DOWNTOWN — Total home sales in the city dropped 3.5 percent in February in a year-to-year comparison, but the median sale price was up, a new report says.
The decrease in total numbers comparing February 2014 with 2013 was blamed on this winter's particularly brutal weather. Higher prices reflected a tighter inventory of homes for sale, down 23 percent from last year, experts said.
The report released Thursday by the Illinois Association of Realtors said there were 1,361 sales last month vs. 1,411 in February of 2013.
The median price was $175,000 last month; in February 2013, it was $156,050, an increase of 12.1 percent, the report said.
Broken down by types of real estate, the median price of a single-family home in Chicago was $140,750, the report said. That was up 13.2 percent in a year-to-year comparison.
The median price of a condo in the city was $219,000, up about 10 percent.
"February's weather was not anymore welcoming to buyers than January in Chicago," said Matt Farrell, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors, referring to a decrese in total sales recorded in the first month of this year.
"People do not want to go shopping for homes in unseasonably cold weather," Ferrell said in a statement issued through the state association.
The report said rising prices and an uptick in home mortgage interest rates also contributed to the slower volume in sales.
However, the increase in median sales prices are "signalling a strong market on the rise," said Ferrell, who is managing partner of Urban Real Estate.
In inventory in the city, there were 9,743 homes for sale in Chicago a year ago; last month there were 7,506.
Real estate in the city is selling quicker: homes sold in February were on the market for 67 days, almost 12 percent faster than a year ago, the report said.
In the nine-county Chicago metropolitan area, home sales were down 8.2 percent. The median price for single-family homes was $172,000, up about 10 percent. The median sales price for condos was $129,900, up 13 percent.