Chicagoland Home Sales and Contracts Drop Due to Coronavirus, but Home Value Remains Strong


Sales of detached single family homes in Chicagoland fell 14.2 percent in April 2020 compared to April 2019, according to statistics released today by the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® (MORe). Attached home sales dropped 25.8 percent over the same period. 

These decreases were a clear and expected result of the coronavirus pandemic and resulting shutdown. Home contracts were also down, 35.2 percent for detached homes and 45.6% for attached homes. However, among all these decreases, home values remained strong, with prices increasing 6.6 percent across the Chicago region for both detached and attached homes. 

“Unlike 2008, this economic downturn is not directly tied to home values,” MORe CEO John Gormley said. “While people who can put off a move right now are choosing to do so, houses in our area are maintaining or even gaining in value. Ultimately, when it is safer to do so, market activity will pick back up.”

Consumer behavior is beginning to adapt to homebuying in a pandemic. Instead of touring a variety of homes for sale, more buyers now seek as much information as possible before visiting. These buyers are trying to narrow down their options so that they only need to see one or two properties in person before making a purchase. 

“When the coronavirus first began spreading in Illinois, sellers and buyers became very concerned about if and how it would be possible to safely conduct a real estate transaction,” MORe Board of Directors President Brian Kwilosz said. “But since the beginning of May, we are already seeing activity pick back up as consumers realize this could go on a while and it’s time to find safe ways to make a move.” 

Suburbs with strong price increases over last April included: Calumet City (13.1 percent increase in median sales price); Chicago Heights (43.2%); Elk Grove Village (11.4%); Evergreen Park (25.3%); Flossmoor (32.8%); Hanover Park (16.7%); Lansing (13.9%); Maywood (18.2%); Oswego (13.9%); Palatine (15.6%); Park Forest (21.7%); Round Lake (18.1%); South Holland (29.8%); Villa Park (26.2%); West Chicago (16.0%); Wheaton (15.8%); and Woodridge (20.7%). 

“Ultimately, everyone needs a place to live, and Mainstreet REALTORS®️ are working closely with our clients to help them find homes as safely as possible,” Kwilosz said. “Even people who aren’t ready to buy or sell right now have questions about what the coronavirus means for their housing options, and we are here to answer those questions.”