Recent report: Chicago home values still not fully recovered from housing crash

Is your Chicago single-family home or condo worth less today than when you purchased it? Depending on when you bought, you’re far from alone.

Home prices in the Chicago metropolitan area still haven’t fully recovered from the Great Recession and the housing bust, according to a report released late last year by HSH.com.

HSH.com reported that homes in the Chicago-Naperville-Evanston area had a current average value in December of last year of $222,340. That is lower than the area’s peak average value of $238,670 before the housing crash. This means that housing values in the Chicago-Naperville-Evanston area remain, on average, 7.34 percent lower than where they stood at their peak.

This is bad news if you happened to buy a Chicago condo or single-family home in 2005 or 2006, the years during which homes in the city hit their high points. If you’ve held onto that home, the odds are solid that it is worth less today than it was when you bought it.

This can be a challenge if you’re ready to sell your home. You might have to sell your Chicago residence for less than what you paid for it. That’s because buyers today won’t overpay for a home here. They don’t care what you paid for your Chicago home originally or how much you owe on your mortgage. They won’t pay more than market value.

You can increase your odds of getting the highest possible price for your home by working with a stager to showcase your property at its best. You also need to work with a REALTOR® who can help you set the right asking price, market your home to the deepest pool of possible buyers and handle the negotiation process with buyers.

But you will have to be realistic: If you are selling a Chicago home that you bought in 2005 or 2006, you might have to move that property for a price tag that’s lower than what you paid.