Bargain home and condo prices fade as multiple bids drive market
Loop North News

The Home Front

The era of bargain home prices in Chicago – caused by underwater selling and a rash of foreclosures during the Great Recession – may at last be over, experts say.

25-Jun-17 – The median price of a home in the City of Chicago hit a whopping $306,750 in May 2017, reported a new survey by Illinois REALTORS. That’s a solid 5.5 percent gain over May 2016 when the median price was $290,750.

Apparently, prices are being driven higher because of multiple-bid offers sparked by a shortage of listings. Despite the price boost, Chicago saw a 0.2 percent year-over-year home sales decline in May 2017 with 2,973 sales, down from 2,980 in May 2016.

“We’re in an interesting, sophisticated market at present, wherein inventory is restricting what’s available for those who are looking to buy,” said Matt Silver, president of Chicago Association of REALTORS.

Matt Silver “Sellers are having to price their properties appropriately,” said Silver (left). “Educated buyers are prepared to be flexible on their wants and needs in a new home – or they have to be willing wait for the perfect home to come on the market and pay accordingly.”

In the nine-county Chicago area, single-family home and condominium transactions in May 2017 totaled 12,491 units sold, up 5.1 percent from May 2016 when 11,884 units were marketed.

The median price in May 2017 was $246,900 in the Chicago area, an increase of 5.6 percent from $233,900 in May 2016. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

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.

Statewide sales of single-family homes and condominiums totaled 17,077 units in May 2017, up 3.8 percent from 16,450 units in May 2016.

The statewide median price in May 2017 was $209,000, up a hefty 8.3 percent from May 2016, when the median price was $193,000.

Fewer homes on market statewide

“Buyers in 2017 are running headlong into a tight market, with nearly 10,000 fewer homes on the market statewide than there were in May of 2016,” said Doug Carpenter (right), president of Illinois REALTORS. “Rising prices show sellers are being rewarded for listing in a market that in many areas has been marked by multiple offer situations.” Doug Carpenter

The time it took to sell a home in May 2017 averaged 52 days, down from 59 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 56,535 homes for sale, a 14.9 percent decline from May 2016 when there were 66,424 homes on the market.

Another bonus for home buyers is relatively low mortgage rates. Benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rates continuing to hold at year-to-date lows amidst ongoing economic uncertainty, reported Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The 30-year fixed loan rate averaged 3.90 percent for the week ending June 22, 2017, down from 3.91 percent a week earlier. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed loan averaged 3.56 percent.

Geoffrey Hewings “The housing market appears to be in a ‘wait-and-see’ mode in both Illinois and Chicago,” said economist Geoffrey J.D. Hewings (left) of the University of Illinois. “The state’s economy has stuttered and the fiscal cloud hanging over the state has seen enhanced net out-migration that has contributed to a dampening of demand.”

By Don DeBat | Loop North News |

Published 25-Jun-17 11:23 PM

Loop North News


What’s news in the Loop and Near North neighborhoods of downtown Chicago.

Signup for our weekly email. No ads and no charge. Just enter your email address here...

Number of subscribers:
See this week’s update

More stories

Fosco Lucarelli, Italian architect and educator based in Paris and Douglas A. Garofalo Fellow from UIC School of Architecture, discusses Dysfunctional Plans, a theoretical inquiry based on seven design exercises made in collaboration with a group of Lucarelli’s students. More an experiment than a manifesto, this talk and accompanying exhibition at UIC questions whether architecture might be a discipline autonomous enough to create its own narrative, content, function, purpose, and imagination – and therefore, meaning – stemming solely from its bare form. 6:00 p.m., Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Madlener House, 4 West Burton Place. Map. More info.

The Iraqi Mutual Aid Society returns for its sixth annual Middle Eastern Poetry Festival. Enjoy the rich tradition of multilingual poems in Arabic and other languages from the Middle East by refugees and immigrants from the cradle of civilization. English translations will be provided. Cosponsored with the Iraqi Mutual Aid Society. A reception follows the program. 2:00 p.m., Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street. Free admission. Map. More info.

Canadian composer Sarah Davachi returns to Chicago and presents new work for reed organ, violin, viola da gamba and electronics. Based upon variously displaced melodic movements that were originally developed through a series of improvisations for pipe organ, this piece attempts to balance instances of consonance and dissonance, both in frequency content and physical gesture between its three players. 8:00 p.m., Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Madlener House, 4 West Burton Place. Map. More info.
More events

Biggest Gainers & Losers

208.89 2.33

108.08 1.77

101.76 1.31

60.78 1.20

Downtown Chicago Stocks