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Home Shoppers Looking For Deals, But Sellers Are In Short Supply

Prospective home and condominium buyers were standing in line in October, looking for deals in Chicago and surrounding suburbs, but not enough sellers provided attractive real estate listings, analysts say.

“The lack of inventory continues holding back sales, but demand for homes remains strong,” observed Chris Calomino, spokesperson for RE/MAX Northern Illinois.

The market for condos, townhomes and cooperative apartments was especially strong in October, when attached sales accounted for 37.1% of the Chicago-area sales, RE/MAX reported. Last October, attached homes accounted for 35.5% of October sales.

“Whether a home is attached or detached, we’re hearing from our brokers that properties in good condition and reasonably priced are selling quite quickly,” Calomino said. “We expect an active market through the holiday season and into 2018.”

RE/MAX reported that 872 detached single-family homes sold in Chicago in October, a gain of 3.3% over October of 2016. The median price gained 0.5% to $220,000. Some 1,211 attached homes—condominiums, townhomes and coop units—sold in October. The median price in Chicago rose a solid 5.7%.

In the seven-county Chicago metropolitan area, sales rose 2.7% to 8,931 units and the median sales price gained 2.3% to $224,000. However there was a 9.2% decline in listings.

The average time a home sold in October spent on the market in the Chicago area before finding a buyer fell to 74 days from 83 days one year earlier. It is the shortest average market time for October since RE/MAX began tracking that data in 2005.

The home sales data used for the RE/MAX analysis is collected by Midwest Real Estate Data, the regional multiple listing service, which covers homes sales in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.

Earlier, the RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate reported Lincoln Park led the city in million-dollar sales of condos, townhomes and co-ops, and reclaimed the lead from North Center in sales of million-dollar detached homes.

According to the RE/MAX report, 34 condos, townhomes and coops sold for $1 million or more in Lincoln Park from July through September—a 79% increase from the same period a year ago. The median price was $1.35 million, up 15% from the same period last year.

Forty-five single-family luxury homes sold for $1-million or more in the third quarter of 2017 in Lincoln Park, up 7.1% percent from the same period last year. The median price was $1.66 million, up 5.4%.

Thirty-five single-family homes sold for $1 million or more in North Center, a 12.9 percent increase from a year ago. The median price was $1.27 million.

Other top Chicago neighborhoods for million-dollar houses included Lakeview with 32 sales at a median price of $1.53 million, and West Town, with 28 sales at a median price of $1.24 million, RE/MAX reported.

While affordable home listings are a problem in the Chicago area, house hunters also are starting to worry about mortgage-rate creep.

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey reported on November 16th that average benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgages moved to 3.95%, up from 3.90% a week earlier and the highest mark since July. A year ago at this time, 30-year fixed loans averaged 3.94%.

Fifteen-year fixed loans averaged 3.31% on November 16th, up from 3.24 percent a week earlier. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-loan average was 3.14%.

“Rates increased last week. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked up 6 basis points, while the 30-year mortgage rate jumped 5 basis points to 3.95%,” noted Sean Becketti, chief economist for Freddie Mac. “Today's survey rate is the highest rate in nearly four months.”

Currently, mortgage shoppers can expect to pay a range of 3.756% to 3.979% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan this week, according to

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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