Chicago-area home sales, prices fall from year ago

By Mary Ellen Podmolik
Posted March 21 at 10:33 a.m.

The weeks after the Super Bowl are considered the traditional start of the home-buying season, but home sales were a non-starter in the Chicago area last month.

February sales of existing homes in the Chicago area fell 8.8 percent from their level of a year ago, to 3,769 homes sold at a median price of $152,500. A year ago, in February 2010, the median price was $165,000.

Within the city of Chicago, 1,056 homes were sold in February of 2011 — a rise of 2.1 percent from January. But that number was down 13.8 percent from February of 2010.

The median Chicago home price, $177,500, was up 0.6 percent from a year ago.

“More than half of Illinois counties reported median price increases or no change in February, although markets permeated by distressed properties continue to be affected,” said Sheryl Grider Whitehurst, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors, in a news release. “The predominance of sales in lower-priced tiers of the market also is reflected in the median price.”

Nationally, sales of previously-owned U.S. homes dropped unexpectedly in February. Prices fell to their lowest level in nearly nine years, an industry group said Monday.

The National Association of Realtors said sales fell 9.6 percent month-over-month to an annual rate of 4.88 million units, snapping three straight months of gains. The percentage decline was the largest since July.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected February sales to fall 4.0 percent to a 5.15 million-unit pace from the previously reported 5.36 million unit rate in January, which was revised slightly up to 5.40 million.

Compared with February last year, sales were down 2.8 percent.

The median home price dropped 5.2 percent in February from a year earlier to $156,100, the lowest since April 2002.

Read more about the topics in this post: , ,


  1. Lucid Realty March 21 at 8:58 a.m.

    Given that last year at this time we had a government giveaway program in place we’re actually doing pretty well. And contract volume is improving as well, which is a leading indicator of sales volume. However, more than 50% of recent sales have been distressed:

  2. Bob March 21 at 10:13 a.m.

    I’ve been getting contracts at a brisk pace the last couple of months.

    By the way, do reporters run a spell check before submitting a story, there are several typos.

  3. Rader March 21 at 10:38 a.m.

    Hmmm…could it also be that house prices are ridiculous up here? People want upwards of $500,000 for out-dated houses with no garage or parking.

  4. slammer March 21 at 10:55 a.m.

    I think the reason home prices are down is because people with money dont want to live in or near crime infested black communities or want to learn spanish to communicate on a basic level with city merchants..We want to live in an area that reflects OUR values.

  5. Patrick March 21 at 11:06 a.m.

    @slammer – I hope the holes you cut in your sheet are big enough to see through. Wouldn’t want you bumping into a door and splitting your head open.

  6. Teabagger March 21 at 11:40 a.m.

    Prices are going down because house prices are still inflated, especially on the North Side. Why would you buy a house with a montly mortgage of $2,500 when you could rent the same house for $1,800?

  7. regular March 21 at 12:28 pm

    @slammer, why don’t you move closer to your KKK brothers with YOUR values ? Sane people do not share same psychopathic values with you.

  8. Teabagger March 21 at 2:05 pm

    Slammer should go back to the south where he belongs.

  9. JoeyB March 21 at 3:47 pm

    Hey slammer, the thing is – it’s the CITY that is showing the more stable housing market than your wonderful burbs.

  10. ericst March 21 at 4:49 pm

    I don’t believe these numbers at all.

    We should believe the government. The government tells us that:
    1. We are in the midst of a recovery.
    2. Everything (including the housing market) is stable.
    3. There is no significant inflation. Trivial at best. You are imagining those increased prices that you are paying at the gas pump, grocery store, taxes, etc.
    4. Unemployment is going down. Job market is doing reasonably well.
    5. We can safely managing our indebtedness (local, state, federal, personal, etc.) for a long time.
    Yes, we the sheeple should keep re-electing our expert politicians because of all of the successes noted above.

    The Tribune really shouldn’t print these negative news items, like the current story. All dirty anti-government lies. For shame.

  11. Peapod March 21 at 5:18 pm

    @Slammer… Isn’t it funny how a discussion about our challenged economy can get totally screwed up by one bigot who decided to make this a race thing. I love the sheet comments and other posts about those comments. I can tell you now that I would welcome all people to live next to me…well, except for Slammer of course. Probably will get off on getting a reaction but worth the shot anyway.