Chicago Home Prices Up Yearly, Down Monthly in February Case-Shiller

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Chicago posted year-over-year increases in the February Case-Shiller, and though monthly prices were down, they mirrored prices in eight other major cities.


There was good news and bad news for Chicago home prices in the latest Case-Shiller report from Standard & Poor’s, with home prices in the Windy City posting both negative and positive returns.

From January to February (the most recent month of data from S&P), Chicago home prices declined 0.8 percent, though admittedly, eight of the 20 major metropolitan markets tracked by S&P also showed negative price growth for those months, and home prices do typically decline in the earlier months of the year. Moreover, Chicago home prices were up 5.1 percent from February 2012, though that was the second weakest yearly increase in the nation; only New York, at 1.9 percent, was slower.

National Home Price Scenario Continues to Improve

Nationally, however, home prices exceeded expectations in the February Case-Shiller:

  • From January to February, the 10- and 20-City Composites saw prices increases of 0.4 and 0.3 percent, respectively.
  • Yearly, the gains were quite impressive, with home prices rising 8.6 percent for the 10-City Composite and 9.3 percent for the 20-City Composite.
  • Overall, home prices of February 2013 were back to their autumn 2003 levels, though peak-to-current declines for the indexes remain in the 29-30 percent range.
  • Also, all 20 metropolitan areas saw their home prices rise by yearly measures, and 10 reported double-digit yearly returns.

David M. Blitzer – Home Prices Show “Solid Increases”

David M. Blitzer, the chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said housing continues to defy the broader economic trends and put up strong numbers.

“Home prices continue to show solid increases across all 20 cities,” Blitzer said. “The 10- and 20-City Composites recorded their highest annual
growth rates since May 2006; seasonally adjusted monthly data show all 20 cities saw higher prices for two months in a row – the last time that happened was in early 2005.

“Despite some recent mixed economic reports for March,” Blitzer continued, “housing continues to be one of the brighter spots in the economy. The 2013 first quarter GDP report shows that residential investment accelerated from the 2012 fourth quarter and made a positive contribution to growth.”

And even here in Chicago, the news is not uniformly disappointing. Jack Persin, the managing broker for Ryan Hill Realty in Naperville, works in markets across Will County, and he said activity and pricing are both rising at optimistic levels in the present market.

“As homes come to the market, I am seeing multiple offers; pricing continues to show positive a trend,” Persin said. “My May projections are off the charts.”

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