from Local Attorney, Michael H. Wasserman

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Market Conditions: November Sales Plummet 41.3% Year Over Year

Its not like anyone in the Real Estate market needs numbers to quantify the severity of the pain, but just the same, here Crib Chatter's is a quick, dirty summary of Illinois Association of Realtors' November sales reports:

Chicago home sales continue to plunge, as November recorded the sharpest year-over-year decline in the city in 2008.

Sales of single family homes and condominiums in the city fell 41.3% in November compared to a year ago. Only 1,057 sales closed compared with 1,801 in November 2007.

The median price declined 23.3% to $222,500 compared to $290,000 in November 2007.

“The REALTOR® Association is calling upon the federal government and mortgage industry to address continuing problems that are impeding the delivery of mortgage credit to potential homebuyers.” said David Hanna, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®.

“Mortgage insurers need to make sure they have not over-corrected and added unnecessarily strict underwriting standards preventing people from qualifying for a mortgage. The lack of practical and affordable loans will continue to stymie the recovery effort.”

Sales also fell 32.3% in the 9-county Chicagoland area. Year-to-date, sales are down 26.5% in the 9-county Chicagoland area compared to the first 11 months of 2007.

64,445 homes sold through November 2008 compared to 87,624 in the same 11-month period in 2007.

Prices also declined in the 9-county Chicagoland area. Year-to-date, median price fell 4.9% to $242,000 from $254,500 in the 11-month period in 2007.

For the month of November, prices fell 15.9% to $207,745 from $247,000 in November 2007.

Are price declines accelerating?

“The housing market was stalled in November due to a deepening recession which hit our economy with blunt force this fall. No one should be surprised at these figures given what happened with the financial markets in the past few months,” said Pat Callan, broker-owner of Realty Executives Premiere in Wheaton and President of the Illinois Association of Realtors.

“Looking ahead, we are encouraged by the Federal Reserve Board’s action last week to get our economy moving again with the announcement to lower the federal funds rate.”

“The REALTOR® Association has been calling for mortgage rate reductions and recent action to drive down interest rates should be attractive to homebuyers who have been waiting on the sidelines to enter the market. With interest rates the best they have been in 50 years and peak inventory levels, there are unique buying opportunities,” he said.

Sharp Drop in Mortgage Rates Encouraging Sign for Housing Market November Illinois Home Sales Decline Statewide [Illinois Association of Realtors Press Release, Dec 23, 2008]