The Market Report: Chicago's Neighborhoods | August 2019

As the summer draws to a close, multiple opposing factors and trends are competing to define the direction of the real estate market. After the Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rate on July 31, 30-year mortgage rates continued to decline, approaching all-time lows last seen in 2016. Yet most experts agree these reductions are unlikely to bring sufficient relief, at least in the short term, for first-time home buyers. The lack of affordable inventory and the persistence of historically high housing prices continue to affect the housing market, leading to lower-than-expected existing home sales at the national level.

New Listings in the City of Chicago decreased 2.9 percent to 4,748. Listings Under Contract were up 5.6 percent to 2,315. Inventory levels fell 2.0 percent to 9,706 units.

Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 3.3 percent to $289,250. Market Times were up 6.1 percent to 69 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Inventory was up 2.3 percent to 4.4 months.

As many homeowners refinanced their homes to take advantage of declining interest rates, consumer confidence in housing was reported to be at historically high levels. Even so, real estate professionals will need to monitor the market for signs of continued imbalances. Although the inventory of affordable homes at this point remains largely stable, it is stable at historically low levels, which may continue to push prices higher and affect potential buyers across the U.S.