Has the Market in Chicago (especially West Town and West Loop) started to flatten?

Asked by Dan, Chicago, IL Tue May 6, 2008

I keep hearing from realtors that there are lots of properties selling, but Standard & Poor's reported that prices in February were already down 10% from their peak last year. Has the inventiry started to go back to normal levels, or are prices set to keep falling til the Autumn?

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Marty Phelan, , Chicago, IL
Tue May 6, 2008
Dan, anytime you're hearing data on the real estate market being presented it's important to remember 2 things; 1) Real estate is a local market - always will be. Believe it or not there are some parts of the country experiencing a seller's market right now! 2) Be sure you know exactly what stats are being presented. For example, is that 10% a decrease in median sales price or average sales price? There is a difference. To more directly answer your question however, the West Loop and West Town markets are doing nicely. Although the number of units sold in the first quarter of 2008 is down in both areas, the median sales price has gone up 7% in both areas. I've also seen a decrease in market times. NOTE: This is not including new construction - only "re-sale" transactions as compared to 1Q07. So there is data out there to refute the claim that prices are even falling at all, much less will they continue to fall. Are there people losing money? Sure, if they significantly overpaid or took out all of their equity. All in all, despite the media's representation, the Chicago market is holding up nicely. I have a detailed report coming out shortly outlining the 1Q08 performance, and if you'd like one just let me know! Good luck with everything! - Marty
Web Reference:  http://www.mycondotown.com
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Tom McCarey, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue May 6, 2008

When you cite Standard and Poor's survey you are citing statistics that are not specific to Chicago you are citing SP's take on the national climate. To cross-pollinate the national schemata to Chicago is a gross mistake that has more to do with a media-induced misperception and not the reality that every local market is different. When you have a moment please click this hyperlink http://www.atproperties.com/marketReport/ and take a look at the neighborhoods that you inquired about (gains of just under 2% and more than 7% respectively from last year). I strongly urge you to read this report - it is predicated simply on a factual reading of actual transactions and it upends any application of national statistics to this local market.
If you are looking to buy or sell a home, I urge you the best of luck with your endeavor. In selling appropriate pricing combined with aggressive technologically based marketing will be your chief allies.

Tom McCarey
The Real Estate Lounge Chicago
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