The March Case Shiller home price index for Chicago just confirmed what we all have felt was happening for some time now: single family home and condo prices were up in the last year by a healthy amount - 7.7% for single family homes and 7.0% for condos. Once these numbers crossed into negative territory back in 2007 it took almost 6 years before they turned positive again but now they are moving higher with a vengeance. There have now been 5 months in a row with year over year price appreciation.
The entire country is now firmly in positive territory vs. last year, with Chicago actually at the lower end of the range of price increases. Several cities are close to or above a 20% increase!
From February to March single family home prices were essentially flat while condo prices rose by 0.6% but normally at this time of the year prices are falling - hence the healthy increase from the previous year.
Last March was also the lowest level reached since the housing bubble burst so we are now 7.7% off the low but 34.3% below the bubble peak. That means we are still back to April 2001 levels. Relative to the long term trend line in red below we are running 29.6% below it.
Condo prices are 7% off the low and 35.4% below the peak - right back to where they were in April 2000.
Commenting on the national picture, David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said:
Other housing market data reported in recent weeks confirm these strong trends: housing starts and permits,sales of new home and existing homes continue to trend higher. At the same time, the larger than usual share of multi-family housing, a large number of homes still in some stage of foreclosure and buying-to-rent by investors suggest that the housing recovery is not complete.
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