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Chicago Real Estate - Annual Home Prices Fall, Attracting First Time Home Buyers

It's a tough time to buy a house. For some, with the right amount of capital and good credit, the falling home prices in Chicago signal a time for opportunity. For others, attaining a loan and securing a property to buy is even more challenging. Recently a Chicago Real Estate think tank released numbers that said, although Chicago's real estate prices fell last year, they did not fall as much as the rest of the U.S.

Chicago home prices fell in November but not as much as prices nationwide, which a widely watched index shows dropped by the sharpest annual rate on record.

But the silver lining might be that more families can finally buy a home for the first time in years. Falling home prices coupled with lower interest rates have shaved hundreds of dollars off monthly mortgage payments, and that is luring buyers back into the market, new data this week showed.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city housing index released Tuesday tumbled by a record 18.2 percent from November 2007, the largest decline since its inception in 2000.

Chicago prices fell 12.5 percent compared with November 2007 and 2.8 percent compared with October 2008, the S&P/Case-Shiller data show.

Both the 20- and 10-city indices have recorded year-over-year declines for 23 straight months. Prices are at levels not seen since February 2004.

But the numbers may not be as ugly at second glance, according to Patrick Newport, an economist with IHS Global Insight.

"If you adjust for inflation, they're not record declines," Newport said. "Home prices are still dropping at about a 20-percent clip, but it's not as bad as it's been in last six months."

But the recession and sweeping job losses don't bode well for a near-term turnaround in housing prices. Newport estimates prices will drop another 10 percent to 15 percent this year.

So if you are a potential home buyer in Chicago, it is an opportune time. Be sure to watch the market and stay informed. Above all else, save capital, improve your credit and secure employment. We these things in handComputer Technology Articles, buying a home in Chicago might be easier than you thought.

Article Tags: Home Prices, First Time

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Michael Russell writes about a variety of subjects, including real estate, environmentalism, and modern architecture. This article discusses real estate trends in Chicago. For more information about Chicago Real Estate, visit the Real Estate Book.

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