Chicago Looking Toward Sunny Summer Sales
In May of 2012, the rather battered Chicago real estate market continued to record an increase in month-over-month home sales. In fact, the metro posted over an over 12% increase from April and an over 13% increase from May of 2011 in homes sold.
Also positive, Chicago shows an increase in the median sold price of its homes, up more than 10% from April 2012, and up over 8% from May of 2011. The metro also posted increases in price-per-square-foot and its sale-to-list price ratio, the latter figure indicating more sellers are getting closer to their asking price than in previous months/years.
Looking more closely within the Chicago metro area, we focus on the city of Chicago itself, which is outperforming some of the other areas that fall within the metro. In the city proper, below, the number of contracts written has pushed ahead, signifying that the future for the city could be a brighter one. If May contract activity was up over 19% over last year, we should expect sales activity to also continue upward as these contracts begin to close.
Understanding the Data
Many experts on the national real estate market caution us in reading sale increases. Keep in mind that a) pending sales from a previous may not have closed when a count of sold homes is taken. Also, keep in mind that the (now expired) tax credit for buying a home artificially raised the number of home sales in 2010; the increase logically disappeared after the tax credit disappeared, so real estate “recovery” data should be read with that event in mind.
The fact that the Chicago metro includes so many different micro-markets, and that national data is influenced by so many complicated events, means studying the market from this level can only take you so far. As a potential buyer in that area, your best bet is to work with a local Realtor® who knows the ins and outs of a particular neighborhood that interests you. No amount of generalized data can replace a local expert when it comes to relevant, useful information.
Photo via Wiki Commons/Alvesgaspar.
Anna Marie Erwert writes from both the renter and new buyer perspective, having (finally) achieved both statuses. She focuses on national real estate trends, specializing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Follow Anna on Twitter: @AnnaMarieErwert.