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Chicago Area Housing Prices Rise In May

Home for sale, file. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Home for sale, file. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – New numbers released on Tuesday provided a glimmer of hope for the struggling housing market, as home prices in some cities – including Chicago – went up in May.

As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, those numbers are heading in the right direction, but still have a long way to go.

True home prices are below where they were in February and on par with levels from 2001.

The uptick in home prices comes as sellers are being more realistic about the value of their homes, according to real estate agents.

“It’s not easy to sell a home,” Sheila Gurvic of Oak Park said on Tuesday. A transfer has the Gurvic family once again selling their home.

“This is about the 7th house I’ve sold and it’s been, by far, the least active,” she said.

Priced in the high $500,000 range and below what the Gurvics originally paid, the classic Oak Park bungalow has had no offers since early June.

“People are interested but they have their own homes to sell,” Gurvic said.

But new numbers might give them hope. Chicago area home prices rose 1.7 percent in May, the first rise for local home prices in nine months. But it’s still 8 percent lower than a year ago.

Real estate agent Dan Bogojevich said, “There is just a tremendous amount of confusion right now in both the buyers and the sellers.”

Real estate agents said they are noticing only the smallest glimmers of hope.

“I am finding now in 2011 there are many buyers ready to start looking again,” real estate agent Sheree Krisco said.

The biggest problem remains those wanting to sell a home today at yesterday’s prices.

“They had a paper value of maybe a million dollars, but that never really was a realistic value,” Bogojevich said.

Real estate agent Tom Carraher said, “If you get an offer it’s usually someone who’s serious about it and you should jump in and work with them.”

At the Gurvic home, they’re ready to work with any offer that comes in, hoping reports of a small market uptick are true.

“I’m going to be hopeful that I heard it,” Sheila Gurvic said. “Hopefully that’s good news for me, but time will tell.

Even with the rise in housing prices in May, housing prices are below where they were just last February and at the same level as ten years ago.