By Peter Ricci
Chicago led the nation in the latest Case-Shiller Home Price Indices from Standard & Poor’s, with home prices for the city rising by 4.5 percent from April to May and showing the best monthly appreciation of all 20 metropolitan areas surveyed in the study.
After a 2.5 percent price decline from February to March, prices in Chicago had risen 1.1 percent from March to April, and now with two consecutive months of price increases, it would seem that prices may have finally bottomed in the Windy City.
The Case-Shiller was also quite positive nationally, increasing 2.2 percent from April to May for both the 10- and 20-City Composites. Seventeen of the 20 metropolitan areas saw their annual returns increase in May, and not a single city posted new lows in the month.
David M. Blitzer, the chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said the latest Case-Shiller continues a positive seasonal trend for prices, though he preached caution for the rest of 2012
“With May’s data, we saw a continuing trend of rising home prices for the spring,” Blitzer said. “We have observed two consecutive months of increasing home prices and overall improvements in monthly and annual returns; however, we need to remember that spring and early summer are seasonally strong buying months, so this trend must continue throughout the summer and into the fall.”
“June data for existing home sales, new home sales, housing starts and mortgage default rates were a bit mixed, but all are better than their year-ago levels,” Blitzer continued. “The housing market seems to be stabilizing, but we are definitely in a wait-and-see mode for the next few months.”
And as great as Chicago’s performance was in May, we did just report yesterday on new city initiatives to combat negative equity throughout Cook County – but what’s your take? Are we seeing a momentary, albeit positive, blip for Chicagoland real estate, or after years of decline, are we finally on the path for a new, sustainable real estate recovery?