Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sales Rebound in March; Now Down Only 4%

Dollars generated from sales of Chicago condos, down 8% year to date at the end of February, were down just 4% by the end of March. Those percentages are based on total transaction dollar volume of city condos closed on the Multiple Listing Service, January 1 through March 31.

In simple terms, comparing the first quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2007, no matter what you read elsewhere about the condo market having "tanked" or whatever: The city's condo market is down 4% year to date. Four percent.

Although the number of units sold in the first three months of 2008 is down 18% compared to the same three-month period in 2007, that is a significant improvement over the 24% decrease at the end of February, and 36% at the end of January.

Those decreasing percentages indicate a rebound in the market. Whether they provide evidence that a bottom has been reached, it is too early to tell.

More good news (for sellers and agents): For the first three months of 2008, median sales price is up 11% compared to the first three months of 2007. Average market time is down 3%.

The reluctance of owners to put their units on the market is reflected in this figure: the number of units listed during March 2008 was 16% less than the number added in March 2007. Active listings on March 31 were actually down 2% compared to March 31, 2007.

When asked to comment, Prudential SourceOne's Dave Hanna said: "Smart buyers are finding good values in the condominium market. We see several factors at work in these numbers. Developers are providing attractive incentives to move their product. Consumers continue to be drawn to new construction by pricing, design and finishes. The upper end of this market segment is holding its own and Realtors who do their homework are finding affordable choices at all price points for their clients. We still see long-term challenges to the overall market in the unsettled financing climate."

For the numbers from which the above percentages are calculated, see the chart in the right-hand column of this blog. (Scroll up.) For details on month-over-month and year-over-year changes, go to Market Overview at

Is the city condo market rebounding from its bottom? To express your opinion, click Comments below.

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