2010/01/Chicago Area Housing Numbers

So is the housing market really turning around? I think that depends on which numbers you deem more important. Are year-over-year numbers the ones you look at or month-to-month? If it’s the year-over-year numbers you believe provides a better picture then things are certainly looking up.

December was the fourth consecutive month of sales increases year-over-year, 8,197 total homes sold (sinlge family and condos) vs. 6,823 from the same time period a year earlier. That’s almost a 20% increase!!!! In addition the median home price was only down 1.9% ($155,000 December 2008 vs. $152,000 December 2009

However, if you believe month-to-month is a better indicator of the market, then the news wasn’t as good. The total number of homes sold in December 2009 was 8,197 compared to 10,361 in November 2009. That’s more than a 20% decrease!!!! And the median home price fell the same 1.9% ($155,000 November 2009 vs. December 2009).

Both of these numbers are a bit scewed because of the first-time home buyer tax credit. The reason for the large increase in November was due to the first-time home buyer credit expiring and buyers tried to beat the deadline. Thus, the numbers in December are probably a better reflection of the actual market.

I’ll be be curious to see the upcoming housing numbers and whether or not the current incentives are extended or replaced with new ones. With the large number of mortgages set to adjust this year, the high unemployment and continued high number of foreclosures, we are not nearly out of the woods yet with this housing market.