Reports indicate a slow improvement for Chicago housing market

Real estate in Chicago has lagged significantly behind the rest of the country in its housing market recovery, according to recent reports. Studies and evaluations of Chicago housing have been indicating that the city is the No. 1 city for foreclosures in the country, that the median home price is still down and that many improvements Chicago does make are far behind national recovery trends.

"The housing market in the Chicago area is getting better, in accordance with improving conditions nationwide, but it's still broken," reporter David Roeder wrote in his recent article for the Chicago Sun-Times. "Its problem is that it is broken in many places, and healing will take, well, how long?"

The Sun-Times cited Deavay Tyler, executive vice president of A & D Property Services, a company that manages foreclosed properties for lenders on the south side of Chicago. Tyler estimates that the recovery won't really come for another 10 to 20 years, and believes that the market still doesn't really know where the bottom is. However, he said that sellers getting more realistic about asking prices is a positive sign, but that delays that come from the judicial process for foreclosure activity in the state of Illinois will put Chicago roughly a year or two behind national recovery trends.

The latest version of the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which covered the month of July, indicated that home prices were up in Chicago when compared with June for the fourth month in a row. However, the index also indicated that when compared with July 2011, home prices are actually down.

There does appear to more good news on the horizon for Chicago, as the new Federal Housing Administration rules have loosened the association requirements, meaning a greater number of Chicago condominiums can now qualify for mortgage financing insured by the FHA.

A recent article in the Chicago Tribune cited Steve Stenger, president of Condo Approval Professionals LLC saying, "The new requirements will make it easier to buy, sell and refinance condominium units. the real estate market in Chicago is better than in many areas of the country, but there is still a lot of recovery that needs to be going on."

The Sun-Times reported chief economist at Northern Trust Corp Carl Tannenbaum predicts that the Chicago housing market has indeed turned a corner but warns people not to assume the slow housing market recovery is going to drive forward economic growth. Despite warnings and speculative interpretation of the housing market conditions, no one is arguing against the idea that now is a great time to buy a home. With a little patience, it could wind up being a very profitable endeavor.