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It may be an unseasonably warm winter for the housing market

by Liz Hughes

The seasonal housing cooldown may end early this year according to Zillow’s latest market report, which found the spring market thaw may be here before winter even begins. 

The report found while inventory is trending down, the growth in home values continues to trend up — a sign a more competitive market could be on the horizon for the winter months. 

Nationally, the report found November home values were 19.3% higher than a year before and up 1.2% from October. Monthly growth slowed overall on a national basis, but it accelerated in 30 of the 50 largest metros. Zillow said if the trend continues, market cooling may be short-lived, and an unseasonable winter housing market could arrive soon. 

While Chicago’s housing market continues to be hot, the pace of both home-value growth and inventory is trending down, an indication of a slow period.

In November, a typical Chicago home was worth $287,131, 13.6% higher than a year ago. Home values grew 0.9% from October. Rents were also impacted, increasing 9.4% from last year to $1,715, according to the report. 

Zillow senior economist Jeff Tucker said homebuyers looking for a bargain this winter may not find much to choose from. 

“Buyers will find some silver linings to this cloudy winter market, like fewer bidding wars and the typical home lingering longer on the market before the seller accepts an offer,”
Tucker said. “But that’s small comfort to buyers after a year in which prices have risen by almost 20%.”

The report also noted with mortgage forbearance offerings expiring for most borrowers, there could be a wave of forced sales.  

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