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The Home Front
Even if you skip the COVID years, home sales and home prices on the North Side are up, and time-on-market is down. But inventory is down, too, and that continues to be a major issue.

17-Oct-22 – Existing home sales on Chicago’s North Side slumped in September for the seventh consecutive month, a new analysis by Baird & Warner reported.

John Irwin

“It’s a complicated market,” noted John Irwin (left), author of Baird & Warner’s October 2022 Market Analysis covering the neighborhoods of Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North, and North Center. “The 2022 numbers are disappointing compared to 2021. Historically low inventory levels and high fluctuation interest rates are the primary culprits, making more buyers and sellers wait on the sidelines for some stability.”

However, a significant number of homes are being sold, prices generally are up, and market times are down, Irwin’s analysis shows.

In order to provide a better frame of reference, Baird & Warner also compared 2022’s year-to-date numbers to 2019, which was the last “normal” year before COVID-19. Once 2021 numbers were tossed out, the following results emerged in the comparison of 2019 and 2022 North Side real estate activity from January through September:

Home sales. Year-to-date 2022 existing home sales rose a whopping 31.5 percent over the same period in 2019.

Home prices. Year-to-date 2022 home sale prices rose a solid 14.8 percent over the same period in 2019.

Market time. Year-to-date average market time dropped 24.1 percent from 2019.

Listing inventory. Year-to-date listing inventory levels are down 18.2 percent from 2019. Irwin said sinking inventory levels continue to be one of the major issues.

The North Side real estate market has been hit hard by a number of variables – COVID-19, sharply higher mortgage rates, crime, soaring gas prices, and a declining stock market.

“It is still too early to see if the economy is going to make a ‘soft landing’ or go into recession,” said Irwin.

Photo by Sean Pavone

Here is a list of median pricing for homes sold in September 2022, compared with the same month in 2021 in the four neighborhoods surveyed:

Lakeview. Resale home prices rose a hefty 16.8 percent. However, resale prices of luxury homes priced from $1-2 million declined 5.9 percent.

Lincoln Park. Overall resale home prices rose a whopping 20.2 percent. However, the median price of homes in the $500,000 to $1 million bracket declined 3.6 percent.

Near North Side. Overall, resale home prices declined 2.3 percent. However, prices of homes and condominiums priced under $500,000 declined 2.1 percent.

North Center. Resale home prices rose a solid 12.6 percent. However, the median price of luxury units priced at more than $2 million dropped 8.8 percent.

Home loan rates nearing 7 percent

On October 13, benchmark 30-year fixed home loan interest rates rose to 6.92 percent from 6.66 percent a week earlier, reported Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. A year ago, 30-year loans averaged 3.05 percent.

Freddie Mac

Fifteen-year fixed mortgages averaged 6.09 percent on October 13, up from 5.90 percent a week earlier. A year ago, 15-year loans averaged 2.30 percent.

Sam Khater

“Rates resumed their record-setting climb last week, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reaching its highest level since April of 2002,” said Sam Khater (left), Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “We continue to see a tale of two economies in the data. Strong job and wage growth are keeping consumers’ balance sheets positive, while lingering inflation, recession fears, and housing affordability are driving housing demand down.”

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.