Sales down slightly, median prices down more for Chicago area in 2010

Sales of new and existing homes in the Chicago metro area fell 0.5% from 2009 to 2010, and the median sale price fell by 5.6%, from $196,000 to $185,000, says the Illinois Association of Realtors.

In the city alone, sales fell 1.6%, and the median price fell by 8%, from $225,000 to $207,000.

“In 2010 we saw significant demand from first-time buyers and we look for the spring market to release some of the pent-up demand from many who’ve put their move-up or relocation plans on hold during the recession,” says IAR President Sheryl Grider Whitehurst. “Foreclosures are expected to remain a challenge in the marketplace and we look for leadership from the lending community to expedite the short sale process and create a more workable lending environment for qualified buyers.”

If the year-over-year comparisons released this winter and spring show losses, that’s because federal tax credits offered to first-time and return buyers in early 2010 “set the stage for an expected dampening in the annual sales growth data for 2011 for the first quarter,” says economist Geoffrey J.D. Hewings in the report.

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