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Chicagoland Housing Market Contradictory as Ever in September

by Peter Thomas Ricci

It was the same old story for the Chicagoland housing market in September.

Home sales in the nine-county Chicagoland area totaled 9,117 homes in September, falling 6.4 percent from Sept. 2013 and 12.1 percent from August, according to new analysis from the Illinois Association of Realtors.

It was yet another month in what has become a recurring narrative for real estate in Chicagoland – with housing inventory remaining low, home sales fell, yet again, median price for the region was strong, rising 5.4 percent year-over-year to $195,000.

Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, the director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois,  said seasonal effects must also be factored into the equation.

“As the housing market enters a normally slow season, the trend of the last few months of declining sales on a month-to-month basis is expected to continue, but with gains on a year-over-year basis for the remainder of 2014,” Hewings said. “However, prices are still forecast to increase and inventories are slowly expanding.”

The City/Suburban Split

More specifically, the city of Chicago offered a miraculously perfect mirror of the region’s housing trends, with home sales (at 2,187) falling 8.7 percent year-over-year while median price (at $250,000) rose 8.7 percent.

Meanwhile, in the suburban markets, the median price for single-family detached homes rose 4.7 percent year-over-year, according to the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors. More encouragingly, pending contracts were up 10 percent from August to September, the largest such monthly jump in 2014.

Stay tuned for more local coverage, which will include home sales stats for Chicago’s top-selling neighborhoods (see the stats for top-selling suburbs here) and deeper looks at housing trends in the area.

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