Increased Home Prices, Low Vacancy Rate in Chicago Area

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor With home prices improving for the third month in a row, the Chicago area real estate struggle might come to an end. A report issued last week by the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR) and quoted [...]

With home prices improving for the third month in a row, the Chicago area real estate struggle might come to an end. A report issued last week by the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR) and quoted by The Chicago Tribune reveals that the median selling price for a condo in Chicago was $299,000 in May, a 10.3 percent increase from the same month last year. The year-over-year increase was 2.8 for March and 4.3 for April, which leads to a median selling price for the city overall to 3.7 percent or $238,450, reports the newspaper.

Mabel Guzman, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors, declared that, although the figures for the last three months are satisfying, the market’s trend can be decided over the next six months. IAR’s report shows that the Chicago area house market is still under the sales and prices volume recorded in 2010. Last month 6,608 homes were sold in the Chicago area, which is a 12.8 decrease from the same period in 2010. The median selling price for a home in this area was $169,900 in May this year, a 10.8 percent decline from the $190,500 median price of May 2010. Mabel Guzman explained that May condo sales were bigger than single-family sales because buyers focused on easy-to-acquire units and distressed condos that would be turned into rental units.

In office lease headlines, ChicagorealEstateDaily.com reports that McKinsey&Co., a management consulting giant, has signed a lease for three upper-level floors totaling 100,000-square-feet at 300 E. Randolph St. CoStar Group Inc. revealed that the Blue Cross & Blue Shield Building is now 97 percent leased. The transaction was secured by Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. and it’s a big push for the East Loop submarket which for years has been suffering from very high vacancy rate.