Yesterday Crain's reported on how Chicago area Home Prices Perk Up, just in time for today's release of the Case Shiller home price index numbers for February that showed a continuing decline in home prices. To be fair the Crain's article addresses home price changes over the last year, while the Case Shiller index is a monthly number. Nevertheless, telling us what happened over the last year is not as interesting as what is going on right now.
Today's Case Shiller index release shows us that both single family and condo home prices are continuing to fall in the Chicago area. Single family home prices declined an additional 2%, while condo prices fell an additional 3.1% - those are one month changes!
Single family home prices are just a hair above last year's low reached in April, while condo prices continue to plumb new lows. Single family home prices are now down 27.3% from the peak and down 3% from last year's numbers. Prices for both single family homes and condos are back to approximately July 2002 levels.
When will the insanity stop? Well, actually it stopped in October 2006 when home prices started their decline. But we all want to know when the price declines will stop. I thought that it had stopped last year when prices started to go up but that didn't last very long. Now we are sitting 12.9% below Chicago's long term single family home price trend. One would think that we are near the bottom but there's no sign yet of a turnaround is there?