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Chicago-area home sales up from February

"For sale" signs line a Chicago street. (Nancy Stone, Chicago Tribune)

The median price of a condominium sold in Chicago last month beat its year-ago comparison for the first time in two and a half years, new data shows.

The median price of a condo within the city rose to $275,000, up 2.8 percent from $267,500 a year ago, according to a monthly sales report released Wednesday by the Illinois Association of Realtors. The last time Chicago condo prices recorded a year-over-year gain was in October 2008, when the median sales price of $315,000 was a 3.3 percent gain from October 2007. Get the full story »

Former Hawk Daze buys $1.68M Hinsdale mansion

ELITE STREET | By Bob Goldsborough | Bucking a recent trend of former Chicago Blackhawks players listing their area homes and leaving town, retired Blackhawks winger Eric Daze has paid $1.68 million for a newly built, six-bedroom, New Orleans four-square house in Hinsdale. He also has a contract to sell his longtime four-bedroom house in Hinsdale, which has been listed for $795,000. Get the full story »

Homebuilder Pasquinelli files for bankruptcy

Pasquinelli Homebuilding LLC, the Burr Ridge-based homebuilder whose business started in Chicago’s south suburbs but expanded to seven other states, has filed documents with U.S. Bankruptcy Court to liquidate the company. Get the full story »

Groupon gets into real estate with Dream Town

On Friday, Chicago real estate brokerage Dream Town Realty launched a week-long deal on Groupon, hoping to tap the popular social buying model to attract clients. Get the full story »

JPMorgan Chase helps CEO Dimon on sale of Gold Coast mansion

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, right, listens to a question from the media after a speech at a conference on global capital markets in Washington, March 30, 2011. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

When Jamie Dimon, the chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co., finally sold his Gold Coast mansion at 25 E. Banks St. in 2010 after it had been on the market three years, the real estate crisis prevented him from getting the more than $13 million he originally wanted.

But he did get help from JPMorgan, which paid $421,458 in expenses related to the sale, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing made public yesterday. Get the full story »

Glimmer of hope, but home prices still falling

Another read on home price came out Thursday, and it offers a glimmer of hope about Chicago-area home prices.

The good news? In February, local home values on single-family homes were relatively flat, down only 0.4 percent from a year earlier, according to data provider CoreLogic. Get the full story »

Turn your house into a billboard, get free mortgage

A digital mockup of Adzookie's painting plan. (Adzooki)

Startup advertising firm Adzookie has latched on to a high-profile way to publicize itself: by turning homes into massive billboards. In exchange, Adzookie says it will pay the house owner’s mortgage every month for as long as the home stays painted.

Adzookie launched the offer on its website Tuesday — and by late afternoon, the company had already received more than 1,000 applications, according to Adzookie CEO Romeo Mendoza. One even came from a church. Get the full story »

Former Bear Tait lists Mettawa house for $1.5M

Former Bears offensive tackle John Tait, left, in 2006. (Tribune file)

ELITE STREET | By Bob Goldsborough | Former Chicago Bears offensive tackle John Tait has listed his 15-room stucco French Manor-style mansion in Mettawa for $1.499 million. Tait, 36, played with the Bears from 2004 until 2008. He retired in February 2009.

Tait paid $1.645 million in 2004 for the four-bedroom, 5,465-square-foot home in Mettawa. Built in 2003, the house has four full baths, two half baths, three fireplaces, 10-foot ceilings, quarter-sawn hardwood floors, millwork and a finished lower level with a second kitchen. The house sits on a 1.62-acre parcel adjoining a conservancy. Get the full story »

Nearly 25% of mortgage applications rejected

During the housing boom, anyone who could fog a mirror could get a mortgage. Today, only highly qualified borrowers can get financing — let alone the best rates. The latest data from the Federal Reserve shows that nearly a quarter of people who apply for loans are turned down.

“Good borrowers with one or two blemishes on their credit are being denied credit,“ said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. Get the full story »

More than 26K new loan mods in February

About 26,147 struggling borrowers received new loan terms as part of President Barack Obama’s much-maligned foreclosure prevention program, the Treasury Department said Friday. Get the full story »

JPMorgan’s Dimon: No mortgage writedowns

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, right, at a conference on global capital markets competitivene in Washington, D.C (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

The head of JPMorgan Chase said Wednesday that banks would not consider writing down mortgages for homeowners who can’t make payments, an idea at the center of talks aimed at fixing the mortgage mess.

“Principal writedown for people who couldn’t pay their mortgages? Yeah, that’s off the table,“ JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said when asked about the idea after an appearance before a U.S. Chamber of Commerce forum in Washington. Get the full story »

Mortgage applications fall as rates rise

Applications for U.S. home mortgages tumbled last week as higher interest rates sapped demand for loan refinancing, an industry group said on Wednesday. Get the full story »

Chicago-area home prices hit new low in January

A home for sale in Elgin, Aug. 24, 2010. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune)

January home prices fell for the sixth month in a row, approaching lows reached in the depths of the recession in 2009.

The Chicago area fared worse than the national average, with the local index reaching its lowest level since 2001. The index for Chicago-area single-family home prices fell 7.5 percent from the year-ago period, and dropped 1.8 percent in January from December. Get the full story »

Americans put credit card bill ahead of mortgage

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Americans are more likely to pay their credit card bills than their mortgages, according to a study from TransUnion LLC. The trend, which began during the Great Recession, reflects the lingering affects of the housing crisis.

Many experts expected the payment behavior to revert by now to the old dynamic of consumers paying their mortgages first, but that has yet to happen, the Chicago-based credit score agency said. Get the full story »

Former Blackhawk Byfuglien sells Roscoe home

Elite Street | By Bob Goldsborough | Former Chicago Blackhawks right winger and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien on Monday sold his five-bedroom, 4,200-square-foot stucco and stone house in Chicago’s Roscoe Village for $1.08 million. Get the full story »