Chicago-area home sales up, prices down in February

08:29, March 24, 2010      

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Sales of existing homes in Chicago recorded the sixth consecutive month of year-over-year improvement in February, but the prices went down, the Chicago Tribune reported on Tuesday.

In the past six months, the median sales price in Chicago has plummeted 21.6 percent to 176,500 dollars in February from 225,000 dollars in September 2009, according to data from the Illinois Association of Realtors. For the Chicago area as a whole, the median sales price has dropped 17 percent to 165,000 dollars last month from 199,000 dollars in September 2009.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Association of Realtors reported on Monday that February sales of existing single-family homes and condos in the Chicago area rose 32 percent last month compared with the same month a year ago. It was the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year sales-volume improvement. Compared with a year ago, the median price fell 10.3 percent.

Within Chicago, sales posted a 41.5-percent increase in February over the year-ago period, representing a sixth consecutive month of year-over-year gains. Sales of Chicago condos rose 44 percent. The February median price for the city as a whole was down 19.3 percent year over year, and down 10.7 percent for condos.

The growing disconnect between sales volume and price is a concern for homeowners looking to list their home for sale this spring, real estate agents say.

Housing analysts have long said that home values would not begin to stabilize until the market clears some of the foreclosure inventory. However, there is increasing anecdotal evidence that a new wave of foreclosures is headed to the housing market, as troubled homeowners fall out of loan-modification programs and lenders foreclose on those homes.

Chicago's distressed sales mirror national trends. Last month, 48.1 percent of sales nationally were of distressed property, according to Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance's monthly real estate survey released on Monday.

Source: Xinhua
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