With today's release of the Case Shiller home price index for May the Chicago housing market has solidified it's price gains of the last few months. Single family home prices rose from April's levels by 3.7% while condo prices rose by a whopping 6%. Of course, home prices normally rise at this time of the year but that is the largest single month gain in condominium prices ever recorded in the Case Shiller index.
Checking out the long term trend we can see that the average home buyer who bought a single family home in July 2011 or March 2002 has now broken even. Small consolation. But for the average buyer who was lucky enough to have bought a home at the lows of March 2012 they are up by 14.7%. And single family home prices are still 30.1% below the absolute bubble peak and 25.5% below the long term trend line in the graph below.
Condominium prices are back to the levels of July 2011 and May/ June 2001 but they are up 18.1% from the bottom of the market. And they are still 28.6% below the bubble peak.
When compared to last year single family and condominium prices continue to track positively. Single family home prices were up 8.5% in the last year while condo prices were up 11.9%. That is a record one year increase for condominium prices in Chicago since Case Shiller began tracking condo prices. The year over year increase for single family homes was actually muted by the fact that last May showed record gains in home prices. So a year ago is a difficult comp. But this May did mark the 7th month in a row of year over year price increases for both measures.
When compared to the other 20 cities that Case Shiller tracks Chicago is pretty much in the middle of the pack. David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, noted that "Two cities set new highs, surpassing their pre-crisis levels and five cities – Atlanta, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle – posted monthly gains of over three percent,also a first time event."
I was actually skeptical about that statement about two cities hitting new highs. I didn't think that was possible. So I checked and sure enough Dallas and Denver are at all time highs. Amazing!
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