Friday, April 27, 2012

Chicago Home Sales Experience Bump, but Prices Still Low

According to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago-area home sales experienced a boost this March, but actual home prices are still lagging.  In fact, prices hit new housing-bubble lows, and Chicago is one of several markets experiencing the most severe lows.  While it is positive news that homes sales are up in our area, the Oak Park foreclosure lawyers at the Emerson Firm know many Chicagoland residents still are concerned about the stability of the economy and are worried about the possibility of mortgage foreclosure or bankruptcy.

Though home sales are up consumers and investors likely jumped on bargain deals, purchasing properties at prices considerably lower than the value of those homes prior to the burst of the housing bubble.  Some real estate agents have expressed cautious optimism about the encouraging sign of increased home sales.  For example, Loretta Alonzo, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors, stated that the numbers may represent a “turning point” provided there is not an “influx of foreclosures” flooding the market or any other drastic events that potentially could cause buyers to hesitate.

In the city of Chicago alone, March home sales rose 12.1%, with the median price at $171,750, a 5.2 % increase from a year ago.  Condominium sales in Chicago also increased.  Just under 1,000 condos were sold in March, an increase of almost 20% from a year ago.  The median price was $213,250, 4% higher than in March 2011.  It is likely that investors are particularly interested in snapping up city properties that would typically be significantly more expensive and that could still be rented at fairly lucrative rates.

In the greater Chicago area, sales of single-family homes and condominiums rose 23.8% from a year ago.  The median price was $151,850, down almost 4% from March 2011.

So, some prices have declined while others have risen.  Although many real estate agents have expressed optimism, many also have suggested that more time is needed before an accurate assessment of the state of housing market can be made.  More data is needed before it is apparent whether home values have actually stabilized. 

RE/MAX, the international real estate company, reported that distressed property sales accounted for 46% of the transactions in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties, in contrast with 52% in February and 51% in January.

The attorneys at the Emerson Firm are skilled and knowledgeable in the area of Oak Park and River Forest mortgage foreclosure and bankruptcy.  However, we are also happy to advise you regarding any real estate concerns or questions you many have.  Consider speaking with an Illinois real estate lawyer before the purchase or sale of your home because it is probably the largest financial transaction you will ever undertake.  In the past decade, our office has successfully completed more than 800 real estate transactions, including short sales, condominium conversion projects, FSBOs (for sale by owner), and first time home purchases.  You can be sure you can trust our experienced real estate attorneys to assist you with your real estate needs.

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1 comment:

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