January 2015 continued the trend that was noticeable throughout the fall and winter of 2014, and that was declining housing sales.
Remember, last winter was the polar vortex with record cold blasts and the second highest seasonal snowfall ever.
This January closings, for the most part, would have gone under contract in November and December of 2014. Chicago recorded no snowfall in December and moderate temperatures.
From the Illinois Association of Realtors:
The city of Chicago saw sales of 1,295 homes in January 2015, down 8.3 percent from last year. The median price of a home in Chicago was $222,000, up 11.0 percent over January 2014.
Sales Data Since 2006 (thanks to G for the older data):
- January 2006: 2009 sales and median price of $258,000
- January 2007: 1850 sales and median price of $279,900
- January 2008: 1203 sales and median price of $290,000
- January 2009: 918 sales and median price of $205,000
- January 2010: 1237 sales and median price of $195,000
- January 2011: 1034 sales and median price of $150,000
- January 2012: 1123 sales and median price of $149,000
- January 2013: 1521 sales and median price of $157,000
- January 2014: 1383 sales and median price of $200,750
- January 2015: 1295 sales and median price of $222,000
“Families and professionals have a strong desire to buy a home yet a full market recovery continues to be stalled by the limited homes for sale. Buyer demand on lower inventory is pushing up prices to offer sellers an incentive,” said Hugh Rider, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and co-president of Realty & Mortgage Co. “With the winter thaw, we expect to see increased market growth as more homebuyers and homeowners see the opportunity to make the most of currently low interest rates.”
“Once again prices and sales moved in opposite directions in January with the sales decline attributed to a lower completion rate for homes under contract in December,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “In addition, foreclosure sales declined while sales of regular properties were almost the same as January 2014.”
Mortgage rates remain considerably below last year’s level. The average 30-year mortgage was 3.66% in January 2015 compared to 4.46% a year ago.
In January 2014, the IAR blamed the weather for the decline in sales. But sales declined every month last year except one.
What’s the excuse this year?
Illinois sees double-digit gains in median home prices in January [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, February 23, 2015]