Chicago real estate recovery headed in the right direction

by Andrew Stahl

Housing markets with higher job creation pre-COVID-19 — particularly in the technology sector — are recovering faster than their non-tech counterparts, according to Realtor.com’s Weekly Housing Recovery Report.

“As the market heads into the summer, growth in online home searchers and asking prices has surpassed pre-COVID levels, but movement in supply and time on markets remains well below seasonal pace,” director of economic research for Realtor.com Javier Vivas said in a press release.

Realtor.com’s Housing Market Recovery Index for the week ending June 13 increased 1.2 points over the previous week, moving up to 90.0. This indicates that the U.S. housing market has recovered nearly half of its January 2020 levels. Nationwide, median listing prices grew 4.6% compared to last year, slightly higher than the pre-COVID rate and total inventory was down 27%, potentially pointing to rising buyer interest. However, new listings were down 20%, and houses were on the market an average of 16 days longer than last year.

Looking at local data tells a more complex story, Vivas said. “Markets with stronger job creation pre-COVID are proving to have the crucial edge for real estate activity, particularly those with a strong technology sector. As more tech companies weather the storm, the stable jobs and incomes they offer will continue to power demand for homes in these areas, enabling home sales to bounce back faster than the rest of the country this summer.”

Eight local markets – including Seattle, Las Vegas Los Angeles and Rochester, New York – have surpassed the January 2020 baseline. The tech hubs Boston, Denver, San Francisco and San Diego showed strong signs of recovery as well.

Chicago’s housing market Recovery Index score grew 6% compared to the previous week, but remained significantly below the January 2020 baseline with a Recovery Index score of 87.3.


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