With today's release of the July Case Shiller home price index for Chicago single family home prices have now bounced back a total of 13.5% from the March low. July came in 2.7% above June, which brings us back to September 2001 levels. Prices are still down 30.8% from the bubble peak in September 2006 and they are running 24% below the trendline. The graph below shows the long term trends for both single family homes and condos.
Given the record low levels of inventory in the city during the past few months none of this is surprising. Condo prices were up 2.3% from June, which brings them back to November 2000 levels and down a total of 32% from the peak in September 2007.
Over the last year prices for single family homes and condos are both down in Chicago, continuing a trend that has been going on for about 5 1/2 years as you can see in the graph below. Single family home prices are down 0.9% in the last year while condo prices are down 4.7%. However, you will also note that the year over year price decreases have been decreasing lately and are approaching the breakeven point.
The picture for the country as a whole is even better than for Chicago. Commenting on the national picture, David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said:
All 20 cities and both Composites were up on the month for the third time in a row. Even better, 16 of the 20 cities and both Composites rose over the last year...The news on home prices in this report confirm recent good news about housing. Single family housing starts are well ahead of last year’s pace, existing home sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity is slowing. All in all, we are more optimistic about housing. Upbeat trends continue. For the third time in a row, all 20 cities and both Composites had monthly gains. Stronger housing numbers are a positive factor for other measures including consumer confidence...The positive news in both the monthly and annual rates of change in home prices over the past few months signals a possible recovery in the housing market.