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Chicago Real Estate Shows Life in 2012, Sales Up 26.7 Percent

by Peter Thomas Ricci

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The Chicago real estate market ended 2012 on a high note, with home sales increasing 26.7 percent over 2011.

The Chicago real estate market showed considerable signs of life in 2012, with year-end home sales totaling 90,365, a 26.7 percent increase from 2011, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors.

Homes sales in December were similarly strong, increasing 19.2 percent from December 2011; the Chicago real estate market, as measured by IAR, encompasses the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Chicago Real Estate Market – Strong in December

Also encouraging was IAR’s numbers on median home price. Though Chicago real estate has experienced some turbulence as of late with its home prices, median price was up 4.5 percent year-over-year in December, though for all of 2012 it was down 1.5 percent. Some of IAR’s information specific to the city of Chicago included:

  • The Windy City saw a 14.6 percent increase year-over-year home sales in December, with home sales for all of 2012 increasing 22.4 percent over 2011.
  • Condo home sales also showed improvement, increasing 17.7 percent in December.
  • Interestingly, though the nine-county Chicago area experienced soft home price increases, the city of Chicago posted some very strong numbers, with median price rising 19.4 percent in December year-over-year and 5.7 percent for all of 2012; for Cook County, median price was up 7.7 percent.
  • The Mainstreet Organization of Realtors (MORe) also reports that single-family home sales in suburban Chicago were positive in December; according to MORe, the sales of single-family detached homes were up 17.1 percent year-over-year in December, with 2012’s sales up 26.4 percent from 2011.
  • And finally, new housing inventory numbers from MRED complement IAR’s data. According to MRED, the volume of properties for sale at the end of 2012 was only half that of 2010; though the MLS does expect inventory to grow slowly in the coming year, the radical decline in housing inventory is surely a sign of an improving market.

Zeke Morris – Chicago Real Estate Defying Seasonal Trends

Zeke Morris, the president of the Chicago Association of Realtors, said that the strong market activity in December defied traditional market trends (something we just reported on yesterday, in fact!).

“December showed positive indicators across the board at the height of the holiday season, which is typically a quiet time for home sales,” Morris said. “In addition, the 18.9 percent decrease in market time from the same time in 2011 shows a continued clearing of inventory, of both single-family homes and condominiums, which should prompt action among buyers and sellers and continue to promote home price stabilization.”

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