Monday, January 15, 2007

Consumer Economic Confidence in Chicagoland Improves Significantly

Chicagoland Chamber Survey Reports Economic Confidence Higher in Chicagoland Than Nation

The economic confidence of consumers in Chicagoland rose significantly during the fourth quarter of 2006, according to the Rasmussen Consumer Index for the region released today by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. The quarterly reading stood at 121.2 at the end of December, a more than 12-point gain from 109.1 reported at the end of September. And, for the first time, Chicagoland residents were more optimistic about the economy than consumers nationally. The national Rasmussen Consumer Index for the same period is 117.7

Here is the full story

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Chicago HOMEBUZZ Market Report

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year!

Here is our market report for the 4th quarter of 2006 for single family, condos, townhomes and multi-unit residential properties in our mailing list sorted by zip code. This market report podcast (click on title to listen or go here: will show the huge increase in sales volume compared to 3rd quarter, 2006. With a few exceptions the zip code neighborhoods were up and in some case up BIG. The overall increase from the 3rd to 4th quarter was over 35.5% in total sales going from $2,118,059,477 in the third quarter to $3,284,127,045 in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Almost all of the neighborhoods in our report showed an increase in sales volume with a few exceptions including the Lakeview 60657 multi-unit sales which dropped 68.54% in the fourth quarter down from over $32 million in sales to just over $19 million in the fourth quarter. The Loops 60605 zip code area saw a HUGE 73.72% increase from $42 million to almost $163 million for attached dwellings with 535 units sold with an average market time of only 29 days and a median sales price of $241,000.

This is the kind of information you will find in the report and in our audio podcast. This podcast is available at our website at or at It can also be found at iTunes where you can subscribe and automatically have it downloaded to your computer or ipod or you can subscribe to our RSS feed also available on these sites.

Thanks for your interest and have a great new year!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Housing Possibly on the Rebounds

Housing: The Best Indicators Of A Rebound Has the home market hit bottom? That is the key question for the U.S. economy in 2007. According to some housing indicators, there is some light at the end of the tunnel for homebuilders, but that cautious optimism comes with caveats. To get the most reliable signal that the housing recession is over, keep an eye on the average monthly supply of new homes for sale and the average mortgage rate each quarter. Analysis by Goldman Sachs U.S. economist Edward McKelvey of eight pieces of housing data widely used as leading indicators of the housing cycle showed those two series are better than quarterly averages of new and existing home sales, housing starts, mortgage applications, housing affordability, and homebuilder confidence.In housing market upturns, all eight indicators do a good job of forecasting market peaks by two to five quarters. However, "a contraction is swifter and more cathartic," says McKelvey. That places a premium on indicators that give a more consistent signal.The monthly supply of homes--a ratio of new home inventories and home sales--has peaked one quarter before residential investment bottomed every time since 1961. Mortgage rates are nearly as consistent over that same period and have a similar lead time.The supply of new homes for sale in the fourth quarter should decline after a November reading of 6.3 months, from 6.7 in October and the recent peak of 7.2 months last July. Mortgage rates also fell in both the third and fourth quarters of 2006.But homebuilders are not out of the woods yet. The Census Bureau doesn't track cancellations, which stood around 7% of total sales contracts in 2006, vs. less than 4% in 2005, according to the National Association of Home Builders. As a result, reported sales are too high, inventories are too low, and changes in the monthly supply may be skewed. Investors also expect the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates in 2007. If the Fed raises rates, or even stands pat, mortgage rates are likely to rise, putting more stress on builders