With the last minute flurry of home buying activity in March and April it should come as no surprise that home sales (closings) spiked in April. The Illinois Association Of Realtors (IAR) released their monthly sales figures this morning and it shows that home sales in the broader Chicago area were up 47% over April of 2009. The graph below shows the monthly sales figures going back to January 2006, along with a moving average to smooth out the seasonal effects. In addition, for easy comparisons we have flagged each April in red.
As you can tell from the graph, the tide turned in July 2009 when sales stopped declining and actually started to rise a few months later. Then, starting in October 2009, we started to see really healthy year over year increases in real estate activity in the Chicago area. Interestingly, April's sales activity was so strong that it was even higher than 2008 levels - 16% higher.
You should note that the IAR numbers reflect real estate closings during the month of April so these contracts were more than likely entered into either early in April or in March. What that also means is that with the surge in buying activity at the end of April we should see a continued impact when the May numbers are released in about a month.