Housing is Back- Where is Market Headed in Terms of Prices

Posted by Helaine Cohen on Friday, May 17th, 2013 at 3:39pm.

Housing is back !  


Money Magazine says Housing is back2012 showed signs that the housing market in Chicago was regaining its health. There is no doubt after first quarter of 2013 that housing is back. So where is the market headed in terms of pricing? Every analyst has upgraded their expectations on future projections because the market is gaining momentum faster than originally predicted.

Medium prices for sold condos under 1M in the downtown Chicago condo market for the month of April was $343,000, up 8% over March 2013 and up 22% over April 2012. Total sold units were 713 units in April compared to 548 units in March. In March of 2012 closed units were 510.

Medium prices for sold condos above 1M in the downtown Chicago condo market for April was $1,340M which was actually down 7.5% from March 2013 but up 1 % over April 2012. Sold units were consistent at 35 for April and 36 for March 2013. In March 2012 closed sales for the month were 25 units. Given the smaller sample size, one or two very large condos sales could easily skew medium prices.

If you took your Chicago condo or house off the market last year because you could not get your price, you should consider putting it back on the market. If you are a move-up seller, the house you will want to buy, which is most likely more expensive, is also rising in price, so it is an opportune time to consider moving. As a result of the tight inventory, buyers who once had lots of choices and were previously waiting for the prices to continue to drop are now finding themselves in multiple bids situations and are getting weary of losing out on a home.  Waiting no longer makes sense and if you are thinking about buying a house you might have to upgrade your bid if you want to lose out on it to other buyers. In a few months the prices are going to be higher than they are now and mortgage rates are also predicted to be higher. Mortgage banker association predicts at the end of 2013 mortgage rates will reach 4.3%.

Real Estate Apprecation ProjectionsPrice Trends: Average annual appreciation pre-bubble (1897-1999) was 3.6 % and during the 2000-2007 bubble was 10.4 % , and now the home price expectation survey ( 118 economists and real estate experts) predicts home values to be up 4.6 %  at the end of  2013.

Other considerations: First time buyers: According to Appraisal Research Counselors, rents in Chicago on top tier downtown apartment buildings were up 6.2% in the fourth quarter of 2012 from the prior year and up 24% since the market was at its’ bottom in 2009. Low mortgage rates have kept buying affordable relative to renting. This gap however is closing in. Homes prices in 2013 will rise faster than rents and mortgage rates are also on an upward trend. If you have been considering buying a Chicago condo, now is the time, as prices are still very competitive but overtime will continue to increase.

Foreclosures and Short Sales: As a result of the limited supply the prices of foreclosed and short sale homes is increasing; there is no longer the same buying discount as we experienced a couple of years ago.  Buyers who are serious about a property will have to be aggressive in their bidding.

These factors should all have a continued positive impact on the 2013 market. If you’d like more local real estate information or are thinking of buying or selling your home in Chicago, please feel free to visit my website at www.ChicagoCondoFinder.com, email me at helaine@chicagocondofinder.com, or give me a call at (312) 953-0961

Helaine Cohen, Chicago Real Estate Broker

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