Chicago-Area Home Sales Improve in December, Flat for 2009

Chicago existing home sales soared by 33 percent in December, although the statistics were flat for the year, according to research by the Illinois Association of Realtors. The average home sale price fell approximately 18.3 percent to $196,000 when compared with 2008.  During 2009, a total of 69,290 Chicago-area homes were sold, a 0.2 percent slide when compared with 2008.  That does show improvement over 2008, when home sales fell nearly 26 percent compared with 2007.

A total of 5,742 metropolitan Chicago homes sold in December, compared with 4,320 during the same month of 2008.  “In 2009, we saw demand primarily for lower-priced homes from first-time buyers in addition to short sales and sales of foreclosed homes,” said Mike Onorato, president of the association and broker-owner of Onorato Real Estate in Coal City.  “There is opportunity now for the move-up buyer to take advantage of the tax credit that ends April 30 and lower mortgage interest rates, which many analysts expected to rise by mid-year.”

Last year, home sales in the city of Chicago fell 7.4 percent to 19,401, compared with 20,946 in 2008.  City sales in December rose 39.8 percent in December to 1,768 units compared with 1,265 in December a year ago.  Median home prices in the city fell 22.4 percent to $225,000, compared with $290,000 one year ago.