Chicago housing market picks up momentum

New reports indicate that Chicago's housing market is on the road to recovery. People looking at real estate in Chicago can find renewed confidence in the local market.

The Chicago Sun-Times recently cited an industry report that showed existing home sales in the Chicago metro area were up 28.5 percent in August over last year, which was the highest level it has reached since 2007. Homes sold in the Chicago metro area totaled 9,240 in August, up from 7,188 homes sold in August 2011. The last time sales soared this high was in July 2007, which saw 9,730 homes sold. While the median home price fell 3.8 percent to an estimated $170,000, the low prices appear to be attracting investors and homebuyers and spurring market momentum.

Looking at the city of Chicago, home sales rose 23.6 percent in August over August 2011, totaling 2,209 units sold. Median home price rose within city limits by 3.9 percent, valued at roughly $200,000. The source indicated that the city of Chicago has seen year-over-year increases in home prices for five of the last eight months.

The Sun-Times revealed that the local report came out on the same day a national industry report was released which indicated that national home sales are on the rise as well. The national report showed a 7.8 percent increase in sales, a 2.3 percent rise in new construction over July and an estimated 750,000 new construction projects annually.

Another industry report, from publication RealtyToday, supports these findings, indicating that August saw a 26.5 percent increase over last year for sales of attached and detached homes in the Chicago metro area, totaling 915 units. The report also revealed that the number of days a home stays on the market has significantly decreased. In August, the average was 139 days on the market, down from 165 days in August 2011.

Furthermore, the report found that the inventory of available homes is down by 3 percent when compared with last year's levels. RealtyToday explained that industry insiders believe the drop in inventory is due to the increase in sales and that the recovering Chicago market will be further aided by these conditions.

A high-profile Chicago real estate professional told the Chicago Tribune recently, "We think it's the start of the rebound. We're seeing many, many multiple offers and homes selling in a much shorter period of time. That will drive prices up."