A strong third quarter for Chicago real estate

Although the Chicago-area economy has seen 8 months of increasing unemployment, the city’s housing market showed some signs of optimism in the third quarter of 2011. Data covering July, August, and September showed a spike in single-family home sales and the third straight quarter of condominium price and sales velocity increases.

The third quarter is typically a strong quarter, especially in stable family-oriented neighborhoods, as families with children move before the school year. Even by this standard, however, this year’s third quarter was strong, with a higher increase in sales and prices than in recent years.

In sum:

  • Sales velocity of houses increased 31% over last quarter and 1.7% over the third quarter last year.
  • For condos, the increase was 25% over last quarter, but remained 5% below a year ago.
  • Median selling prices of houses increased 14% over last quarter, but was still 2% below a year ago.
  • For condos, the median selling price was up 13% over last quarter, but was still 7% below a year ago.
  • This marked the third consecutive quarter of increasing selling prices and increasing sales velocity among condominiums. For houses, the third quarter saw the second-largest spike in sales velocity in the last five years. The largest was coming off the disastrous first quarter of 2009.

    Jeff Baird is a real estate valuation consultant based in Chicago. He founded Lakeshore Analytics to bring comprehensive, understandable housing data and analysis to Chicago-area readers. The site features a blog with free market news and charts, summary data on 20 top neighborhoods, and quarterly data subscriptions.

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