Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Slightly better news for Chicago from R|E|A|L

From the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory, Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois on behalf of the Illinois Association of Realtors, some news that sales in May were slightly higher than in April.

Housing sales continued to decline in April and May compared to April and May of 2007, but the number of homes rose 17% in Illinois and a little less than 14% in Chicago from April to May, 2008.

Two main factors have been identified by the authors of the report:

An 11.5 month supply of homes are on the market.  The outlook appears grim as a large number of foreclosed homes are coming on the market and more are expected.  The report indicates that foreclosure filings were up 65% in April compared to April, 2007.  A survey of households indicates that the number of people planning to buy a home within 6 months has fallen from 3.4% in March, to 2.5% in April, to 2.1% in May.

The other factor is economic news.  The national unemployment rate jumped to 5.5% with the number of unemployed rising by 861,000 in May.  Economists and analysts were surprised to hear that the Illinois economy added 4,000 jobs in May, however.

With this news, analysts are kicking the projected real estate market recovery into 2010 rather than in 2009.