Home sales continued to slip in February. Is a spring rebound in play?

Experts are hoping a robust spring sales season can make up for a rough winter for the housing market
By Joe Ward | March 22, 2019 01:00PM

Chicago-area home sales continued to decline in February (Credit: iStock)

Declining Chicago-area home sales in February capped off a disappointing winter for the local real estate market, but the industry is still hoping for a springtime rebound.

The Chicago metro area saw 5,607 homes sold in February, a 4 percent decrease year over year, according to a monthly report from the Illinois Association of Realtors. In Chicago proper, home sales dipped 7.4 percent last month, with 1,422 homes sold.

February’s sales figures ended a two-month stretch of double-digit declines in what has been a rough stretch for the local market.

In January, home sales in the metro area were down 10 percent year-over-year. In December, a more dramatic decrease of 16.5 percent was recorded, according to the Realtors association.

The relatively modest sales decrease in February — coupled with an increase in median sales price — has some brokers hoping for a robust spring sales season. Median sales price for the nine-county metro area in February was up 1 percent to $230,000. Prices were up less than one percent in the city, with a median sales price of $227,000.

A dramatic drop off in home sales halfway through 2018 had the market changing to favor buyers. But with prices steady and with inventory showing signs of increasing, brokers are hoping buyers will pounce this spring.

“February’s data is in line with that we have come to expect as our market shifts,” Tommy Choi, broker/owner at Keller Williams Chicago-Lincoln Park and president of the Chicago Association of Realtors, said in a statement. “As we enter the spring market, buyers on the hunt are eager to take advantage of lower interest rates and are serious once they find their desired home.”

Chicago has been forecast to have one of the weakest housing markets in the country this year. Local real estate experts, however, have said the issue is more complicated. Low interest rates, steadily increasing inventory and Millennials finally entertaining home buying could give the market a jolt, they said.