Well, it had to happen sooner or later. Home prices in Chicago finally showed an increase in April after 7 straight months of declines according to this morning's release of the Case Shiller home price index. Granted some of this decline and the subsequent increase is a seasonal effect but even on a de-seasonalized basis there was an increase. A lot of people have been waiting for the evidence of price increases to materialize after we've been seeing extremely low inventory levels and more and more cases of multiple offers. Of course, one month does not a trend make (that's bad grammar, right?)
According to Case Shiller single family home prices increased by 1.1% in April, which still puts home prices 38.4% lower than where they peaked and back to April/ May 2000 levels. Condo prices increased by 0.7% in May, which is roughly where they were in October 1999 and 39.1% below their bubble peak.
The graph below shows the trend in Chicago single family and condo prices going back to January 1987 along with the trend line for single family home prices. Single family home prices are now 31.7% below that trend line.
On a year over year basis single family home prices are still falling, with April prices 5.6% lower than last year. Condo prices are also still falling - 6.8% lower than last year. The year over year graphs are below and you can see that since the housing bubble burst prices have never gone up on a year over year basis.
On a national level 19 of the 20 cities tracked showed price increases in April.