Chicago housing market makes a comeback

It's no secret that the Chicago housing market has been lagging somewhat behind national recovery trends. However, recent reports have indicated a national housing market comeback, with real estate in Chicago no exception as sales soar.

The Chicago Tribune cited data in an article on September 19 that revealed Chicago area existing home sales were higher in August than in the 59 preceding months. The source indicated, however, that while property sales are up, and the number of homes for sale on the market is down, the Chicago market still has nearly three years of inventory to absorb so is not yet seeing a significant rise in median prices.

Gene Amromin, a senior financial economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, told the Tribune, "It just takes time. We're in the process of a very slow recovery. We're off the bottom and we're beginning to inch forward. It's going to be a matter of resolving these distressed sales."

"Many of the properties have been on for some time and (sellers) have finally recognized the prices they would have gotten prior to 2008 aren't there anymore," Amromin continued. "Instead of waiting for the market to come to them, they're going to reach the market."

Another article in the Tribune noted that housing is making a comeback on a national level. The Tribune cited the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index, which rose nationally in July for the fourth month in a row. Chicago actually outpaced national statistics, with home prices rising 2.7 percent while the national increase was 1.6 percent. The Tribune also indicated that home builders reported stronger earnings and a higher demand for new housing at this time.

The Tribune reported, "Overall, there is improvement in the housing markets across the nation, and that comes as a tremendous relief. The effect on the broader economy stands to help everyone."

According to the news publication, the No. 1 source of wealth for many households is the home. When home values decrease, consumer confidence decreases along with it, which causes owners to take fewer risks and spend less. This generally results in slow economic growth. With housing on the rise across the nation and in Chicago, people can expect to see a continuing economic recovery.