Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Sales Data...Sales down but Median Prices Up

It's a mixed bag of news: Statistics for 2008 show a slowdown in the Chicago area market compared with the same data in 2007. Sales volumes are down and market times have increased. The good news is that the median price for condos has once again gone up.

According to 2008 city condo sales data from Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) the dollar volume of condo sales in the city of Chicago decreased in 2008, by 27% from $6.4 billion to $4.7 billion.The number of units sold in the city dropped by 30%, from 18,061 to 12,596. The average market time increased by 22%, from 117 days on the market to 143 days. Unlike in many other cities in the nation, the median sales price of city condos continued to rise, by 5%, from $295,400 to $310,032.

Local experts, including Dave Hanna, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR), attribute the increase in median sales price to the hundreds of new-construction units that we sold (contracted for) in the three years before the market declined, but that closed in 2008.
By comparison, MRED data released by CAR show that all single-family attached (Type 2) housing, a broader category that includes condos, decreased by 29% in unit sales, and median sales price was up by 8%.

In the city, 2008 condo sales made up 53% of all residential transactions (including multi-unit), compared to 58% in 2007. Based on the database maintained by, there are an estimated 260,000 condo units in more than 12,000 buildings in the city, with several thousand units added annually. Based on the 260,000-unit estimate and 2008 sales of 12,600 units, the turnover of units in 2008 was 4.8%.

According to MRED figures, the citywide median sales price of condos sold in 2008 was $312,032, or $284 per square foot.

For more details on Chicago's condo market, visit Market Overview on

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