Attached Home Prices Soar, Driven by Demand from Baby Boomers

Chicagoland’s attached housing market is experiencing a boom this summer, thanks in no small part to baby boomers.

The median sale price for attached homes was up 12.8% in the region this June as compared to the same month last year, from $226,000 in 2022 to $255,000 in 2023. At the same time, the median sale price for detached homes held relatively steady, increasing only 1.8%.

According to Debbie Pawlowicz, President for the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® Board of Directors, it’s likely Baby Boomers who are driving the price of attached homes up.

“There are a lot of baby boomers looking for the ease of living and lack of maintenance that comes with an attached home right now,” Pawlowicz said. “Unlike most millennial buyers, who might also be interested in attached homes, many of today’s boomer homebuyers are willing and able to pay more for an attached home, and many can pay in cash.”

Earlier this year, the National Association of REALTORS® reported that baby boomers overtook millennials as the largest generation of homebuyers, making up 39% of all homebuyers. Their buying power is clearly being felt in the region’s attached housing market.

“As boomers continue to retire and age, I think we’re seeing a growing interest in downsizing and being nearer to family,” said Mainstreet CEO John Gormley. “The increase in attached housing prices indicates that, at this point in their lives, many boomers see condos and other attached dwellings as just as valuable as the single family homes they’ve raised their kids in.”

It’s not all bad news for millennial buyers, however. Housing supply for both attached and detached homes is creeping back up in Chicagoland, meaning buyers should soon have more to choose from across all housing types and price points. There were 13,237 new listings in the Chicagoland PMSA in June 2023. That is the most new listings of any month so far in this year, and represents a more than 40% increase over the last six months.

“More inventory is a good thing for every type of buyer in every generation,” said Pawlowicz. “Whether you’re looking for a single family home, a condo, or a duplex, you can make smarter decisions when you have choices.”

Still, Chicagoland’s housing inventory has a lot of room to grow. There is currently 1.7 months of inventory in the Chicagoland PMSA, meaning it would take just 1.7 months for the current housing supply to be depleted if no new homes were listed.

That means today’s buyers still need to be ready to move quickly and play fair, whether they’re preparing to buy a single family home or an attached dwelling.

“Yes, inventory is finally on the rise again, but it’s still low, and the market continues to move quickly this summer,” said Pawlowicz. “That means buyers need to be ready with their pre-approvals and come in with a sincere, buttoned-up offer.”

Average market time was just 33 days for detached homes and 23 days for attached homes in June 2023.

“In a fast moving market like this one, it’s important to remember that what’s being reported in the news nationally might not always be reflected in what’s happening in your local area,” explained Gormley, “That’s why it’s so critical to work with a seasoned REALTOR® who is on the ground, keeping a pulse on the ever-changing market in your specific area, and can help you make informed decisions quickly.”

In Chicagoland, the following were several of the suburbs where the median sale price of attached homes increased most from June 2022 to June 2023:

Burnham (148% increase in median sale price)
Hainesville-Grayslake (41.7%)
Lemont (53.4%)
Oak Brook Terrace (131.0%)
River Grove (82.0%)
Riverside (117.0%)
Wauconda (66.7%)
Westchester (44.7%)
Zion (57.6%)

In today’s market, REALTORS® should expect to work with buyers who are preferencing attached homes because of the lifestyle benefits they provide, not just because of their (historically more affordable) price point. This is especially true of baby boomers, many of whom might be willing to spend just as much on the right condo or attached home as they would have on a single family dwelling. Let lifestyle preferences guide the properties you present to your clients, and be sure to help them stay up-to-date on the ever-changing market conditions driven by current generational shifts in home buying.