City home sales rise for first time since 2006 Crain's Chicago Business By Staff 10-23-2009

City home sales rise for first time since 2006 Crain's Chicago Business By Staff 10-23-2009

City home sales rise for first time since 2006
Crain's Chicago Business
By Staff
October 23, 2009

Home sales in the city of Chicago posted a monthly year-over-year increase for the first time in more than three years, while sales throughout the Chicago area rose for the third straight month compared with last year, according to the Illinois Assn. of Realtors.

Below is a monthly year-over-year comparison of home sales (single-family and condo) in the nine-county Chicago area.
Month 2009 2008 Change
January 2,965 3,927 -24.5%
February 3,082 4,326 -28.8%
March 4,260 5,759 -26.0%
April 4,747 6,094 -22.1%
May 5,634 6,927 -18.7%
June 7,140 7,806 -8.5%
July 7,427 7,408 0.3%
August 7,009 6,917 1.3%
September 6,862 6,477 5.9%
Source: Illinois Assn. of Realtors
Statewide sales showed their first year-over-year rise since March 2006, the Realtors’ group said.
Meanwhile, prices continued to tumble, compared to last year. The association used the release Friday to lobby for an extension of the $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers. The credit is set to expire at the end of next month.

While some key congressional leaders support an extension of the credit, the White House is still undecided.

"Home sale gains this month show the tax credit is working and should be extended through 2010 as it is helping to stabilize home prices and creating thousands of jobs that rely on housing,” says association President Mike Onorato, broker-owner of Onorato Real Estate, which is based in Coal City, 60 miles southwest of Chicago, according to the release.

In the nine-county Chicago region, 6,862 single-family homes and condominiums were sold September, up 5.9% from 6,477 sales in September 2008, the Realtors group said. The monthly year-over-year percentage gain was the biggest of the three straight increases: Local sales rose 0.3% in July compared with July 2008 and 1.3% in August.

In the city, sales rose 5.8%, with 1,918 in September, up from 1,813 in September 2008. That was the first year-over-year increase in sales since May 2006.

Median prices fell year-over-year in the Chicago area and the city. The region’s median price — where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less — was $199,000 in September, down 10.8% from September 2008, the Realtors association said.

In the city, the median price was $225,000 in September, down 16.2% from last year.

The price declines reveal the continued influence of foreclosure auctions and short sales, where real estate is sold for less than the amount due on the mortgage.

“While we see a significant increase of sales, we continue to see distressed properties moving the marketplace," says Genie Birch, president of the Chicago Assn. of Realtors and a broker associate at Koenig & Strey GMAC Real Estate, according to the release.

The Illinois Assn. of Realtors' sales figures include new and existing homes. The nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.


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