Suburban single-family homes offer bright spot in latest numbers

by Meg White

Last month was a rough one for home sales, according to the latest data released today by Illinois Realtors.

Activity was down across the board, but existing-home sales for single-family homes and condominiums decreased the most in Chicago proper. Year over year, sales in the city decreased by 43.6%. In contrast, sales in the nine-county Chicago Metro Area were only down by 37.3% over last year, and statewide, that number fell to 33.9%.

Much of the decline in all three of these areas was driven by condo sales, however. For example, in the city of Chicago, single-family home sales were down only by 33%, while sales of detached properties were down by nearly half compared to last year.

In terms of pricing, homes in Chicagoland fared best, with the median price of a home in the metro area increasing slightly year over year by 0.2% to $260,000 in May. In the city of Chicago, prices remained at a median of $315,000, unchanged from last year at this time. However, statewide prices were down 1.4% from May 2019. Compared to last month, prices were down across all three areas.

Inventory took a deep dive. Statewide and in the metro area, supply was down 24.8% compared to last year. In the city, inventory decreased 22.4%. Still, the average time it took to sell a home actually increased by 6% to 53 days statewide. Days on market jumped 7.9% In the metro area and 11.4% in Chicago over May 2019.

The shutdown caused by the novel coronavirus was a clear impediment to home sales last month. “In May we saw the impact of the prolonged stay-at-home order,” Maurice Hampton, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors, said in a press release. “We expect that, as Chicago progresses through reopening, the market will respond accordingly.”

Activity ticked up slightly when looking solely at single-family homes in the suburbs. The Mainstreet Organization of Realtors released data late last week showing that 2.1% more detached single-family homes went under contract last month than in May 2019 in their area. Suburbs with notable increases in the number of detached single-family homes going under contract included: Flossmoor (which saw a 75% year-over-year increase in homes under contract), Lansing (54.8%), Antioch (54.1%) and Wauconda (52.6%). See the interactive map below for more details.

But again, the multifamily market didn’t fare as well; 14.3% fewer attached homes went under contract this May than last May. In a press release, MORe suggested this might be indicative of a larger trend, “with many Illinoisans looking for more space at home, including yard space.”

Inventory is also proving to be a problem in the Chicago suburbs, according to MORe CEO John Gormley. “We only have about three months of inventory for homes under $335,000 in Chicagoland right now,” Gormley said. “As coronavirus restrictions loosen, buyers are resuming their home searches, so anyone who wants to sell should put their home on the market now — they are likely to get the price they are asking or more. ”

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