End of 2018 marked beginning of replenishing Chicagoland home inventory


New data suggests 2019 will be a positive year for buyers

After months of a seller’s market, the replenishing inventory among Chicagoland homes is evening out the market for buyers. The average time detached single family homes spent on the market before selling in December 2018 was up 1.1 percent over the same time last year, and the median sale price was down 2.0 percent, according to statistics released today by the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® (MORe).

The last few months of the year showed a decrease in homes sold month-over-month, with 2,998 detached single-family homes sold in October, 2,670 sold in November and 2,280 sold in December. Michael Gobber, president of the MORe Board of Directors, said that decrease is expected for December, which typically experiences lower sales than any month of the year. The drop-off was particularly steep this year, with the number of homes sold in December was down 17.6 percent from December 2017. According to Gobber, this is likely due to the year’s low inventory, as discouraged homebuyers may have decided to pause their home search until the new year.

“To assess the state of the market, look at 2018 as a whole. Despite low inventory through most of last year, home sales only moderately decreased in 2018 over 2017, with a 4.2 decrease,” Gobber said. “As inventory catches up, buyers should expect smaller price increases and home sales to slowly pick up again.”

Even with the 17.6 percent decrease in home sales across the region compared to last December, a number of area communities have seen growth in the total number of homes sold over December 2017. They include Bellwood (17.7 percent increase in home sales); Buffalo Grove (19.1%); Calumet City (65.0%); Dolton (30.0%); Orland Park (13.5%); Park Forest (15.4%) and Villa Park (40.0%).

“Even with a decrease in home sales leading into 2018, we expect 2019 to be ‘the year of the buyer,” Gobber said. “Home sales will likely jump up in March or April, so buyers should begin their house hunt now in order to get a head start on the competition.”