Summertime the Right Time for Chicago Price Gains

by Chicago Agent

Price gains in Chicago were the second best in the nation from quarter-to-quarter in Clear Capital's new index.

Chicago fared extremely well in Clear Capital’s latest Home Data Index, a monthly report that analyzes housing data in the West, Midwest, Northeast and the South coming second in the nation for quarter-over-quarter price gains.

Chicago’s gains were 13.6 percent, second only to Cleveland’s 19.2 percent. All four sectors showed quarter-over-quarter price gains, but the Midwest led the way with 7.3 percent.

Clear Capital is a research firm that provides  appraisals,property condition inspections and home data indices, among other services.

Price gains were positive nationally as well, with price gains up 4 percent from last quarter. Dr. Alex Villacorta, though, Clear Capital’s director of research and analytics, was skeptical of the positive results, seeing them as more seasonal than anything else.

“Although the summer gains appear to signal strong growth in home prices, it’s important to keep in mind that these gains are off of the record lows of winter,” Villacorta said. “With summer coming to a close and the price gains clearly starting to level off, the market is at a critical juncture as to whether it can avoid another significant downturn into the slower buying seasons of fall and winter.”

And if economic indicators are anything, waning consumer confidence may have an impact on those seasonal gains, Villacorta added. The Economic Confidence Index (ECI), for instance, which is formulated by Gallup, is currently at -49. The more positive the ECI, the better consumer confidence; inversely, the more negative the ECI, the worse.

“The latest readings on consumer confidence paint an ominous picture that at present, consumers are still not ready to risk jumping into the market despite very low mortgage rates and very affordable home prices,” Villacorta said.

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