• January homes sales activity in Chicago bodes well for the market's spring selling season.
  • Single-family home prices are being pushed by declining inventory.
  • One of the city's largest brokerages is seeing more interested buyers ask for new construction.

The city of Chicago’s housing market got off to a positive start this year, with single-family home sales totaling 597 in January.

This total represents a 3.3 percent increase in activity on a year-over-year basis, according to data from the Illinois Association of Realtors.

Better news for single-family sellers, the median home price of a single-family home rose to $185,000, a 13.8 percent year-over-year rise.

Inventory is said to be driving pricing, with the shortage of available homes forcing interested buyers to act quicker and make competitive offers. Entering February, the city’s for-sale housing inventory, including condos, was at 7,292, down 17 percent year-over year.

Speaking of condos, this sector posted a consistent sales figure in January, with activity only down 0.5 percent year-over-year. The median price of the 766 condo sales last month was $267,500, down 6.1 percent year-over-year.

Combining single-family home and condos sales, the city of Chicago saw 1,363 transactions close last month, which is up 1.1 percent from the same time last year. Days on the market was relatively unchanged at 62.

“To have a January with strong results bodes well for the spring selling season,” said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors.

Chicago home sales trends

Two of Chicago’s largest brokerage firms, BHHS KoenigRubloff and @properties, see several trends within the city.

RJ Yozwiak, co-founder of BHHS KoenigRubloff, has noticed more buyers asking about new construction within the past six months. He cites the city’s most popular neighborhoods as River North, West Loop, Old Town, Gold Coast and Lincoln Park.

Michael Golden, co-founder of @properties, has noticed the consistency of foreign investors when it comes to buying Chicago condos. The most prevalent investors are Chinese. Last year foreign investors accounted for roughly 16 percent of all Chicago home purchases.

Within the nine-county Chicago PMSA a total of 6,018 homes sold in January, a 4.8 percent increase from the same time last year. The metro’s median home price ($191,000) was up more noticeably, by 9.1 percent year-over-year, than sales activity.

Stand out counties last month include Dupage, Cook and Lake.

In Dupage County, sales activity was up by 27.6 percent year-over-year, with 762 homes sold. Cook County contributed the highest volume of home sales with 3,282. This total represented a 4.4 percent year-over-year rise. Lake County’s median price neared $200,000, reaching $195,000 last month – a 11.4 percent year-over-year spike.

Email Erik Pisor

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