2015 Metro Chicago Housing Market Registered 8 Percent Rise in Median Price, While Sales Activity Increased 7 Percent, RE/MAX Reports

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Sales activity and the median sales price of residential property in the metro Chicago real estate market both increased in 2015 when compared to the prior year, according to a recent analysis by RE/MAX.

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The metropolitan Chicago housing market showed steady improvement in 2015, RE/MAX reports. The median price for all homes sold in the seven-county metro area was up 8 percent from 2014 to $211,000. Homes changing hands totaled 109,676, up 7 percent over the prior year.

The RE/MAX analysis was of homes sales data collected by MRED, the regional multiple listing service, for the Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will. Both transaction volume and the median sales price were up for the year in each of the seven counties.

“While results for the first half of 2015 were a bit stronger than those for the second half, the market maintained its positive momentum right through December,” observed Jim Merrion, regional director of the RE/MAX Northern Illinois real estate network. “It seems likely that 2015 sales volume was restrained by the relatively modest inventory of homes for sale, but that helped generate stronger pricing for those homes that were on the market.”

He noted that home prices remain quite sensitive to changes in the available inventory of homes. In the fourth quarter, inventory averaged 4 percent less than in 2014, and the median sales price rose 8 percent.

The year ended on a strong note, with December sales in the metro area rising 3 percent to 8,193 units and the December median price gaining 8 percent to $200,000.

Chicago accounted for 25 percent of all sales in the metro area in 2015, with 27,449 units changing hands, 8 percent more than in 2014. The median sales price climbed 7 percent to $261,500.

Attached homes, which include condominium apartments, townhouses and cooperatives, was the segment of the market most impacted by limited inventory. Sales activity there rose 4 percent in 2015 to 39,925 units, while the median price rose 9 percent to $180,000. Underscoring the demand for these units was the average time that attached units sold in 2015 spent on the market before going under contract. It was 79 days or just about 11 weeks, four days less than in 2014.

The strength of the attached market was especially noticeable in Chicago, where 16,941 units changed hands, representing 42 percent of all attached sales in the metro area and an 8 percent increase over 2014. The median sales price was up 5 percent.

A more ample supply of detached homes in the metro area helped generate an 8 percent increase in sales activity to 69,751 homes, while the median sales price gained 5 percent to $225,000. The average market time was 101 days, up 3 days from the prior year.

Distressed properties continued to dwindle as a percentage of homes sold in the Chicago area in 2015, but still accounted for 21 percent of all sales, down from 28 percent in 2014. The distressed homes category includes properties being sold through a short sale or foreclosure.

RE/MAX agents consistently rank among the most productive in the industry. In the United States, RE/MAX agents averaged 15.6 years of real estate experience and 16.0 transaction sides in 2014. RE/MAX has been the leader in the northern Illinois real estate market since 1989 and is continually growing. The RE/MAX Northern Illinois network, with headquarters in Elgin, Ill., consists of more than 2,250 sales associates and 105 independently owned and operated RE/MAX offices that provide a full range of residential and commercial brokerage services. Its mobile real estate app, available for download at http://www.illinoisproperty.com, provides comprehensive information about residential and commercial property for sale in the region. The northern Illinois network is part of RE/MAX, a global real estate organization with 100,000+ sales associates in 90+ nations.

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Stephen Johnson
RE/MAX Northern Illinois
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