Illinois Housing Market Gets Boost From State Unemployment Figures
When it comes to metropolitan housing markets across the country, Chicago's ranks near the top when it comes to continued improvement.
A recent report released by mortgage-backer Freddie Mac shows Chicago is No. 5 out of 50 metro markets in improving housing numbers, according to the institution’s Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi). The MiMi combines purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios, on-time mortgage payments and the local employment picture to determine the health of markets in all 50 states, Washington D.C. and 50 major metro areas.
While Freddie Mac still considers the Chicago market weak, the improving employment picture has helped stabilize the market. Illinois' latest jobs report showed 6.7 percent unemployment, which is the state’s lowest since the economic collapse of 2008-09.
Illinois and Chicago still lagging
In August, the Freddie Mac report shows Chicago was 16.5 percentage points behind the national average for purchase applications, 11.4 percent behind on payment-to-income ratio and another 12.4 percent behind the on-time mortgage payment average.
In addition to Chicago’s place in the top five, the Illinois market overall is ranked at No. 2 out of 50 states for improvement year over year. The report again pointed to more employment throughout the state's stabilization.
Statewide averages show Illinois 6.7 percent behind the national average on purchase applications, 15.4 percent on payment to income and 8.2 percent on on-time payment.
Despite Chicago and Illinois pacing behind much of the nation on several fronts, Jim Kinney, vice president of luxury sales for highly rated Baird & Warner in Chicago and president of the Illinois Association of Realtors, says there is reason to be hopeful, especially for sellers.
“We are seeing a market that provides a lot of opportunity for sellers,” Kinney says. “The time it takes to sell a house has dropped dramatically since the beginning of the year, and prices have consistently beaten previous-year levels through the first nine months of 2014.”
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