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Home sales in Chicago jump 53.1% in October over 2011

Home sales rose Southllast year.

Home sales rose in the Southland last year.

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Updated: December 21, 2012 6:13AM



Home sales in Chicago spiked 53.1 percent in October from a year earlier, and the median priced jumped 8 percent, the Illinois Association of Realtors said Monday.

But the price was down 7.4 percent from September, marking the fourth straight monthly decline as foreclosures continue to impact the market.

Still, the numbers signal improvements, association representatives said.

Sales rose to 2,009 homes and the median price rose to $175,000, the association said. The median price was $162,000 a year ago and $188,900 in September.

Home sales in the Chicago metropolitan area jumped 44.1 percent in October from a year earlier to 8,326. The median price rose 2.1 percent to $153,000, but fell 4.4 percent from September, also falling for the fourth straight month.

Nationally, sales rose 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million. That’s up from 4.69 million in September, which was revised lower. The sales pace is roughly 11 percent higher than a year ago. But it remains below the more than 5.5 million that economists consider consistent with a healthy market.

Statewide, home sales rose 37.3 percent last month to 11,775. The median price rose 3 percent to $133,750.

Despite the Chicago market’s decline in the median price the past four months, the year-over-year gain was seen as impressive.

Modest recovery of employment conditions, stronger consumer confidence and continued low mortgage rates are responsible for “the solid gain in housing demand,” Geoffrey Hewings, director of the University of Illinois’ Regional Economics Applications Laboratory said.

He added year-over-year forecasts for median prices and sales are encouraging.

“The rebound we have seen so far this year is impressive by any measure,” Michael Oldenettel, president of the state association, said in a statement. “To have strong sales and median price gains as we enter the last quarter of the year is encouraging for buyers and sellers who are clearly feeling more confident about the housing market.”

The jobless rate in the state is 8.8 percent down from 10 percent in October 2011, the latest report from the Illinois Department of Employment Security showed, and Americans’ confidence in the economy surged last month to the highest level in nearly five years according to a report from the Conference Board.

Meanwhile the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit a new low last week, falling to 3.34 percent, according to Freddie Mac.



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