Chicago home price increase doubles national average

by Jason Porterfield

The median price of a home in the U.S. reached its highest point in 13 years last month as inventory continued to fall, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report for February.

The national median of $291,000 represented a record high for February and outpaced Chicago’s February median sale price of $270,000. Though Chicago’s median price was unchanged from January, median prices rose 12.2% year over year from $245,000 in February 2020. Nationally, February home prices were up 5.7% year over year.

There were 7,084 real estate transactions in Chicago in February. That figure represents a drop from 7,185 in January, but is 15% higher than the 6,161 transactions recorded in February 2020. Chicago’s active inventory rose by 1.9% month over month, from 27,785 in January to 28,313 in February. Inventory was down 29.2% year over year, from 39,975 last February.

Nationally, the months supply of inventory was down 11.9% from January and 42% year over year. Month over month inventory has fallen for 20 of the past 21 months, according to the report.

“The shrinking inventory continued to fuel ongoing bidding wars, and our agents report some homes selling for well above listing price,” said Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. “It’s a complicated, competitive market, with buyers having to act quickly and aggressively to get the home they want. Conditions seem to be keeping some potential sellers on the sidelines, but that could change if or when they see more move-up options on the market. With seasonality, still-low interest rates and gains in new construction, we hope to see some relief in supply during the coming months.”

Chicago homes took an average of 45 days to sell in February, up slightly from 41 days month over month. Year over year, the number of days homes spent on the market fell by 23.2% from 58 days in February 2020. Chicago’s days on the market average for last month was just slightly higher than the national average of 42 days. Nationally, homes sold an average of 18 days faster than last February.

None of the 53 metro areas surveyed for the report experienced a year-over-year decline in sale price. Year-over-year price gains hit double digits in 45 metro areas, with Boise, Idaho (29.6%, from $320,000 to $415,000), Augusta, Maine (26.5%, from $170,000 to $215,000) and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (25.8%, from $159,000 to $200,000) leading the way.

Augusta, Maine experienced the biggest year-over-year increase in the number of sales at 39.7%, followed by New York, NY at 28.6% and Honolulu, HI at 25.1%.

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