For some Chicagoland agents, it was a long December. For example, Dena Fox and Marlene Rubenstein of Baird & Warner’s Rubenstein Fox Team were negotiating deals on New Year’s Eve. “We saw a slower September and October, and it really picked up in November and December,” Fox told Chicago Agent magazine. “Buyers were out early, but they weren’t pulling the trigger” until the end of the year.
And that anecdote is borne out in the latest housing data released in RE/MAX’s Housing Report for Chicagoland. Home sales were up 13 percent year over year, which the company noted represented the second highest number of closed homes in December on record and the largest increase recorded all year.
Sales were up in all nine of the Chicagoland counties tracked by RE/MAX except for Kane, which remained flat from the previous year. The area that saw the largest increase was far and away Grundy County, at a 62.2 percent bump, followed by Will and DuPage counties.
“December was an incredible month for the Chicagoland area. The mild weather throughout the fall and winter has helped sellers move from for sale to sold at a near record pace,” said Paul Wells of RE/MAX of Barrington in a release accompanying the report. “Even though 10 of 12 months showed a decrease in closed sales for 2019, this year is off to a roaring start. If the weather cooperates and rates stay low, 2020 could prove to be a banner year for real estate sales in Illinois.”
The Mainstreet Organization of Realtors, which also released December data today, noted a 13.8 percent year-over-year increase in home sales in December over the area they track (see MORe’s interactive map at the bottom of this page).
One metric that was more constant than home sales activity across 2019 was year-over-year price data, which continued its steady climb in December, up 5.3 percent over last year. However, median prices were down slightly from last month, to $237,000 from $240,000 in November. Year over year, prices were up in every county except for Kendall, where RE/MAX recorded a 3.2 percent decline. The largest price increase belonged to DeKalb County, at 19.3 percent.
Inventory was down in December, falling to 4.3 month’s supply compared to 4.8 in November and 4.4 in December 2018. Wells noted that “low supply should encourage buyers to move fast when they find the right home.”