Market Conditions: Best April in 8 Years Even With Record Low Inventory

Chicago skyline from Grant Park August 2015

As we already knew, things are hot, hot, hot.

I know this “news” is from last week, but it’s our duty to chatter about the monthly sales numbers so here it is.

From the Illinois Association of Realtors:

The city of Chicago saw a 7.9 percent year-over-year home sales increase in April 2016 with 2,628 sales, up from 2,435 in April 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in April 2016 was $287,500, up 6.0 percent compared to April 2015 when it was $271,325.

Here are the sales statistics for April since 2007:

  • 2007: 2419 sales
  • 2008: 1886 sales
  • 2009: 1407 sales
  • 2010: 1984 sales
  • 2011: 1466 sales
  • 2012: 1816 sales
  • 2013: 2392 sales
  • 2014: 2256 sales
  • 2015:  2435 sales
  • 2016: 2628 sales

Here are the median prices:

  • 2007: $289,800
  • 2008: $300,000
  • 2009: $218,000
  • 2010: $225,000
  • 2011: $169,000
  • 2012: $184,400 (IAR says it was $182,000 but I have $184,400 from last year’s data)
  • 2013: $223,500
  • 2014: $250,000
  • 2015: $271,325
  • 2016: $287,500

“After posting only modest sales gains in March, Chicago saw in April a return to what would be expected in a market marked by high consumer demand,” said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and senior vice president for government relations at the Oakbrook-based Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc. “It’s taking 47 days on average to sell a home, which is a breathtaking pace and shows why inventories have plummeted once again.”

“Any suggestion the state’s housing market was beginning to slow appears to have been premature,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Mike Drews, GRI, broker-associate with Charles B. Doss Co. in Aurora. “A buyer can’t dawdle in a market like this. Any delay can result in losing the home they want as there are so many other motivated buyers in this spring market.”

Mortgage rates were about where they were last year at this time, so it’s not lower rates that is pushing the buyers to jump in.

Are buyers afraid if they don’t buy now they’ll be priced out forever?

And will that “median” (which just means that a lot more luxury properties are selling)- finally reach new record highs this year?

April brings strong gains in Illinois home sales and prices [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, May 20, 2016]

16 Responses to “Market Conditions: Best April in 8 Years Even With Record Low Inventory”

  1. Luis_Carruthers on May 23rd, 2016 at 10:43 am

    take my money

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  2. Mmm bubblicious. Buy now or be priced out (by the Chinese) forever.

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  3. this not so much a bubble as it is froth. it’s just frothy. like a frothy plateau or a Wendy’s frosty. tasty, yummy frosty. damn it’s 80 degrees I want a frosty now.

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  4. Illinois has the worst population and economic trends in the U.S. Chicago is the only major city with declining population, and Chicagoland has the largest population loss of any U.S. metro.

    I’ll trust the Census population/economic data over the shills at the IAR.

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  5. DougBel,

    It’s a neighborhood by neighborhood story. Plenty of lower income neighborhoods, that are not gentrifying, are losing population. On the other hand plenty of higher income neighborhoods are gaining population. This is where I think median sales prices are useful. If the trend is positive then that’s an indication that the income demographics are improving.

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  6. ” If the trend is positive then that’s an indication that the income demographics are improving.”

    If by improving you mean pushing out the poor, illegal and disenfranchised, then yes, the income demographics of Chicago are certainly improving.

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  7. The hot neighborhoods (aka green zone and north side neighborhoods are doing quite well with the boom of millennial white and Asian folks that want to live the city life after growing up in a boring suburb (myself included)). There are also a number of boomers who are looking to come back for some culture and nightlife after raising their children in the burbs already. Because of these trends, many neighborhoods are at all time highs for median prices. Now if your looking for a good deal as an investment, you’re going to have to go out to a tier 3 neighborhood like western humboldt park, east Garfield park, southern end of bronzeville, Oakland, Galewood, McKinley Park, or the very shady parts of Uptown. Otherwise, prepare to compete with a very competitive market in a low unemployment, low interest rate environment.

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  8. HD posted: “” If the trend is positive then that’s an indication that the income demographics are improving.”
    If by improving you mean pushing out the poor, illegal and disenfranchised, then yes, the income demographics of Chicago are certainly improving.”

    Imo GZ/north side neighborhoods like Lakeview, LP, B’town & W Park are also rapidly losing population as multi-unit buildings are demo’d & replaced by SFRs. The tenants getting pushed out aren’t ‘poor, illegal or disenfranchised’

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  9. The map that you can look at in the article shows exactly where housing units are being gained and lost. Obviously, green zone neighborhoods are generally growing at the quickest pace.
    https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20160520/downtown/where-residential-growth-has-been-chicago-this-century-map

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  10. “Imo GZ/north side neighborhoods like Lakeview, LP, B’town & W Park are also rapidly losing population as multi-unit buildings are demo’d & replaced by SFRs. The tenants getting pushed out aren’t ‘poor, illegal or disenfranchised’”

    This is so true. On my block in the last few years:

    2 2-flats converted to single family
    1 3-flat(!) converted to single family
    1 3-flat teardown w/ newly built single family
    1 6-unit (3-flat front and back) converted to 3 “luxury” condos

    So, that’s 9 residences that are gone. On one block.

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  11. MikeHG posted link to map and stated “Obviously, green zone neighborhoods are generally growing at the quickest pace.”

    Fwiw the linked map indicates since 2000 LP has lost approx. 5% of dwelling units; Lakeview has lost approx. 4% of du & West Town (covering B’town and W Park) has gained approx 3% of DU. Not sure how that supports ‘GZ ‘hoods are generally growing at the quickest pace’

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  12. “Imo GZ/north side neighborhoods like Lakeview, LP, B’town & W Park are also rapidly losing population as multi-unit buildings are demo’d & replaced by SFRs”

    Yeah, but just speaking of bucktown/wp, there’s plenty of new multi-unit buildings being built replacing single family tear downs.

    There’s also several TOD’s being developed around the blue line from Division to Western adding density. Here’s just a one starting up at Leavitt/Milwaukee adding 95 units.

    https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20160324/wicker-park/aldi-wicker-park-shutters-but-will-return-next-year-new-complex

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  13. “Not sure how that supports ‘GZ ‘hoods are generally growing at the quickest pace’”
    I was referring more towards price growth then unit growth. Aplogies for being unclear.

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  14. i was speaking of Pilsen, Logan and Humboldt specifically. plenty of protests against gentrification lately.

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  15. Published my May update this morning: http://www.chicagonow.com/getting-real/2016/06/chicago-real-estate-market-update-another-9-year-high-in-home-sales/

    Not as strong as April (relative to last year) but another 9 year high nonetheless – up 6.9% over last year but IAR will report 5.0%. Inventory keeps plumbing new lows. Attached market times down to 65 days.

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  16. Thanks for the update Gary.

    It is completely DEAD out there (in terms of new listings.) I can’t even believe it’s this slow. It’s not even this slow the week before Christmas. This is essentially the winter market in the middle of summer (in terms of inventory.)

    The result is multiple offers and higher prices.

    It doesn’t help that in the downtown high rise market the Chinese buyers are very active and paying all cash. Heaven help a “normal” Chicago hometown buyer who works a middle class job and wants their studio/1-bedroom in those neighborhoods.

    Chicago is seen as a “deal” compared to the prices on the coasts. Some of you wished for foreign buyers over the years- what do you think about it now?

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