The housing market is returning to a healthy state ahead of the normally busy spring season. Previously owned homes and condos are selling at a higher percentage and young buyers are acquiring their first homes. Sales are up by 13 percent. There is no full recovery, but the market indicates sales will continue to increase.
In Chicago there were 4,447 sales of existing homes and condominiums. That’s 15.7 percent higher than sales in January of 2011. The median sale price was 11.4 percent lower. Prices are depressed in Chicago due to the number of foreclosed homes available. Major lenders were allegedly committing foreclosure abuse, and the cases have been settled now.
The large supply of available homes dropped to 2.3 million. It will require another six months if not more, to diminish the level enough to make a difference. Economists see the January activity as signaling more improvements in the housing market. The continuing low mortgage rates should add to the likelihood of improvement.
More people were hired and as a result the unemployment rate decreased to 8.3 percent. According to realtors, banks have continued to reject mortgage applicants. Financial stability in the public sector is not a given at this time in the recovery period.