Monday, March 3, 2008

News: Dollar Volume Down 8% Year to Date

Based on closings of Chicago condos on the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois (MLSNI), the number of units sold year to date is 24% below the end of February in 2007. But median sales price is up 12%, so total dollar transaction volume is down only 8%.

Chicago condos sales volume down 8%. Keep that in mind as you read all the gloom-and-doom stories in the local and national media in coming days and weeks.

Unit sales were down 36% in January, so the "down 24%" at the end of February is a significant improvement in the market in the past 29 days.

There are actually 1% fewer actives (for-sale units) on the market than there were one year ago and 12% fewer new listings so far in 2008 than during the same two-month period in 2007. Average market time is also 1% less than it was a year ago. Supply is up 7%, to 8.7 months.

For actual numbers, see the permanent chart we have added in the right-hand column of this blog. (Scroll up a bit.) For more details, visit Market Overview on

Asked to comment on the February numbers, Mike Golden, co-founder of @properties and president of the Chicago Association of Realtors, made these observations:

"First, the key numbers to look at are how we are trending from 2007 to 2008 and the news is surprisingly good. Listings fell 5% February 2008 from 2007 and 12% year to date 2008 versus 2007. The total number of units active also fell from February 2007 to February 2008. Supply going down is good news relative to the concern that there is too much product on the market.

"The large upswing of units on the market January to February 2008 is not concerning. A lot of people took their units off the market in late 2007 and waited until February to put them back on.

"The median sales price is up from last year," Mike continued, "and the days on market is down from 2007, both month to month and year to date--more positive indicators that our market is showing signs of recovery. The sales volume is still down from last year, but February is up over February 2007, indicating that we are heading in the right direction.

"I would expect January to be down and would expect to continue to see improvements in sales volume as we get over the hangover created by the sub-prime issues from late 2007."

To add your expert analysis of, or insight into, these numbers, click Comments below.

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