Prospective home buyers are circling Chicago’s neighborhoods like eagles seeking prey, but lower than normal housing inventory in September meant nice houses and condominiums were snapped up quickly and at higher median prices, experts say.
The city of Chicago posted a 3.7% year-over-year home sales decline in September of 2017 with 2,309 single-family home and condominium sales, down from 2,398 units sold in September of 2016, reported Illinois Realtors®. The median price of homes and condos in Chicago in September was $275,000, up 5.8% compared with $260,000 in the same month a year ago.
“Although the market has slowed somewhat from peak summer activity, it continues to push forward, with decreases in overall inventory and market time reflecting continued interest in investing in a home,” noted Rebecca Thomson, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR)
“Moving into the colder months, pricing properties correctly will continue to be the key to capturing serious buyer attention. Quick decision-making and flexibility will gain greater importance as inventory declines,” Thomson advised.
“What’s holding the market back now is a lack of entry-level and mid-level inventory,” explained Chris Calomino, marketing communications manager for RE/MAX Northern Illinois. “Interest rates remain attractive, and the job market continues to improve.”
Benchmark 30-year fixed home loan rates eased to an average of 3.88% on October 19th, down from 3.91% a week earlier, reported Freddie Mac’s national Primary Mortgage Market Survey. A year ago at this time, 30-year fixed loans averaged 3.52%.
Fifteen-year fixed mortgages averaged 3.19%, down from 3.21% a week earlier. A year ago at this time, 15-year fixed loans averaged 2.79%.
In the nine-county Chicago area single-family home and condo sales totaled 9,634 units in September, down 4.6% from 10,095 units in September of 2016 sales of 10,095 homes. The median price was $230,000 in the Chicago area, an increase of 5.7% from $217,500 in September of 2016.
Sales and price information are generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 28 participating Illinois Realtor local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data.
Statewide single-family home and condo sales totaled 13,657 units in September, down 4% from 14,223 units in September of 2016. The statewide median price in September was $192,500, up 6.9% from $180,000 in September of 2016. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.
“Sellers are definitely reaping the benefits of a market which in many areas continues to be dogged by tight inventories,” said Illinois Realtor president Matt Difanis. “Although the summer selling season is drawing to a close, interest on the part of many buyers does not seem to be waning as evidenced by the short time on average it is taking to complete a purchase.”
The time it took to sell a home in September statewide averaged 51 days, down from 58 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 60,669 units for sale, a 10.5 percent decline from September of 2016 when there were 67,796 homes on the market.
“Housing inventory continues to dampen sales,” said University of Illinois economist Geoffrey J.D. Hewings. “This problem is reflected in the significant increases in the sales prices of foreclosed properties, which have increased by more than 15% compared with 5% for regular sales.”
For more housing news, visit www.dondebat.biz. Don DeBat is co-author of “Escaping Condo Jail,” the ultimate survival guide for condominium living. Visit www.escapingcondojail.com.