Monday, April 6, 2009

MRED: Closings Drop 54%, Dollars Down 60%

According to figures released today by Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), our regional Multiple Listing Service, unit sales of Chicago condos are down 54% year to date, while total dollar volume is down 60%. Median sales price is down 9%.

From January 1 through March 31, the number of units closed in the city total 1,349 in 2009 compared to 2,920 in 2008. The dollar volume for those units dropped to $462 million so far this year compared to $1.158 billion last year.

Comments Dave Hanna, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors:

"Multiple forces at work here. Lowest percentage of total sales that are 'Distressed property' (foreclosures and short sales) by property type: Condominiums. Most active category of sales, all housing types: Distressed properties. Investors are looking to: Distressed property.

"Add in the challenges of financing with FHA (no loans to associations of four units or less and no loans to associations with the Right of First refusal), Fannie and Freddie (arcane new lending requirements tied to occupancy and delinquency in assessments strangling new-construction projects and recently sold buildings) and it is not a surprise to see the numbers for condos drop as homebuyers look elsewhere for a place to live with more options for financing."

For condos closed year to date, the median sales price is $285,000, down 9% from 2008. Average market time: 155 days, up 21%.

Comparing March sales of Chicago condos to February sales, one finds a brighter picture, influenced by seasonal upticks:
* Units closed increased by 47%, from 384 to 563
* Dollar volume was up 44%, from $130 million to $187 million
* Median sales price increased by 1%, from $278,000 to $280,000.

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