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Assessing Recent Trends: Was Real Estate Slow in August?

Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash
Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash


The growth in 2020 carried well into 2021. A recent market forecast observed that in June 2021, 52.8 percent more Chicagoland homes sold than the previous June, and the median home price increased 20.4 percent. The months’ supply of inventory for June in Chicagoland had dropped to 1.7 months, indicating that the market remained extremely competitive. This report forecasted double-digit year-over-year growth for median home prices in July, August, and September.

However, an August 2 report from Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) shows that the market may have stabilized some over the summer. The number of listings under contract per week has been far more comparable with 2020’s totals in recent weeks, hovering between 4,000 and 4,500 homes per week with only slight increases over 2020. After peaking at nearly $400,000 in June, the average sold price hovered just above $350,000 throughout July. The change in median home price was not as drastic in July but also remained below June peaks of over $300,000 in some weeks.

What could the future hold? It’s worth noting that the MRED data shows the 2021 weekly totals of real estate showings to be closely echoing 2019, or otherwise “normal,” seasonal trends, more so than the inflated totals of summer 2020. Does this translate to declining buyer interest that could lead to lowered prices? Perhaps, but MRED data also shows that the number of new listings on the market declined each week in July between four and nine percent from the previous year. In a market still relatively low on inventory, this could be a key factor in median home prices staying high.

As families return from long-awaited vacations and kids head back to school, it’s hard to know for sure what will happen from here. However, there is one factor assuredly in your favor. Interest rates are still low, meaning that with the right agent at your side, now could still be an excellent time to make your move. 

What’s the latest on the Chicagoland residential real estate market? After many months of heightened activity dating back to the end of the first wave of shutdowns in spring 2020, some observers have expected the frenzied market to plateau and decline. The numbers show that while month-to-month growth has come back down to earth, that decline may not be in place just yet.

Reflecting on 2020, there’s no denying that the lifting of shutdowns triggered a staggering amount of activity. According to Illinois REALTORS, the Chicagoland year-end median home price in 2020 was $268,000, an increase of 8.1 percent from $248,000 in 2019. The average months’ supply of inventory for 2020 was 1.8, a decline of 45.5 percent from 2019. The 2020 number of homes sold of 120,256 was an increase of 8.8 percent, and the highest total since 2012.