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Despite sales decrease, Chicagoland market is ‘balanced’ and ‘healthy’

by Meg White

In its most recent Chicagoland Housing Report, RE/MAX characterized the housing market as balanced, making November the sixth consecutive month of market equilibrium.

Credit: RE/MAX Chicagoland Housing Report, November 2019

Last month saw a 7.8 percent decrease in the number of homes sold across Chicago when compared to last year. However, the report noted that this reduction is on par with the national decrease of 1 percent reported for November.

Mike Opyd, broker-owner of RE/MAX Next, said this decrease speaks to the habits of today’s homebuyers. “Buyers continue to take their time making decisions knowing they have options now and have a better chance of getting what they want at a price they want,” he said in a press release accompanying the report.

Looking specifically at the suburbs, the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors released their November sales data for Chicagoland today. In terms of the single-family market, the association reported that 15 percent fewer attached homes sold in November than at this time last year. Detached home sales showed a more moderate decline of 3.9 percent.

While the number of total homes sold decreased, MORe pointed to sales data as proof that the market as healthy. The median sales price of detached single-family homes in the Chicagoland area rose 3.6 percent from last year, while condos and townhomes increased 4.2 percent over the same period.

“Moderate price increases indicate a healthy market,” MORe CEO John Gormley said in a release accompanying the report. “Property is appreciating in a steady and sustainable way, without volatility.”

Several counties experienced a tremendous surge in median home sales price, which boosted stats across the region. In fact, according to RE/MAX, every single county reported a year-over-year increase in median sales price in November. This positive trend leaves the local median price 3.7 percent greater than it was last year, though it’s still $17,000 lower than the national average.

Grundy County was one area that saw a particularly dramatic increase this month, with RE/MAX data showing the area’s median sales price jumping 35 percent from last year’s numbers. According to Glenn Sharp of RE/MAX Ultimate Professionals in Shorewood, this spike is likely a product of the area’s recent construction boom. He noted that, over the past few months, Grundy has experienced an uptick in builders flocking to the area that has driven home prices up.

MORe noted that these communities saw larger-than-average increases in median sales: Fox Lake experienced a 36.3 percent increase in median sales prices for attached housing; Montgomery (27.1 percent increase in detached median sales price); Chicago Heights (25 percent, detached); and Downers Grove (25 percent, attached). See below for an interactive map from MORe.

Overall, Mike Opyd predicted the stabilization trend will continue into 2020. “Although interest rates are near historically low levels and financing guidelines have loosened, the buyer pool has not come pouring back into the market,” he said. “I expect December to continue to be slow-rolling into the new year.”

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