Chicago down payments rise as buyers reap stock market rewards

Competitive market fuels increase

Chicago, Homes, Rise, Stock Market Rewards

Chicago homebuyers are putting more money down, reaping the reward of savings enforced by stay-at-home lifestyles and – until recently – stock-market gains.

The median downpayment rose by just over 1 percent of the purchase price from the first quarter of 2020 and 2022, Crain’s reported, citing It stands at 12.9 percent of the purchase price, compared with 11.8 percent in the last pre-pandemic months.

The change is “a reflection of how competitive the market has become,” Danielle Hale,’s chief economist, said. “In a competitive market, one way for a buyer to stand out (in the seller’s eyes) is to offer a bigger down payment.”

Another factor: more buyers have discretionary income from the stock market and shunning restaurants and other public events. Many buyers flush with cash used cheap money to hold down monthly costs, Hale said.

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Downpayments in dollar amounts rose to $29,000 in 2022 from $19,000 in early 2020, a 53 percent increase that also reflects higher prices. High-end buyers helped drive up the payments because they held more excess cash, said Leslie Struthers with Chicago-based mortgage firm Guaranteed Rate.

“The high earners who were buying big houses with offices for the two of them, a pool, a yard, were putting down 30 and 40 percent to get the house because they could,” Struthers said.

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[CCB] — Victoria Pruitt