Metro Chicago Housing Market Registered 3rd Quarter Gains Despite Drag Created by Limited Inventory of Available Homes, RE/MAX Reports

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The metropolitan Chicago housing market continued to show progress during the third quarter of this year, but the forward momentum was slowed by a continuing shortage of homes for sale, RE/MAX reports. Home sales in the seven-county metro area totaled 33,444 units for the quarter, a gain of 1 percent over the results of the same quarter last year.

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The metropolitan Chicago housing market continued to show progress during the third quarter of this year, but the forward momentum was slowed by a continuing shortage of homes for sale, RE/MAX reports.

Home sales in the seven-county metro area totaled 33,444 units for the quarter, a gain of 1 percent over the results of the same quarter last year. The median sales price climbed 4.5 percent to $230,000 and the average time spent on the market by homes sold during the quarter was 76 days, down from 82 days a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the inventory of homes for sale continued to contract, falling to 37,801 homes at the end of September, 9 percent less than at the same time in 2015.

The home sales data used for the RE/MAX analysis is collected by MRED, the regional multiple listing service. It covers detached and attached homes in the Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will. Detached homes are typically stand-alone single-family dwellings. Attached homes include condominium and cooperative apartments along with townhouses.

“Inventory levels vary across the metro area, with some areas impacted more severely than others,” noted Jack Kreider, executive vice president and regional director of RE/MAX Northern Illinois, in assessing the local housing market. “Generally the level of sales activity showed only minor changes compared to the same quarter last year, but what is noteworthy is how quickly homes are selling, which I believe is a function of the limited choices confronting many buyers. The average market time for all seven of the metro counties was 83 days or less, and in Chicago it was just 68 days, which means that homes are selling quite quickly if they are priced realistically.”

Kreider noted that one reason for the declining inventory can be found in the distressed homes segment of the market. Distressed homes consist of foreclosures and short sales.

“There were 4,043 sales of distressed homes in the metro area during the quarter this year, a 29 percent reduction from the same quarter of 2015. Distressed homes are still selling, but many fewer of them are available,” Kreider said.

Among the seven metro counties, five had increased sales during the quarter led by McHenry County, which saw sales rise 15 percent. Gains in DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Lake counties were 5 percent or less. Sales fell less than 1 percent in Cook County and 2 percent in Will County.

The median sales price rose in all seven counties, topped by an 11 percent gain in Will and a 10 percent increase in Kendall. The other increases were 8 percent in Kane and McHenry, 4 percent in Cook, 6 percent in DuPage and 0.5 percent in Lake. Chicago gained 2 percent.

Detached Homes

Sales of detached homes in the metro area rose 2 percent for the quarter to 27,385 units, and the median sales price was up 6 percent to $249,900. Average market time was 82 days, down from 88 days a year earlier.

Sales activity rose in six counties though the gains were small except in McHenry, which registered a 16 percent increase. The only sales decline was in Cook County, which accounted for 46 percent of all detached sales, and the decline was only 0.2 percent. Average market times ranged from a high of 90 days in Lake County to a low of 66 days in Kendall.

Attached Homes

Due in part to the impact of limited inventory, the average market time for attached homes in the seven country area was just 63 days for the quarter, and it dipped as low as 40 days in Kendall County. The median sales price rose 3 percent to $190,000.

Third quarter sales of attached homes totaled 12,159 units, 0.3 percent more than in the same period last year. However, some counties experienced much sharper increases in sales activity, including 15 percent in Kendall and 10 percent in McHenry. Sales declined 1 percent in Cook County, which accounted for 68 percent of all attached-home sales in the metro area during the quarter.

RE/MAX agents consistently rank among the most productive in the industry. In 2015, RE/MAX Northern Illinois agents averaged 18 transaction sides. 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 2,300 sales associates and 106 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 104,000+ sales associates in 90+ nations.

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Stephen Johnson
RE/MAX Northern Illinois
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