Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
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 ChicagoCondosOnline.com, 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 ChicagoCondosOnline.com.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The inclusion of these loan limit provisions in the final bill is a victory for homeowners, buyers and Realtors. While these new limits were included in version of the original stimulus bill approved by the House, the bill first approved by the Senate did not. NAR's Call for Action to both the House and the Senate prior to the final vote advocated strongly for the provisions which were then included in the final bill approved by both Chambers.
Monday, February 16, 2009
- Lincoln Park to $1.00 an hour February 16-18
- North Side to $1.00 an hour February 20-28
- West Side to $1.00 an hour March 1-2
- South Side to $1.00 an hour March 5-9
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
There has been much talk about the stimulus package and some recent changes have caught the eyes of people in the real estate industry as well as home buyers and sellers. On Wednesday the Senate passed an amendment that will include a $15,000 home purchasing tax credit in the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 for anyone buying a primary residence within the one year period from the time this bill is passed. US News and World Report outline the details.
It is important to note that this bill has not passed yet but many potential buyers are asking questions in regards to this tax break. Ken Dickerson of RWF Mortgage in Chicago summarizes the important details:
- The tax credit is the lesser of 10% of the home price or $15,000 and can be spread equally over 2 tax years.
- The housing tax credit can be used for purchases of primary residences only…no investment properties or second homes.
- The home purchase can be an existing home, a newly constructed home, or a bank foreclosure home…but the purchase must be completed within 1 year of the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009.
- The home buyer does NOT have to be a “first time home buyer” to qualify for this housing tax credit, unlike housing stimulus based tax credits from last year.
- This 2009 housing tax credit does NOT have to be repaid to the government unlike the $7,500 first time home buyer tax credit from last year UNLESS you cease to make it your primary residence within the first 24 months (i.e.. sell within 2 years).
This is great news for home buyers, if it passes, and can go a long way towards stimulating demand for new home purchases.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Several units will be open Sunday, February 8th, from 2:00-4:00pm. Sign in with the doorman and enjoy this opportunity to view some of Chicago's premier coop units. Most are spacious and are in a variety of conditions depending on price and location. Many have stunning views of lake Michigan, Belmont Harbor, Lincoln Park and the city.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
...as if it weren't tough enough, FannieMae has changed its lending guidleines on condos. These new guidelines will mostly impact loans on new construction projects. The ammended rules will require a much higher percentage of sold units in order for the loan to qualify under the new guidelines. The percentage is jumping from a reasonable 51% to an extraordinary 70%. Either lenders are going to have to figure out how this will impact buyers and come up with creative loan programs or FannieMae is going to have to re-evaluate.
Read the attached article for details as well as additional changes such as maximum allowed retail and percentages allowed by a single owner.
Let me know your thoughts on this.
Monday, February 2, 2009
A recent article in Crains Chicago reported that area home prices have not fallen as much as other markets and many communities are experience affordability levels equivalent to prices in 1993. With prices retracting and interest rates at record low levels, with inflation, home prices are affordable....believe it or not. You may have noticed that house down the street or that condo down the hall seems much more affordable than before. Well, buyers seem to be agreeing and showing activity has increased markedly over the past few months.