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The Home Front
Competition for homes in good condition remains intense citywide, and many are selling for more than their list price.

4-Jul-21 – Chicago’s red-hot spring housing market is continuing to roll into summer despite lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were 3,395 sales of attached and detached homes in Chicago during May, the highest number for the month since 2006 and a whopping 103.2 percent increase over the same month last year when the pandemic lockdown sharply depressed housing activity, according to Midwest Real Estate Data, the regional multiple listing service.

The median sales price for May was $350,000 – 11.8 percent higher than a year ago – and the highest ever recorded in May. The average time to sell a home listing in May was 72 days, 11 days less than in May 2020.

The total listing inventory of homes for sale in Chicago increased 4.5 percent to 7,252 units. The inventory of attached homes – condominiums, townhomes, and co-operative units – soared 22.5 percent to 5,756 units. However, inventory of traditional detached single-family homes plummeted by 33.3 percent to only 1,496 units.

Mary Jo Nathan

“That translates into a 1.47-month’s supply of detached homes at the May sales pace,” noted Mary Jo Nathan (left) of the Charese Team at Compass Roscoe Village, who analyzed the MRED housing market numbers. Nathan has specialized in North Side residential real estate since 2000.

Chicago’s detached-home market turned in solid results, according to Nathan, with 1,015 sales closed in May, representing a 40.8 percent increase over the same month a year ago and just a 4.1 percent dip from the total in May 2019. She says May sales of attached homes were up 150.5 percent from the year-earlier level to 2,380 units, accounting for a hefty 70.1 percent of all city sales.

“Last year, attached sales shrank substantially in May as a result of the pandemic lockdown, which in part explains the huge increase we saw this year,” said Nathan. “Sales of high-rise units were especially hard hit in 2020, but that segment is doing much better now.”

Competition for homes in good condition remains intense citywide, and many are selling for more than their list price, she noted. Some sell through the private listing network even before they are officially listed in the MLS.

Photo provided by Don DeBat

The trends seen in the city were also evident across the seven-county Chicago metropolitan area. Metro sales in May were up 67 percent to 12,635 homes compared with May 2020, and the median sales price rose 19.4 percent to $314,000. Average market time was 49 days.

Detached home sales were up 45.5 percent, and the median price gained a solid 25 percent to $350,000, while attached sales rose 112.7 percent, and the median price increased 15.9 percent to $250,000. As was the case in the city, the detached-home inventory contracted sharply from the year-earlier figure, shrinking 53.1 percent to 7,484 homes, Nathan said.

Mortgage rates inch lower

Affordable home loan rates in recent months also buoyed the market. Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey reported on July 1 that benchmark 30-year fixed home loans nationwide slipped to 2.98 percent, down from 3.02 percent a week earlier. A year ago, the 30-year fixed-loan average was 3.07 percent.

Freddie Mac

Fifteen-year fixed mortgages averaged 2.26 percent, down from 2.34 percent a week earlier. A year ago, the 15-year fixed loan average was 2.56 percent.

Sam Khater

“Low and stable mortgage rates have kept the housing market booming over recent months,” said Sam Khater (left), Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

The Freddie Mac survey is focused on conventional, conforming, fully amortizing home purchase loans for borrowers who put 20 percent down and have excellent credit.

In Chicago on July 1, Gateway Capital Mortgage was quoting 2.778 percent on 30-year loans and 2.125 percent on 15-year loans with a 3 percent down payment, reported RateSeeker. The loan fee was $595.

Rate Rabbit Home Loans was quoting 2.849 percent on a 30-year fixed mortgage with a down payment of 20 percent and a loan fee of $1,900.