Coronavirus sent Chicago home sales to new low in May

The number of homes that sold was down more than 40% year over year, but there are recent signs the market is starting to improve

TRD CHICAGO /
Jun.June 23, 2020 10:00 AM
Home sales tanked in Chicago in May, but more recent data has shown an uptick in homes under contract. (iStock)

Home sales tanked in Chicago in May, but more recent data has shown an uptick in homes under contract. (iStock)

Chicago home sales cratered in May as the city remained in lockdown ahead of its June 3 reopening. More recent data showing an uptick in homes under contract, however, indicate slow improvement for a sputtering market.

In the city, just 1,666 homes sold last month, a drop of close to 44 percent compared to nearly 3,000 homes in May 2019, according to Crain’s. That difference represents the largest drop recorded since early 2009, according to Illinois Realtors.

Closed home sale prices were around $315,000 in May, about the same as in May 2019, Crain’s reported. Since the beginning of the year, home sales prices in Chicago have seen a slight rise.

In the nine-county metro area, home sales took a similar nosedive last month: 7,710 homes sold. That was about 37 percent below May 2019 figures, the sharpest drop on record, Illinois Realtors noted, as reported in Crain’s. Meanwhile, the median price for a home sold last month in the nine-county area was $260,000. That was a slight year over year increase. Prices have also ticked up since the beginning of the year.

Through May, home sales in Chicago have fallen about 15 percent since the start of the year compared to 2019 figures; the drop was about 25 percent in the metro area, Crain’s reported.

Yes, there is some good news.

For the week ending June 15, more Chicago-area homes went into contract than since the week ending March 16, when the virus was taking hold.

That also marked the second straight week in which more 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.
But Chicago’s luxury market is still scuffling. For the week ending June 16, the five priciest residential sales totaled $11.7 million, marking the second week in a row the amount fell. [Crain’s] — Alexi Friedman


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