As published in the Chicago Tribune this morning http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-chicago-area-home-prices-rise-27-in-july-caseshiller-20120925,0,3961037.story average home prices in the Chicago area rose in July for the fourth consecutive month. This news, based on the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, supports the optimism many are feeling about the current state of Chicago’s residential real estate market. In fact, the numbers suggest that market values are similar to those from late in 2001.
So, are you buying?
It has become vogue to approach good news about real estate with a bit of caution. (Read that as, ‘Folks prefer to wear hazmat gear when receiving news about home values.’) Unfortunately, perception is reality. This is especially true in real estate where that garish green carpet and matching drapes are a deal-breaker for one buyer and a dream-come-true for another. So if we hesitate to accept good news our reticence translates to many as a furtherance of bad news. Right?
The problem is that we need to believe the good news for what it is. Uh. So what is it, exactly?
While the numbers released today are excellent indicators that the market is, indeed, achieving stability, 2001 numbers are not 2006 numbers. It was during those intervening years when mortgages were being handed out like candy on Halloween that values were being inflated to unbelievable heights. All of us ended up owning spectacularly over-valued homes and many of us purchased homes during that period that are now weighing us down.
With that in mind, there is good news in all of this and it’s not that we’ve returned to those too-good-to-be-real numbers. Instead, we are returning to solid, feet-on-the-ground numbers. We are ticking up in values, slowly and steadily as we should be, rather than riding roller coasters as we have been. The good news in all of this is that we are proceeding with caution.
And while we’re waiting for numbers that favor our own particular circumstances, it’s also important to remember that over a lifetime, real estate includes more than monetary value. Although many of us have lost equity over the past several years we have gotten to keep the memories of family dinners and garden parties and sleepovers we have enjoyed in our homes. We believe that has great value!
The Tribune article quotes David Blitzer, the chairman of S&P Dow Jones’ indices’ index committee as saying, “All in all, we are more optimistic about housing.” There’s plenty to be optimistic about. You just have to believe it.
For more information on why we are so optimistic about Chicago real estate, give us a call or visit www.carmenandtony.com. For all of your real estate needs, we are here to help.