The Chicago Association of REALTORS® ( CAR ) , in conjunction with the Real Estate Center at DePaul University, held its 2004 Economic Forecast Summit answering one of the most important questions of the industry, 'What will be hot in 2004.' Three panelists tackled issues such as building conversions, new developments, neighborhood statistics and residential and commercial properties.
The following illustrates the highlights of the summit:
Dr. Michael Miller, a Chairperson and Associate Professor at the Department of Economics at DePaul University, explained that the productivity growth and the growth of gross domestic product is excellent. Also, housing was, and is, strong due in part to the current interest rates. Miller explained that existing home sales and new home sales continue a strong upward trend. According to Miller, the 2004 outlook for real estate will depend on consumer confidence in the future, which has kept the market strong during the recession. His expectations see a leveling off at current high levels or slight decline, but the bottom will not fall out.
Gail Lissner, a vice president at Appraisal Research Counselors, explained that hot areas of the 2004 real estate market will include sales concessions, entry-level housing, 1 bedrooms, view units over the Loop/lake, river units, units that can still attract speculators, the Trump Tower and inexpensive adaptive reuse. Her list of areas that will not be strong include anything that has been marketing for two or more years and has still not broken ground and units oversized for the neighborhood or building.
John C. Kmiecik, CRB of Chicago, is the 2004 President of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® ( IAR ) as well as CAR Past President. Kmiecik is the President of CENTURY 21 Kmiecik REALTORS®. While he explained that housing will continue to remain strong, he also noted that the national median home price will probably drop to $169,500 the first quarter of 2004 but will increase to $176,600 by the end of 2004. New home prices, now at $190,000, will rise to $205,500 before the start of 2005.