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Chicago Area Home Prices Increase, Slightly, For First Time In Nearly A Year

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While the real estate market continues to struggle toward recovery in Illinois and throughout the country, the most recent Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index had some good news for Chicago homeowners.

According to the report [PDF], home prices in the Chicago metropolitan area in May increased 1.7 percent over the previous month, but when compared to the same month last year, home prices are still down 8.1 percent.

The data, which also marked a just better than 1 percent improvement among all 20 of the metropolitan areas included in the index, "support a continuation of the 'bounce-along-the-bottom' scenario we have witnessed in the housing market over the past two years," David Blitzer of S&P's Index Committee said in a statement.

"[W]e might have a long way to go before we see a real recovery," Blitzer said. "Sustained increases in home prices over several months and better annual results need to be seen before we can confirm real estate market recovery."

Further, as the Chicago Tribune reports, the increase -- the city's first in nine months -- has a lot to do with an expected seasonal surge, though it is still far better than the flatlined market indicators which have otherwise been the norm in recent months.

The Illinois Association of Realtors, the state's largest real estate trade association, reported Friday that June home sales and median prices in Illinois are also continuing in a cautiously upward direction. They, too, remain lower than the same month the previous year. The IAR reported a 12.7 increase in home sales, 16.3 percent lower than June 2010, and a 7.1 percent increase in the statewide median price, a 11.7 decrease compared to last June.

Earlier this year, the IAR was called out for falsely reporting Chicago median home prices, an error they attributed to a problem with their data program.

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