Monday, February 4, 2008

Breaking News: 36% Drop in January Sales

The silver lining that city condo sales represented at year's end seems to have disappeared behind a dark cloud.

Reflecting an earlier downturn in the overall housing market, both local and national, after showing relative strength last year, unit sales of condos in the city in January were down 36%, compared to January 2007.

Year-over-year sales had been down 7% in December and 5% in November, but were down only 7% for all of 2007.

However, Jim Kinney, president of Rubloff, and a member of our Advisory Board, offers this soothing perspective: "Historically, January is a weak month for closings and a small section sample can swing big with a few aberrations. Conversion units at 1400 N. Lake Shore Drive last year stuffed the ballot box, so to speak, and there is no mass closing of a project to go up against it this January."

After checking the numbers, Jim added these details: "There were many closings for 1400 N. Lake Shore and 474 N. Lake Shore last year. New conversion/construction accounted for 704 units in '07 and only 403 this year--that 301 units missing accounts for a big swing for the month." So the cloud covering the silver living begins to disappear.

Year over year, new listings during January were down 30%. Average days on market increased 6%. Median sales price for the 697 units that did close was up 13%. The supply of existing (re-sale) condos is currently at 8.2 months.

Those statistics, and others, were compiled by Jill Landers of from January sales reported on the Multiple Listing Service. For details, go to Market Overview.

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