The Chicago real estate market can change as fast as the weather. During August, single-family homes sold at a good clip, averaging just 21 days on the market. Median prices for detached, single-family homes increased by 10% compared to August 2020. Condos and townhomes sold steadily, with median prices up by 7.3%. Things were a little slower in the City of Chicago proper, but overall, buyers chewed up inventory.
Then a funny thing happened. September rolled around, and Chicago home buyers seemed to greet new inventory with a collective “meh.” A house on a corner lot? Pass. A home that needs a little updating? Nope. Some of these spurned properties were in popular locations, and would have seen a bidding war just two or three months ago.
We talked about this in a press release recently, but it’s worth repeating here. Buyers have lost their sense of urgency. It’s possible that “pandemic panic buying” is simply over. Schools are back to in-person learning. Remote work is winding down for some companies. (It’s hard to argue returning to the office after 385,000 people gathered at Lollapalooza.) There is a growing sense of “normal,” and homes are no longer serving as an all-purpose fortress.
While the market is no longer crazy-hot, buyers would be mistaken to think they have the upper hand. We still have below-normal levels of home inventory. The Chicago metro had 26% fewer homes on the market in August 2021 than it did in August 2020. Homes in good shape, that look like new inside, still draw a flurry of offers and sell for a premium. The good stuff goes quick.
Meanwhile, homes that need work are selling more slowly. This is where Chicago home buyers can find their best opportunities! Don’t turn up your nose at a decent house with “good bones” in your desired location. Imagine the same house with fresh paint, new flooring, new appliances and updated fixtures. If you can take on those projects, you’ll save a bundle on the purchase price, and boost your equity after making the improvements. Conduct your due diligence and get a home inspection, of course.
StartingPoint Realty – Serving Chicagoland since 2004!
StartingPoint Realty serves first-time home buyers, repeat home buyers and home sellers throughout the Chicago area. Get an introduction to home buying by attending our free home buying webinar! There’s no sales pressure and no obligation. Contact us for help with your Chicago real estate questions!
Ryan Gable Broker/CEO Starting Point Realty
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