Market Downsides, Spring Upsides

Some recent articles have surfaced as of late, reporting discouraging news on the drop in homes sales both at the national and local levels.
spring home sales Nationally, on our radar was this article from the Wall Street Journal. They claim according to National Association of Realtors that “existing home sales slid 9.6% last month and prices dropped to the lowest level in nine years.” They site the unemployment rate, as well as a difficult winter as some possible factors (we did our own investigation into that correlation here). So will the spring showing season improve sales?

Our friend at Prudential-Rubloff, Mario Greco doesn’t seem to think so. This local Chicago Tribune article spells out more troubling statistics. Despite a 2.1% increase in home sales within the City of Chicago, the Chicagoland area suffered a 2% drop in single-family home sales, as well as a continual slide in prices. Greco added,

“I think we’re going to have a continued middling spring market and a disappointing summer market and, depending on interest rates, a tentatively middling fall market…”

The Flipside: Despite these ill statistics, there are glimmers of hope when you look in the right places. Thoughts are that as the job market improves, home sales will as well. Illinois has seen 13 months of declining unemployment rates, currently holding at 8.9%. Tribune also cites the highest level of contract signings in February since April 2010.

Our contribution to bolster positivity is that March held great strides for agent activity in Chicagoland. According to Leap data, March has seen the three strongest weeks of showings consecutively over the past two years. So the increase in showings reiterates @Properties agent Elise Rinaldi’s sentiment “The phone calls I’ve been getting… I really believe the paralysis is over. There’s buyers again.” The increase in sunny days in April and on bodes well for showings and closings also, as better driving conditions and general disposition become more positive. We’re willing to look for the clouds with the silver lining, no matter how the Chicago spring weather turns out.

Update: Business Insider also took a look at some data and concluded the atrocious February sales number were a result of weather in the Midwest and East Coast.

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