In January, the unemployment rate rose 4%, the highest jump in seven months. In the long run, this may not be of much significance, as other economic factors are showing continued growth in the job force, including 100 straight months of employment gains. The construction sector had its best month of employment since last February. With the Fed apparently holding off on further rate increases, 2019 is beginning favorably for local residential real estate.
The cold Weather in February has stalled some buying and selling actions. Even so, economic fundamentals remain positive for a robust housing market.
Let's look at how the market performed in the different Chicago neighborhoods.
Gold Coast, Streeterville, River North and Magnificent Mile
In January 2019, there were more new listings of condos but less sales compared to January 2018. This resulted in a higher inventory and properties took an average of 122 days to sell, compared with 104 days in January 2018. However, the median sales price increased to $457,000, or by 14.3%.
Similar to the market on the Near North Side, there were more new properties listed for sale, but less closed sales in Lincoln Park in the first month of 2019, compared to 2018. This resulted in more properties on the market but it took less time to sell a house or a condo. The median price for houses decreased to $1,550,000, or by 8.7% but the median price for a condo increased to $490,000, or by 5.9%.
Like Lincoln Park and the Near North Side, the Lake View area also saw more properties listed for sale and less closed sales in January 2019 compared with January 2018. This resulted in a higher number of properties available for sale, and the time on the market increased to 265 days for houses and to 94 days for condos and townhomes. The median sales price for a single family house increased to $1,420,000, or by 18%, while the median sales price for condos and townhomes slightly decreased to $348,750. It shows, that Lake View is still undervalued and offers good opportunities for buyers.
The market saw a considerable increase in activity in the first month of 2019. compared to the first month in 2018. There were more properties listed for sale and more properties sold. This resulted in a lower number of homes available for sale. However, it took longer to sell a property than a year before and the median price of a condo decreased to $200,000 or by 17.6%.
Unlike some other Chicago neighborhoods, there were less new properties for sale and less homes sold in January than the year before. As a result, the time a house was on the market, increased to 123 days from 73 days a year before. The median sales price of houses increased to $752,000, or by 34%, but that is not representative of the market, because it only includes 14 sales.
This area has experienced tremendous growth in popularity over the last few years and as a result, prices have skyrocket. There was very little buying and selling activity in January with only 12 houses and 26 condos sold. The median price for both decreased by 23% and 5.4%, respectively. Could this mean a turn-around of the market in this area? We will see what 2019 brings.
Like in most other areas, there were more homes listed for sale but less completed sales in January 2019, compared with 2018. The median sales price of all condos sold was $340,000, a slight decrease compared to last year. The time it took to sell, also increased to 131 days, or 33.7% from last January.
The number of new listings was almost unchanged compared to January 2018, with 105 new listings, versus 109 the year before. The number of closed sales was down by 23%, from 39 to 30 condos. The median price also was down by 5% to $341,500 for condos.
New listings were up by 10% and closed sales down by 4% in this area. This resulted in an increased inventory and it took longer for a property to sell. The median price for a condo was $482,500, an increase of 5% over the same period the previous year.
To summarize, there were more properties listed for sale this January than the year before but less properties were actually sold. In general, this resulted in an increased inventory and longer market time, but not necessarily in lower prices. This shows that while there were more sellers and less buyers, the market was still a favoring the sellers. In some areas, and in certain price ranges, there is still a shortage of inventory and buyers are not yet seeing the effects of more houses on the market.
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