Chicago-area home sales plunge in November

By Mary Ellen Podmolik
Posted Dec. 22, 2010 at 8:48 a.m.

Sales of existing homes in the Chicago area plunged more than 30 percent in November, hurt by difficult comparisons as buyers last year sought to capitalize on federal homebuyer tax cut programs.

The Illinois Association of Realtors said there were 4,518 single-family homes and condominiums were sold in November, a 34.3 percent decline from November 2009. And unlike the state as a whole, median home prices continued to fall during the month, to $175,000, a 6.9 percent decline from November 2009’s $188,000. During the month, sales declines in the 9-county Chicago area ranged from 23 percent in Lake County to 58.2 percent in DeKalb County.

Within the city of Chicago, home sales sunk 38.5 percent, to 1,144 homes sold, and the median price of $206,000 was a 4.2 percent drop from the same month a year ago. Sales of single-family homes fell 31.8 percent but the median price rose 3.1 percent from a year ago, to $165,000. Meanwhile, condo sales sustained a 43.1 percent sales decline, and the median price fell 2.9 percent, to $250,000.

“The decrease in units sold in November 2010 over November 2009 is expected given the spike of sales at the end of 2009 as buyers made their purchases pending a then-anticipated federal tax credit expiration,” said Mabel Guzman, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors, who noted that the 2.9 percent decline in condo median home prices showed stabilization in the marketplace.

A separate survey this week showed that slowly increasing mortgage rates may be generating interest among first-time buyers who want to purchase a home before rates rise further. The share or first-time homebuyers in the market in November rose to 37.2 percent, from 34.4 percent in October, according to a Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance survey.

On Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers Association said mortgage rates continued to hold at six-month highs for the week ended Dec. 17, with the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rising to 4.85 percent.



  1. Lucid Realty Dec. 22, 2010 at 9:18 a.m.

    It’s always comical to see how the IAR can spin these horrible numbers. They not only led with the story on median home prices (which is a worthless statistic) but they also led with year to date sales.

    If they wanted a positive story they could have talked about contract activity in November, which actually improved:

  2. Danny Dec. 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Why would anyone want to live in Chicago anymore? Chicago has a $700 million budget deficit, while IL has a $6 billion deficit. The pension bill that would amount to the largest property tax increase in Chicago history is on the verge of passing. Quinn is about to pass his 67% increase in income taxes.

    All my friends moved to either Texas or Arizona. It’s no wonder that the bars are empty on the weekends.

  3. Kris Dec. 22, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I love living in Chicago.


    I rent and would never “buy” in chicago. What FOR! RE Tax is insane, association fees as simply a JOKE and make things unafforable. (Average floats around what? $400 a month?)

    I do not buy any good over $250 in the city and “flight” out to he burbs where my tax rate drops about 4%

    I dont use my car and I make sure I preserve my cash by not giving into all the social norms of the city all the time. Like eating out etc……

    If you can do that, you stay flush with cash and enjoy the city on YOUR terms.

  4. mariagoodwin123 Dec. 23, 2010 at 2:33 a.m.

    It is fantastic time to refinance home mortgage. As Clark Howard says it is very tough to find these low rates for long time. Search online for “123 Mortgage Refinance” they found me THE lowest possible rate.