Chicago Housing Market Improves

An April Chicago real estate report revealed positive news regarding home sales and home prices throughout our state, though experts are urging home buyers and sellers to act now.
According to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®, April was the third straight month in which our state has posted an increase in home sales.
In April, 8,526 homes were sold in Illinois, a rise of 8.5 percent over the previous month. The median home price was $136,066, a 4.7 percent increase from $130,000 in March.
Young family in front of a home with a sold sign“While we are seeing brisk activity in lower price ranges, the housing market will really gain some solid traction when move-up buyers stop waiting and take advantage of this very affordable time to buy,” said REALTOR® Sheryl Grider Whitehurst, ABR, CRB, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.
“Market forces are steadily improving and factors for rising home sales are developing.”
In the Chicago area, home sales rose from 5,324 in March to 5,710 in April. That’s a 7.3 percent jump. The median price was $162,500, a 2.8 percent gain from $158,000 the previous month.
Even the city of Chicago recorded gains, as home sales in April increased 1 percent; from 1,450 in March to 1,464 in April. The median home price rose 7.6 percent from $191,000 in March to $205,500 last month.
“Promising signs continue in both the housing market and in the economy. Our sales forecast shows that the housing sales volume will continue to increase for the next two months, with a monthly growth of 11 to 16 percent for Illinois and a monthly growth of 8 to 17 percent for Chicago. The forecasts indicate that the housing market will reach its 2011 peak in June,” said Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois.
“The economy is moving in a positive direction. Both the national and the state job market continue to show solid gains of economic recovery.”
Home buyers, beware: Hewings added that median home prices for May, June and July are expected to be higher than April’s in Chicago and Illinois.
Whitehurst also heeds warnings:
“Interest rates are expected to rise above their historic lows and the cost to borrow will rise, too, with changes proposed in the lending market such as higher down payment requirements,” she said.
“This really is the moment both for buyers and those who want to sell and move on because later this year the cost of homeownership will go up.”