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Chicago Real Estate Market 2018

The Chicago real estate market is big. Really, really big.

With more than 70 neighborhoods, a wide array of property types and plenty of hungry buyers, it’s one of the nation’s most robust and competitive markets out there.
But that doesn’t mean it’s inaccessible.
Whether you’re on the hunt for your first home or you’re a serial real estate investor looking to expand your portfolio, 2018 might still be your year. We’ve analyzed the last year of local real estate sales, and trends indicate now may be the time to buy – at least for some.



Prices are up – but not by that much.

You hear a lot about the ever-rising prices of the American housing market. But here in Chicago, average home prices are still below their record highs. In fact, prices on detached properties stands at 89 percent of what they were in 2007, and attached houses are still at 82% percent. Last year, there was actually a slowdown in growth on single-family detached properties (meaning now may be the time to buy one if you’re on the market!).

If you’re ready to buy, you’ll need to act quickly.

Properties are selling fast, and the average days a property stays on the market has been steadily dropping. Attached single-family homes have seen a 19 percent dip in days on market since 2016, and multi-unit properties have dropped 13 percent. Attached units are also on a slow decline – and have been since 2011. The moral of the story? If you see a property you like, act fast; it won’t be on the market long.

The listing price is probably negotiable.

Unlike in many metro areas, Chicago homes are actually going for under their listing price. Single family detached and attached homes show the biggest differential, selling for about 4 percent under their listed price, while multi-unit properties had a 2 percent one, meaning they’re going for a little closer to listing price than other properties. Either way, this means you likely have a little room to negotiate – no matter what type of property you’re buying. This is also the first year multi-unit properties are selling below listed price in the last 5 years.

Condos, duplexes and attached homes are a hot commodity – at least for today.

A big chunk of properties sold last year were attached homes, meaning condos, duplexes and the like. Detached homes came in second, while multi-units came in third. There was also more inventory in the attached space in 2017, with fewer on the multi-unit end.
This indicates it could be a good time to buy an attached property – but only for now. Data shows prices on single-family attached homes are growing faster than other housing types in the Chicago market. You’ll want to get in before the differential between listing price and sales price starts to tighten even more.

Get your detached house now.

If you’re on the market for a detached home, you also may be in luck. This type of properties move slowly, and their prices aren’t rising like other housing options. Still, new listings are stable for attached homes, so you’ll want to act fast. As listings will start to dwindle and demand rises, buyers will lose bargaining power when it comes to price.

Neighborhood matters.

Chicago is home to nearly 80 different neighborhoods, and let me tell you: they’re definitely not created equal. Each offers different pros and cons, as well as unique levels of competition, supply and pricing. If you’re not looking to spend an arm and a leg on your property, you’ll probably want to avoid the city’s most expensive neighborhoods: Lincoln Park, Near North Side and Lake View. Lincoln Park came in with an average sale price of $1,174K for 2017, while Near North Side wasn’t much less at $1,135K. If you’re going for a detached single-family home, you’re looking at an average of $1.83 million or $1.86 million, respectively.
Lake View was slightly more affordable overall, with an $899K average price. Single-family properties in this neighborhood ran a cool $1.32 million in 2017.

Price aside, Chicago neighborhoods also vary greatly by time on market, meaning where you buy will play into how fast you need to act. In the Lower West Side community, houses sell the fastest at just 52 days on the market. The neighborhood also has a very small spread between listing price and sale price, indicating the market is pretty competitive at the moment.
Near West Side and Archer Heights also see properties fly off the market at just 54 and 56 days on market. Still, if you can get in fast, Near West Side is a great buy. Attached homes sell for about 10 percent below listing price.

North Park offers the deal of the year.

When looking at Chicago real estate market, for a true steal, look to North Park. Though homes average about 67 days on market (slightly higher than the record-holding neighborhoods, but much lower than the city’s average of 90), they’re also going for a whopping 30 percent below list price. Plus, looking at new listings versus properties sold, it appears there’s still plenty of inventory on the market – including many single-family, detached homes.