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Chicago homeowners receive a bit of holiday cheer

What’s the best present that Chicago homeowners could receive this year? How about the news that home values in Chicago – though still far off their 2006 peaks – continue to rise?

That’s the news that the Illinois Association of REALTORS® recently shared with the owners of Chicago condominiums and single-family homes.

According to the latest research from the association, the median price of a home sold in the city of Chicago in November stood at $180,000. That’s up 14.6 percent compared to November of 2011. Back then, the median price was at $157,000.

That’s good news. And it continues a recent trend. Median prices – the price at which half of homes sold for higher and half for lower – have been rising in Chicago in recent months.

The bad news? The median price is still far lower than it was during the real estate boom years. So if you purchased your Chicago condominium or single-family home in 2004, 2005 or 2006, the odds are still high that you’d have to sell your city home for less than what you originally paid for it.

Still, any increase in the median sales price represents good news for the Chicago housing market. This good news isn’t a surprise, though. Yes, the Chicago housing market was sluggish for a long time. But Chicago is such a great city, and such a desirable place in which to live, that it was only a matter of time before home prices started to rise again.

And the REALTORS® association brought more good news in its November sales report. The city of Chicago saw 1,750 home sales in November. That equals an increase of 22.5 percent from the same month last year, when the city saw 1,429 home sales.

Sales heated up in Chicago’s condominium market, too. Condo sales hit 1,047 units in November, up 36.2 percent from the number of condo sales during the same month in 2011.

This REALTORS® report is a good way to end the year. Let’s hope that the good news regarding Chicago home sales continues in 2013. That would make for a happier new year for anyone who owns a home or condominium in Chicago.

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