Even with low rates, Chicago’s used-home market spun wheels in May
Loop North News

The Home Front

24-Jun-19 – Despite the availability of the lowest mortgage interest rates since the third quarter of 2017, Chicago’s existing-home market spun its wheels in May, but prices continued to rise, experts say.

Chicago saw year-over-year single-family home and condominium sales decrease five percent with 2,895 units changing hands in May, compared with 3,047 units in May 2018. The median price of a home in Chicago in May was $315,000, up 3.3 percent compared with $305,000 in May 2018.

After steady declines in May and early June, home loan interest rates have stabilized near the 3.8 percent level, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

On June 20, benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rates averaged 3.84 percent nationwide, up from 3.82 percent a week earlier. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed loans averaged 4.57 percent. Thirty-year mortgage rates ranged from 3.731 to 4.192 percent in Chicago on June 20, reported RateSeeker.

Meanwhile, 15-year fixed mortgages averaged 3.25 percent, down from 3.26 percent a week earlier. Last year at this time, 15-year fixed mortgages averaged 4.04 percent.

Tommy Choi

“While closed sales have fallen, there’s reason for both buyers and sellers to be encouraged,” said Tommy Choi (left), president of Chicago Association of Realtors. “Prices are still affordable and interest rates are historically low – as the market remains competitive – but stable. Buyers are gaining some breathing room in the transaction and sellers are having to be more measured in their approach.”

In the nine-county Chicago Metro Area, single-family home and condo sales in May totaled 12,129 units, down 3.6 percent from May 2018 when 12,583 units changed hands. The median price in May was $259,000 in the Chicago Metro Area, an increase of two percent from $254,000 in May 2018.

The Chicago Metro Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will.

The statewide median price in May was $219,000, up 1.9 percent from May 2018, when it was $215,000. 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 27 participating Illinois Realtor local boards and associations, including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC.

“The housing market is showing clear signs of strengthening as we enter the summer months,” said Ed Neaves (right), president-elect of Illinois Realtors. “The data suggest healthy buyer demand remains a fixture this year, while at the same time home sellers are still poised to make a modest profit.”

Ed Neaves

Statewide, the time it took to sell a home in May averaged 49 days, the same as a year ago. Available inventory totaled 56,414 homes for sale, a 3.3 percent decline from 58,317 homes in May 2018.

Geoffrey J.D. Hewings

“Illinois home hunters appeared to be responding a little more conservatively in May,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings (left), a University of Illinois economist. “Housing sales continue to grow more slowly compared to prior springs.”

By Don DeBat | Loop North News | debatnet@aol.com

Published 24-Jun-19 10:53 PM

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