?  FALLING UNEMPLOYMENT?  LOWER GAS PRICES?  REDUCED DISTRESSED INVENTORY?  FOR MOST . . . "WHO KNOWS!"

Here in IL, the rate of Home Foreclosures continues to drop.  According to Ivrine CA-based Realty Trac, as discussed in the August 11th edition of the Chicago Tribune, all foreclosure activity fell 3.5% in July versus June, 2011, and stands nearly 46% lower than July, 2010.  According to the Realty Trac Report, one in every 498 homes has some sort of foreclosure action filed against it in court.

Still, in the North and Northwest Sides of Chicago Neighborhoods Dean's Team Chicago works extensively, we're often met with one out of every two properties for sale in some sort of financial distress - either in foreclosure, or at pre-foreclosure, as a Short Sale, where the seller owes more than the home is being sold for.  The problem seems more acute in certain, once-hot, neighborhoods adjacent to those many consider most desirable, and for condominiums.

For example, one popular condo building in the North Side Chicago Neighborhood of Rogers Park has nearly all of its units priced below their outstanding mortgage balances, and those in this building that have closed actually sold for 45% of their original asking prices when the older building was converted to condos in 2004!

So, here we sit, approaching the Third Quarter, 2011, and most in the know about Chicago Real Estate have little clue as to what is going to be the Magic Bullet to eventually turn our Real Estate Market around.

Mortgage Interest Rates continue to remain low - often times, approaching 4.0%, for those with strong credit and large down payments or re-fi equity.  Choices abound, even in the most chic Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs.  And many sellers, very motivated to sell - are willing to cut a bargain nearly unthinkable a few years ago.

But concerns among potential buyers persist! Are they getting the best deal?  Will prices continue to trend even lower?  Will I still have a job when the closing rolls around?  What happens when banks release the thousands of new foreclosed properties they are holding on their books?

And, one that seems the most scary to those of us working in Real Estate - is Chicago Real Estate still a good investment?  (Of course, we contend, Real Estate is THE BEST INVESTMENT, long term - having a place to live is non-negotiable!)

Most practitioners and industry experts agree - the non-stop-appreciation Glory Days of a few years ago are likely not to return soon.  But, at some point, in an improving economy, with an improving employment outlook, a stable housing market likely WILL come back.

What say you?  WHEN?  And what will be the one "Magic Bullet" to bring the Chicago Real Estate Market back?

Please share what you think!

DEAN MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

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