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Suburban inventory hits decade-long high

by Meg White

Suburban inventory hits decade-long high

According to data from the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors, January saw a huge expansion in terms of homes going under contract. Both single-family homes and multifamily units showed impressive growth year over year, increasing 21.3 percent and 19 percent, respectively.

Echoing RE/MAX’s market report released earlier this week, MORe credited January’s relatively mild weather for some of the increase. But also, an expansion of available homes made an impact, according to the association’s CEO.

“We haven’t seen this much detached inventory available in the Chicagoland market in over a decade,” MORe CEO John Gormley said in a press release accompanying the data. “We’ve been seeing pent-up buyer demand for a while, and conditions are now ripe for people to get out and buy.”

There were certain communities across greater Chicagoland that saw more impressive gains than others, according to the association. In particular, Niles experienced a whopping 130 percent increase in the number of homes going under contract in January over last year, followed by Villa Park (127.3%), Zion (112.5%), Palatine (85.2%), Bellwood (84.6%), Addison (83.3%), and Arlington Heights (81%).

But the theme didn’t hold true for all suburban markets. Matteson saw a 36 percent year-over-year decrease in homes going under contract in January. Similar dips in activity were seen in Round Lake (32.6%), Brookfield (23.5%), Evergreen Park (22.7%), Carol Stream (13%), Mount Prospect (12.8%) and Gurnee (11.1%). Check out the interactive infographic embedded below for more local details.

Prices were up for all types of homes, but single-family increases won the day. MORe data revealed that detached home prices were up 5.9 percent, while multifamily units only saw a modest boost of 1.9 percent year over year. Brian Kwilosz, president of MORe’s board, noted that suburban single-family homes may be benefitting from Generation Y’s slower movement into homeownership. “Millennials may have delayed buying homes in the suburbs, but now, that’s where many of them want to move,” he said.

While the hope among real estate professionals may indeed be that these impressive first-month numbers will continue throughout 2020, part of January’s year-over-year wow factor may have to do with a shift away from seasonal sales. “The real estate market is changing,” Kwilosz said. “There is action in the market throughout the year now.”

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