Chicago Real Estate Market Statistics
Like the rest of the country, 2007 was a tough year for real estate in Chicago – at least in comparison with the growth of recent years. The housing downturn resulted from a number of factors, but the primary culprits were predatory lenders and “subprime” loans, which resulted in unprecedented foreclosure rates in cities around the country.
The Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR) also determined that the downturn would probably continue in 2008, as the median sales price was down 4.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007. Chicago area foreclosures spiked in November of 2007 with about 1750 filings, but there have been signs of steady decline in foreclosure since then.
In January of 2008, the median statewide price for a home was $189,400, which is down 5.3 percent from $199,897 a year before, according to the IAR. However, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, condo and single-family home sales within the Chicago Loop and the city’s Near North Side bucked the trend increased in 2007 by double digits, while many of the city’s outlying regions were more consistent with national and statewide trends.
If there’s a silver lining to the troubled real estate market, it’s that now – more than any other time in the past decade – Chicago truly is a “buyer’s market.” Part of the reason that it makes sense to buy now is that while sales declined in the in the fourth economic quarter, construction has continued all over the city. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, more than 3,500 unsold condos that are under construction in downtown Chicago will be completed by 2010; combined with the foreclosures of 2007, the Chicago area housing supply is much higher than the demand, which suggests that prices have got to drop.
In addition to the unusually low prices for condos that can currently be found around Illinois, the inventory of available condos is much richer than it has been in recent years, meaning that buyers are being given more and better selection than they have encountered in a very long time.
Another reason that the current state of the market is favorable to buyers is because nationwide 15- and 30-year fixed-rate loans are currently much lower than they have been in recent years, hovering around 6 percent in January and February of 2008.
Whichever way you look at it, it seems probable that the national and statewide housing markets will rebound in the spring and summer of 2008, so it would probably be wise to take advantage of the current conditions before the market corrects itself.