Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicagoland’s multiple listing service, announced that December 2012 figures indicate the volume of properties for sale on Dec. 31, 2012 was at about 50 percent of that for 2010, with the number of for-sale units falling from 71,746 in December 2010 to 36,751 in December 2012.
A reduction this significant is indicative of a couple of things. The recent real estate market was extremely active to incur this reduction in this relatively short period of time. That was good news for the 2012 real estate practitioners, many of whom experienced record years. For sellers now in the market, having to compete against fewer homes than they would have previously is an advantage. It also suggests the return of more multiple offer situations, where several competing offers are made on a home from different potential buyers.
“We anticipate the inventory will grow slowly in the coming year,” said Russ Bergeron, MRED’s CEO. “In some locations, and because current pricing has been established during a high-demand time frame with a lower supply of homes, we can anticipate some price appreciation in 2013. This has been experienced in other parts of the country, but not here.”
“Because some pockets of the Chicagoland have higher numbers of distressed properties – foreclosures and short sales – one cannot make a blanket statement to cover every location,” Bergeron added. “In these hard-hit areas the distressed market will keep the prices down for another year or more until such time that they can be processed through the system. Overall, the recovery will show a steady improvement – but there will be some neighborhoods that significantly outshine others.”
While the number of distressed property sales has remained relatively steady throughout 2012, the percentage of “traditional” sales as compared to the overall market was up, providing some good news for those sellers who have been on the fence. Because of the local nature of real estate markets, it is always a great rule of thumb to consult a real estate professional familiar with your neighborhood when thinking of entering the market.
“Due to the Internet, real estate has become one of this country’s most popular spectator sports,” Bergeron said. “However one feels things might be going, it’s definitely worth watching. We’re seeing year-around real estate markets and very busy agents and brokerages. While we probably won’t return to the craziness of the last decade, the industry appears to be back on solid footing with the ‘arrow’ pointing up.”
For a chart showing Chicagoland’s recent housing inventory numbers in more detail, click here.