RE/MAX report shows strong sales and shrinking inventory in Chicago

by Jason Porterfield

Homes in the U.S. are selling at their fastest rate in more than a decade, according to the latest edition of the RE/MAX National Housing Report. RE/MAX’s report includes data from 52 markets across the country.

According to RE/MAX, Chicago had the third-highest year-over-year increase in the number of homes sold at 33.4%. There were 12,044 transactions in Chicago this October, up 4.9% from 11,478 in September. There were 9,027 transactions in Chicago last October. Homes spent an average of 35 days on the market in October, down 4.4% from 37 in September and dropping 20% from 44 days in October 2019.

Chicago’s inventory continues to tighten. Month-over-month inventory dropped by 4.4% in Chicago, from 42,210 in September to 40,361 in October. Year-over-year, inventory decreased by 19.2% from 49,971 in October 2019. RE/MAX reported that Chicago has a 3.4-month inventory of homes, down 9.7% from 3.7 months in September. Year-over-year, the supply of homes dropped 26% from 4.5 months in October 2019.

Median home prices in Chicago decreased slightly, from $275,000 in September to $273,000 in October. Prices are still 20% higher than they were in October 2019, when RE/MAX reported homes selling for a median $240,000. Median listing process were slightly lower month-over-month, down 0.7% from $277,000 in September to $275,000 in October. Listing prices were up 12.2% from October 2019, when the median was $245,000.

“The housing market continued its remarkable run in October, driven by high demand and historically low interest rates,” said Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. “Buyers, many of them freed from the constraints of having to live close to work, are jumping into the market and looking for homes that have what they want — a home office, more outdoor space, or whatever else it might be.”

Nationally, October home sales increased 20.8% year-over-year. Homes spent 38 days on the market, selling at the fastest rate in the report’s 13-year history. RE/MAX’s data shows that, nationally, the median sales price is $295,000, which is 0.9% higher than in September and 15.4% higher than in October 2019.

The shortage of sellers and abundance of buyers was reflected by a national inventory decrease of 32.5% year-over-year. Homes spent an average of 38 days on the market in October, one day fewer than in September and down 11 days year-over-year. 

“The short turnaround times are telling, too,” Contos said. “Buyers are ready to act as soon as they see the right home. Sellers who want to get through the process quickly, without having to move much on price, have a great opportunity to do so right now. That advantage should bring more listings into the market in the months ahead, but with inventory levels as low as they are, it will likely be a while before we see anything resembling a balanced market.”

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