Chicago housing market fails to heat up in April

April was the fifth month in a row of declining home sales
By Joe Ward | May 21, 2019 01:00PM

The housing market continues to cool down (Credit: iStock)

The housing market continues to cool down (Credit: iStock)

Chicago’s housing market has yet to heat up this year, with home sales continuing their downward spiral in April.

The Chicago metro area saw 10,093 home sales in April, up from the 8,122 sold in March but a 6 percent decrease year over year, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors. April is now the fifth month in a row of declining home sales, with three months posting double-digit drops.

March and January both saw year-over-year home sales drop by 10 percent, while December posted a more dramatic decline of 16.5 percent. February was the best month for home sales since December, as sales declined by only 4 percent, according to monthly reports from the association.

The good news for home sellers is that prices continue to trend upward, albeit modestly. The median sales price in Chicago’s nine-county metro rose to $253,000 in April, an increase of 1.2 percent year over year, according to the association.

While the market has shifted to favor buyers, the still-rising prices mean the spring homebuying season has something for everyone.

“There continues to be more options as inventory is on the rise,” Tommy Choi, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors and broker-owner of Keller Williams Chicago-Lincoln Park, said in a statement. “As we get closer to summer, we’ll see a balanced market with benefits for buyers and sellers alike.”

Some submarkets performed well in April, including Lake County, where sales increased by over 2 percent year over year. That’s good news for a North Shore market that has been rocked by increased inventory and changing consumer preferences. Some 30 Illinois counties posted sales gains in April, the association said.

Chicago proper saw 2,555 home sales in April, a drop of 5.4 percent year over year. Median price for home sales in the city jumped to $310,000, an increase of 0.8 percent year over year.

Chicago has been forecast to have one of the weakest housing markets in the country this year. Those market factors haven’t been helped by a slew of tax proposals, including an income tax hike, that could further cool the market, brokers have said. On the other hand, low interest rates, a booming economy and Millennials finally entertaining homebuying could give the market a jolt this year, some experts said.