Chicago Home Sales Inch Up Last Month
Illinois’ housing market experienced the third consecutive month of positive gains in April. Sales of single-family homes and condos rose 8.5% last month and median price went up 4.7% from the month of March, according to statistics from the Illinois Association of Realtors. The city of Chicago also experienced an uptick in April – existing home sales grew 1% and median price showed an improvement of 7.6 percent.
There were 1,464 residential real estate sales in Chicago during the month of April. This is up from 1,450 sales in March (1% increase). As the number of purchases inched upward last month, median price also edged higher. In April, the median price for a home in Chicago was $205,500 (up from $191,000 in March). These sales figures are still well below last year’s totals, however, industry analysts expect to see statewide year-over-year gains by mid-summer.
The condo market in Chicago is already doing better than last year when it comes to real estate values. Median price for a condominium in the city went up to $290,000 in April, which is a significant jump from April, 2010 when attached properties cost $278,012 per unit. Chicago Association of Realtors Board of Directors President Mabel Guzman believes the rise in price is a result of a competitive distressed market (i.e. large inventory of foreclosures, short sales and REO properties). Low mortgage interest rates and “more bang for your buck” have also motivated house hunters to pull the trigger on purchasing a home now.
Last year at this time, the federal tax credit was helping to light a fire under buyers – this year, Americans are incentivized by the opportunity to get a lot more for their money. Affordability is the best it has been in decades. Current conditions put homeownership within reach for first-time buyers and “move-up” properties within budget for current owners. Illinois realtor groups caution that affordability may not be this good for long though as interest rates are anticipated to rise and higher down payment requirements are proposed for the future.