As you may have already figured out I don’t exactly adhere to NAR’s, IAR’s, and CAR’s policy of talking up the real estate market in order to drum up business for Realtors. However, as I expand our Web site’s Chicago community housing market profiles I’m not finding a lot of evidence of the end of times – at least not in most of the communities I happen to be analyzing at this time. This is not to say that there aren’t severe problems in some areas of Chicago. It’s just that the more centrally located areas seem to be hanging in there – so far.
First, I should explain that there is a bit of a challenge in summing up the market conditions at the community level. There are no reliable price indices you can look at at this level and I am not a fan of examining median prices because they are so heavily impacted by the mix of homes sold (if lots of expensive homes are sold it raises the median price). You can get a sense of what’s going on by comparing current individual sales to their prior sales but there’s no way to summarize this information. I will say that this anecdotal information seems to support the idea that prices are soft but not plummeting.
Therefore, as a proxy, I rely upon monitoring the trends in housing inventory and the number of days that a home, that is sold, is on the market. The idea is that when these metrics rise it’s an indication of a market in trouble. And I report these statistics for 2-3 bedroom condominiums since condos represent such an important part of the Chicago housing market. I recently updated these real estate statistics for the following Chicago communities:
The ongoing list can be found in our Chicago community profiles section. At the time of this post we only cover the above communities but we hope to expand this quickly.
The data shows that the housing market in most of these communities has yet to show signs of stress. The one exception is the Near South Side, which includes the troubled South Loop. Check out the graphs.