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Spring Forward: Chicago Home And Condo Prices Jump 12 Percent

With existing home prices sharply on the rise, owners seeking to move up to bigger quarters or downsize to smaller digs better spruce up their properties now and get ready for a quick spring sale, Chicago-area Realtors advise.

“Now is the time to sell your home if you’ve been thinking about doing that,” said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR).

“Compared to last year, the median sales price for all closed sales is up about 12 percent and there is a faster turnaround time between when a home is listed and when it sells,” Wagner said.

The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in February jumped 12.3 percent to $238,000 compared with $212,000 in February of 2015, reported the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR). Unit sales in Chicago increased 2.1 percent in February with 1,528 homes sold, up from 1,497 closings in February of 2015.

Experts say mortgage interest rates below 4 percent are having a positive impact on the resale housing market in the Chicago area. Benchmark 30-year fixed home-loan rates averaged 3.71 percent in late March, compared with 3.69 percent a year ago.

The Federal Reserve’s decision to maintain the current level of the Federal funds rate pushed the 10-year Treasury yield lower, said Sean Becketti, chief economist of Freddie Mac.

As a result, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate declined to 3.71 percent. “However, a June rate hike is still on the table,” Becketti said.

In the nine-county Chicago metro area single-family home and condominiums sales in February totaled 6,095 units sold, up 6.1 percent from 5,744 units in February a year ago. The median price was $187,500 in February in the Chicago metro area, up 7.1 percent from $175,000 in February of 2015.

“Chicago’s metro housing market has been moving ahead at a steady pace,” said Jack Kreider, executive vice president and regional director of RE/MAX Northern Illinois.

“Right now there is just a four-month supply of townhome and condominium units in the metro area, compared to a six-month supply of detached single-family homes,” noted Kreider.

The relative shortage of attached homes is felt most strongly in Chicago, where attached units accounted for 56 percent of February sales, Kreider said.

A RE/MAX analysis of February home sales in the seven-county metro Chicago area is based on data collected by MRED, the regional multiple listing service covering Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.

Sales of detached homes in the metro area rose 7 percent in February from their year-earlier level, totaling 3,862 units. The median sales price gained 10 percent to $204,950.

Attached sales in the Chicago metro area climbed 7 percent in February to 2,165 units. The median sales price advanced 6 percent to $165,000.

“Illinois continues to see sustained growth in home sales and median prices, indicating the market is poised for a strong rollout for the spring selling season,” said Mike Drews, president of the IAR.

“All signs point to sellers seeing intense interest from buyers who are competing in a market where there are fewer properties from which to choose,” Drews said.

“The housing market in Illinois continues to record comfortable increases in both sales and prices,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, an economist at the University of Illinois. “Particularly important has been the consistent decrease in the percentage of sales accounted for by foreclosed properties in Chicago.”

For more housing news, visit Don DeBat is co-author of “Escaping Condo Jail,” the ultimate survival guide for condominium living. Visit

“The book is Escaping Condo Jail by Sara Benson and Don DeBat. I would say that anybody thinking about buying a condo, or even anybody serving on a condo board, or anybody who has any connection to a condo, this is must reading—all 600 and something pages. Thanks a lot for a great book!”


Steve Sanders, “Your Money Matters” WGN TV, December 22, 2014

By Don DeBat

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