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October Home Sales in Metro Chicago Market Show Price Stabilization

by Chicago Agent

Home prices in the metropolitan Chicago real estate market reached somewhat firmer ground in October even as the volume of homes changing hands continued to decline.  Both the median and average price of homes sold in the seven-county metro area were higher for October than during the previous month, while transaction volume was 14 percent lower than in September.

The average price of a home sold in October was $243,077, compared to $238,592 in September and $243,043 in October of last year.  The median price (where half of homes sold cost more and half cost less) was $178,000, up from $176,000 in September but down from $190,000 a year earlier.

“The housing market is certainly presenting a mixed picture right now,” said Jim Merrion, regional director of the RE/MAX Northern Illinois real estate network.  “Broadly speaking, home prices showed some improvement in October, but that is largely attributable to the detached home segment. Prices for attached homes didn’t hold up as well, in large part because demand for those units clearly has sagged in the last half of this year when the tax credit ended.  During the first six months of 2010, attached units accounted for 36.4 percent of all home sales, but in October that fell to 34 percent.”

Merrion attributes a good portion of the increased price stability to declining mortgage interest rates.

“With rates at their lowest in 50 years or more, home affordability is higher than it has been in several decades.  Buyers remain extremely value oriented, and with lower interest rates, they can comfortably get a bit more home for less money,” he said.
Home sales transactions in the metro area totaled 4,623 units in October, compared to 5,264 in September and 7,310 in October of last year.  The year-to-year decline in sales was 36.8 percent.

Sales of distressed properties, which are marketed as either foreclosures or short sales, accounted for 37 percent of all transactions in October, down from 43 percent in September.

“The recent problems in the foreclosure market that resulted from concerns about the accuracy of paperwork by some lenders have reduced the number of foreclosure sales in October,” said Merrion.  “That, in turn, contributed to the relatively sharp decline in sales activity.  We anticipate that the problems with foreclosures will be addressed expeditiously, and at this time I don’t expect them to have a major impact beyond the current quarter.”

He noted that another interesting aspect of the current market was that even as transaction volume has fallen during the second half of the year, the average time spent on the market by homes that do sell has remained fairly consistent.

“For the metro market, the average was 165 days in October, compared to 166 a year earlier and 159 days in September.  Homes sell just about as fast right now as they did a year ago, even when you look at all seven counties individually,” he said.
Here are October home sales data for the seven counties in the metro area and the City of Chicago with results compared to October 2009:

Cook: Total sales: 2,674 units (down 37.1 percent), average price $245,325 (down 1 percent).  Detached homes: 1,543 units sold (down 33.4 percent), average price $245,597 (up 1 percent).  Attached sales: 1,131 units (down 41.5 percent), average price $245,027 (down 3.7 percent).

DuPage: Total sales: 523 units (down 37.8 percent), average price $287,753 (up 4 percent).  Detached homes: 367 units sold (down 29.6 percent), average price $340,794 (up 0.5 percent).  Attached sales: 156 units (down 51.2 percent), average price $162,969 (down 6.3 percent).

Kane: Total sales: 333 units (down 26 percent), average price $195,034 (down 2.2 percent).  Detached homes: 265 units sold (down 23.9 percent), average price $208,236 (down 0.4 percent).  Attached sales: 68 units (down 33.3 percent), average price $143,586 (down 14 percent).

Kendall: Total sales: 87 units (down 44.6 percent), average price $193,530 (up 6.7 percent).  Detached homes: 68 units sold (down 35.8 percent), average price $217,124 (up 6.3 percent).  Attached sales: 19 units (down 62.7 percent), average price $109,091 (down 18.5 percent).

Lake: Total sales: 446 units (down 27.5 percent), average price $278,136 (down 0.9 percent).  Detached homes: 353 units sold (down 24.7 percent), average price $309,170 (up 0.5 percent).  Attached sales: 93 units (down 36.3 percent), average price $160,339 (down 17.2 percent).

McHenry: Total sales: 198 units (down 39.3 percent), average price $201,012 (up 3.4 percent).  Detached homes: 156 units sold (down 31 percent), average price $210,663 (up 2.7 percent).  Attached sales: 30 units (down 53.8 percent), average price $146,965 (down 2.9 percent).

Will: Total sales: 362 units (down 46.1 percent), average price $197,619 (down 2.5 percent).  Detached homes: 282 units sold (down 44.4 percent), average price $216,289 (down 1 percent).  Attached sales: 80 units (down 51.5 percent), average price $131,808 (down 14.3 percent).

Chicago: Total sales: 1,251units (down 40.1 percent), average price $264,483 (down 2.4 percent).  Detached homes: 579 units sold (down 32.7 percent), average price $214,887 (down 0.9 percent).  Attached sales: 672 units (down 45.2 percent), average price $307,216 (down 0.5 percent).

For more information, visit www.illinoisproperty.com.

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