With the April 28th release of February 2011 data for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, we saw a significant fall in condo prices in the Chicago area. The index reported an average condo price decline of 3.1% in February versus January. The data look worse if you view the market over the prior six months or so. The monthly declines in January 2011, and December, November and October 2010 were 5.4%, 2.0%, 1.6% and 2.5%, respectively. Since July, the market is down about 18%, and posted an annual rate of -13.8% with the report on February’s data.
The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices cover five condo markets – Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. The chart below compares the index levels for the five markets, rebased to 1995 = 100. It is apparent that the Chicago market never saw the rate of price appreciation of the other four during the 2002-2006 run-up. But what is also apparent is that over the past two years Chicago has seen the most significant retrenchment. On average Chicago prices are back to their mid-2000 levels. The other markets, while well below their 2006/2007 levels, have done a better job in holding on to their relative values.
Using 1995 = 100 as a benchmark, the New York condo market is about 163% above that level, meaning the average condo can still sell for more than 2 ½ times what it did in 1995. Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco are about 156%, 130% and 124% above their respective 1995 levels. Chicago, however, is seeing average condo prices only 36% above their levels of 16 years ago.