A report in today’s Chicago Tribune says that will Chicago home sales increased in February–by as much as 41.5 percent for single-family homes and condominiums–the average sale price was down to 19.3 percent from February 2009, to $176,500.
Those numbers just apply to homes within the Chicago city limits. Taking the metro area into account, the median price fell 10.3 percent to $165,000. Sales were up by 32 percent from the previous February.
Sales volume has improved for eight straight months in the metro area and six straight months in the city itself.
What does this all mean for buyers and sellers? Well, like other real estate news that has been released over the past few months, it’s a mixed bag. The data suggests that buyers looking for deals are finding them–and sellers are taking what they can get. The uptick in overall volume suggests that buyers have been lured out of hiding by the thought of snagging a deal–and by the federal tax credits that the government has offered to spur buying. It also might mean the economy is improving ever so slowly.
For sellers, it means that most homeowners aren’t going to get what they want–it’s a buyer’s market. Some sellers may have also been in a hurry to sell, due to being relocated for work or family reasons. The article doesn’t mention the effect of foreclosures and short sales, but that likely plays a part in the lower median sale price. Not only might those units sell for less than they’re worth, but too many foreclosures in one neighborhood or building could drive down prices for other units that are on sale.
We’ll keep you posted on further changes in the market as we head into summer, which is often a strong buying season. With the economy slowly rebounding, it will be interesting to chart the changes.
[Source: Chicago Tribune]