Realtors: Chicago-Area Home Sales Decreased in August, Prices Up
Chicago-area home sales saw double digit decreases in August compared to the same month in 2013, according to a report from the Illinois Association of Realtors.
In the city of Chicago, home sales were down 15.3 percent year over year with real estate agents selling 2,414 homes this August and 2,850 sold last August. Those numbers were slightly better in the nine county area surrounding the city where sales were down 13.3 percent with 10,370 homes sold this year versus 11,963 sold last.
The Realtor report blamed slowing sales on a tightening home-buying credit market and fewer available homes for sale, especially foreclosures.
“Analysis reveals the decrease (on an annual basis) in sales can be attributed to the decline in foreclosure sales; regular sales are almost at last year's level,” says Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.
Foreclosures in the Chicago area are on the decline, according to real estate research that indicates foreclosure filings in the first half of 2014 decreased nearly 40 percent from the same time one year ago.
Home prices increasing
Despite slowing sales in August, the news isn’t all bad for 2014.
Median home prices continued strong gains in August with a 9.1 percent increase year over year to $245,000 from $270,000 in the city of Chicago and $197,000 to $215,000 in the suburbs.
The average time a home is on the market is also showing improvement in the city and suburbs for August. In Chicago, time on the market now sits at 46 days, down from 48 days in 2013. In the suburbs, average time on the market fell from 59 days to 53 days year over year.
“August rounded out the typically hot summer market with a trend we’ve seen all year. Chicago buyers have fewer homes to choose from yet are finding their desired house in a shorter amount of time,” says Matt Farrell, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors. “Median home prices are flourishing as a result of these focused buyers presenting their best offer despite the low inventory.”