With another week and a half until the Illinois Association of Realtors announces April home sales for Chicago I'm here to tell you that they're going to be down around 28% from last year. Actually, my preliminary numbers indicate they will be down 27.9%. But that was totally expected since last year's numbers were artificially pumped up by the government charity program for the real estate industry (and then we wonder why our deficit is so high). Expect to see more numbers dramatically lower than last year until we get to July.
Looking at contract activity for Chicago as a more current measure of real estate market conditions we see that at least contract activity is running higher than 2009, which is better than how the back half of 2010 performed. See the graph below.
My other favorite indicator of Chicago real estate market conditions is the percent of home sales that are distressed. As the graph below shows we are still running at a fairly high level of around 47%. Although that is down slightly form the percentages of recent months it's still higher than it has been in the last 2 years. Remember that I've previously demonstrated that the percent distressed home sales varies greatly by price range and the bulk of these distressed sales are at the lower end of the market.