Chicago real estate market on the verge of comeback

Real estate in Chicago, IL, has seen an increase in sales and values over the past month, indicating the area may be on the verge of sustained recovery. A recent analysis of March 2012 home sales activity in the Greater Chicago area shows a marked increase in sales activity in the first quarter, and these transactions are impacting overall home prices.

Combined sales of detached and attached homes in the area were 6,501 units, up 22 percent in March from a year ago and 37 percent higher than February, according to the report. Distressed sales, short sales and foreclosed homes represented approximately 46 percent of the March 2012 numbers, compared to 52 percent of sales in February and 51 percent in January.

The latest numbers show a transitional period in Chicago real estate, as sales rates and apartment vacancies rise concurrently. According to the report, the median sales price for all homes in Chicago came in at $153,100, up 12.6 percent from February. With more people looking to buy, Chicago may see citizens moving from apartments to newly purchased homes. According to Q1 RentJuice Rent Index for Chicago, the city expects to see 47 percent of rent listings to go on the market by May 2012, which may be a direct result of increased buying activity in the area.