National, Chicago Real Estate Numbers for January

Nationwide, the housing market posted an unexpected increase in sales last month.
Chicago real estate did not fare as well, but some of its surrounding suburbs saw a rise.
Let’s start locally. According to the Illinois Association of REALTORS, total home sales in the city of Chicago for January 2011 were down 14 percent compared to January 2010.
The median home price took a hit too, falling from $195,000 in January 2010 to $170,000 last month, a 12.8 percent drop.
A further breakdown within the city of Chicago for January 2011 compared to January 2010:
*Condo sales fell 13.9 percent to 564 sold.
*The median price of a condo fell 14.6 percent to $239,000.
*Single-family home sales fell 14.1 percent to 470 homes sold.
*The median price of a single-family home rose 6.4 percent to $125,000.
So it wasn’t all decreases for Chicago.
“The city of Chicago in January saw slow movement of inventory, with 14 percent fewer homes sold in January 2011 over the first month of 2010. This differential was expected given the federal tax credit that incentivized the market last year, and will likely show the same through the early spring,” said Mabel Guzman, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and a REALTOR® with Envision Real Estate LLC, Chicago.
“A decrease in the median price of condos purchased in Chicago by 14.6 percent to $239,000 in January 2011 is indicative of the downward pressure distressed properties continue to have on our market, and the challenges buyers face in securing condo financing.”
In the metro Chicago area, total home sales fell 2 percent from 3,921 homes sold in January 2010 to 3,844 sold last month. The median price fell also, from $175,000 last year to $158,000 last month. That’s a 9.7 percent decline.
But when we look at the state as a whole, there aren’t as many negative numbers. More than half of all Illinois counties (53 of 92) posted year-over-year increases or no change in January home sales. Plus, 44 counties reported median price increases or no change.
In addition, while home sales were down 7 percent in Cook County, other counties posted increases, including DuPage, DeKalb, Grundy, Kane and Lake.
On the national front, January home sales rose for the third straight month.
According to the National Association of REALTORS, home sales increased 5.3 percent in January 2011 compared to January 2010.
That is the first time in seven months that the monthly total was higher than the year prior’s total.
The national median existing-home price dropped 3.7 percent to $158,800.
“Unprecedented levels of all-cash purchases, primarily of distressed homes sold at deep discounts, undoubtedly pulls the median price downward,” said NAR President Ron Phipps. “Given the levels of inventory we see today, we believe that traditional homes in good condition have held their value.”
And that’s good to hear.