Home sales rise in Chicago

According to one recent monthly industry report, sales of existing homes in the Chicago metropolitan area rose on a year-over-year basis in July, the Chicago Tribune reported. However, the report also indicated that the year-over-year median sales price fell. People looking at real estate in Chicago could take this report as a positive indication that the market is going in the right direction, even if it still has a bit of recovering to do.

The report revealed that in July 2012, there were 8,551 homes sold throughout the nine counties of metro Chicago, which was a 29.1 percent increase from July 2011. However, the Tribune explained that the median sales price in July 2012 was only $172,000 while it was $182,700 in July 2011. This means that the year-over-year median sales price was down roughly 5.9 percent in July.

This indicates a strong buyer's market in Chicago and could signal for people to get into the real estate market while it is still in recovery to get a deal on homes for sale in Chicago. Recent reports have been pouring in of residential and commercial real estate sales that demonstrate homes selling at significantly less than the list and purchase prices from before the recession hit six years ago.

A recent report from Crain's Chicago Business detailed that an office building in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove sold for roughly $12.6 million, which was less than half of what was paid for it in 2006 before the market took a hit. The source revealed that the 2006 sales price was nearly $28.3 million, which works out to be roughly $154 per square foot. However, the 2012 sale of the same building for $12.6 million works out to be roughly $68 per square foot.

Similar sales have been reported in residential real estate in Chicago as well. One big story in the Chicago area last month was Oprah Winfrey's Streeterville co-op sale. The Chicago-based talk show host originally purchased the co-op unit in 2006 for $5.6 million, the Chicago Tribune reported. After the home had been on and off the market over a few years, Winfrey sold the unit in July for just $2.75 million. This was just under half of the original purchase price before the market turned.