Chicago housing market sees uptick in buyers and those on lookout

More homes went into contract last week than in mid-March, when numbers began to sink

 The Chicago housing market is seeing an uptick in contracts signed and in the number of open houses, as buyers and sellers get off the sidelines. (iStock)
The Chicago housing market is seeing an uptick in contracts signed and in the number of open houses, as buyers and sellers get off the sidelines. (iStock)

The Chicago-area housing market is slowly improving, after the coronavirus sent purchases plummeting in mid-March after what had been a strong start to the year.

The week ending June 15 marked the first time that more homes went into contract than the week ending March 16, when the market began to crater, according to Crain’s, citing a new report from Midwest Real Estate Data.

And it marked the second straight week in which more Chicago-area homes went under contract than the same period in 2019. There were 4,846 homes under contract for the week ending Monday, a 39 percent jump from the same time last year, according to the report.

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Some more good news: In-person home showings are rebounding. About 3,460 homes had open houses, a huge uptick from mid-March and into April, when the state’s stay-at-home orders relegated brokers to virtual showings.

The increase can be attributed in part to the city’s slowing rate of confirmed cases of Covid-19 and deaths related to the virus, along with Chicago’s reopening of a range of businesses earlier this month, experts said. Buyers and sellers are reentering the market after sitting on the sidelines since the pandemic took hold. They “are done waiting,” Donna Lichtenstein of @properties told Crain’s.

While overall listing prices have remained relatively flat during the virus, luxury properties have been trading for less. Last week, the five priciest residential sales in Chicago totaled $11.7 million, down from the previous week’s $12.9 million total. [Crain’s] — Alexi Friedman