April showers: Chicago-area home sales outpace pre-pandemic numbers

Over 12K properties sold across the region, continuing a months-long hot streak

Chicago /
May.May 21, 2021 04:10 PM
Home sales in the Chicago region have been on a months-long hot streak. (Getty)

Home sales in the Chicago region have been on a months-long hot streak. (Getty)

Over 12,000 homes sold in the Chicago area in April, continuing a nine-month hot streak.

Besides blowing the doors off sales figures from April of last year — when the pandemic jammed the brakes on activity — last month’s numbers also outpaced the area’s pre-pandemic April average, according to Crain’s, which cited data from trade group Illinois Realtors.

The nine-county region averaged 10,200 April home sales from 2015 to 2019, according to a tally by Crain’s. That means last month’s closings were about 20 percent higher than average, and about 40 percent above April 2020’s figures.

Sales took off beginning in August, when 13,360 homes sold in the region. In Chicago alone, 2,813 homes sold that month.

Chicago buyers have remained busy. Last month, 3,283 homes sold in the city, far above the five-year average of 2,616, the report noted.

That’s a vast improvement from the dark days of the pandemic, when residents and renters looked to the suburbs, fleeing the city for more square footage and room to roam.

Now, housing supply is dwindling throughout the region, as demand remains high. As of year-end, the number of homes listed in the Chicago area would sustain only two months’ worth of sales, the scarcest inventory since January 2008. Generally, a four- to six-month supply of available homes indicates a functioning housing market.

Median home sale prices also stayed strong: $310,000 for the region as a whole last month and $374,000 for Chicago, Crain’s noted. April also marked the ninth straight month that sale prices rose year-over-year.

Luxury home sales are having a tougher time in parts of the city, however. A recent report showed that in the Gold Coast, it would take nearly 12 years to sell the available homes asking $5 million or more if activity remained the same. Meanwhile, in Lincoln Park, a development site just hit the market, asking $6.75 million. That’s about $1 million more than the owners paid last May, for a property that can allow a home of up to 15,500 square feet.

[Crain’s] — Alexi Friedman 


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