4 Market Trends To Watch 

by Peter Thomas Ricci


The Illinois Association of Realtors unleashed its latest market analysis in April, which covered Chicagoland’s housing market numbers through March.

Here are the four main takeaways from the report:

1. Home sales are still falling – Though the weather may be improving now, Chicagoland’s home sales numbers in March, which stem from contracts signed in January and February, still showed a decline of 11.1 percent from March 2013, while in the city of Chicago, home sales were down 6.5 percent year-over-year.

2. Home prices are still rising – However, because inventory remains tight and demand high, home prices continue to increase. In Chicagoland, prices increased 12.9 percent, while in the suburbs and the city, prices rose 17.7 and 26.7 percent, respectively.

3. There are definite positive trends – Although the home-sale decreases are the third such declines in as many months, there are signs that Chicagoland’s housing market is heading in the right direction. Not only did time on market drop 13.3 percent year-over-year to 72 days, but as Geoffrey J.D. Hewings of the University of Illinois’ Regional Economics Applications Laboratory noted, the market seems well poised for spring.

“Although the annual sales rates have declined, the month-to-month changes continue to be strongly positive,” Hewings said. “In addition, positive housing price gains, continuing declines in the foreclosure inventory levels and the increasing share of sales of homes priced above $200,000 suggest a housing market that is responding positively to signals from the economy.”

4. Local variation persists – Finally, given that this is an enormous metropolitan area, there were certainly markets that saw strong home sale increases in March, namely: Prospect Heights, where sales rose 100 percent; Rolling Meadows, where they jumped 60 percent; and Lisle, where they soared a whopping 275 percent.

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