Scan your favorite Real Estate Blog or National News Sites on the Internet these days, and you'll often see story after story about how the Real Estate Market is recovering across the USA. Average Homes Prices are up! Units Sold are up! Mortgage Financing - incredibly cheap, at some of the lowest Mortgage Rates in US History.
Bring those figures down to Chicago, however, and the news becomes somewhat less optimistic. Some Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs are enjoying double-digit year-over-year price gains, while others show prices still falling - some areas, still at a considerable pace.
In an interview with Glenn Kelman, the Chief Executive of a large, national Real Estate Franchise, which appeared in a column last week by Chicago Tribune Real Estate Writer Mary Umberger, the national numbers, on average, are glowing. His Home Tracker Report shows average prices up five percent in the 19 biggest markets across the US. Year over year, that's a two year high!
The Phoenix AZ Market showed a 31% Average Price Increase for Single Family Homes. San Jose CA - up 15%. San Francisco also up double-digits between August, 2011 and August, 2012.
The Philadelphia PA Market, however, showed a slight price decline in the average single-family sale. Here in Chicago, however, our market fared the worst in the survey - the Average Single Family Home Price across the Chicago Metropolitan Area fell 4.5% during the year.
The Central United States Regional Director for the same firm, Mark Reitman, who practices Real Estate right here in Chicago, sees many affluent Chicago Suburbs still in price-decline mode. Average Single Family Home Prices in the Chicago Suburb of Park Ridge IL fell 12 percent over last year. Glenview, Arlington Heights, Elgin, and Schaumburg IL Average Sale Prices also fell.
However, the very desirable suburbs of Evanston IL, Highland Park IL, Wilmette, Oak Park, and Glen Ellen showed average price gains, year over year.
In the City of Chicago, most neighborhoods showed average price declines over the past year, especially for condominiums. Average Condo Prices fell double-digits in the Rogers Park, South Loop, and Bronzeville Neighborhoods of Chicago. Lakeview and Logan Square also showed declines.
However, Average Condo Prices were up in the Chicago Neighborhoods of The Gold Coast, Streeterville, Ravenswood, Uptown, Andersonville, Edgewater, Irving Park, and The Chicago Loop.
What is our Team finding, on the ground in Chicago, in Fall, 2012?
Well, for one thing, listings are beginning to sell, quickly, if priced correctly. So far in 2012, our Average Market Time from Listing Date to Contract Pending is less than 30 days for our own listings. And our Sale Price to List Price Ratio - over 97%, an almost 3 percentage point improvement over 2011.
Our buyers have routinely run into Multiple Offers - but are usually successful, when they follow our guidance of offering what the recent comparable property data suggest, rather than simply "trying" an arbitrarily low price - just to see if they get lucky.
Homes and condos in Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs overly built or renovated during the Boom Years here - 2001-2006 - often sell only if priced very aggressively. Single family houses in areas of Chicago and the Suburbs with top school districts, and in top condition, command higher prices, often with multiple bids tendered.
And, although our Team's Average Sales Price has really taken a beating since the 2006 Peak of the Chicago Real Estate Market, continued-record-low interest rates have kept buyers looking, and realistic sellers successful.
Indeed, here in Chicago, the Real Estate Market seems to be coming back. But not uniformly, in all areas. And not as quickly as many would like.
But coming back . . . Chicago will! Watch and see!
Please check out our posts each day via BlogChicagoHomes.com.
DEAN MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO