Report: Suburban home sales drop 3.2 percent in December

 
Updated 1/23/2017 11:45 AM
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DOWNERS GROVE -- The total number of single-family detached homes sold in suburban Chicago in December dropped by a modest 3.2 percent compared to last year but the median sale price was up 5.3 percent and time on the market was down, marking a continued growing but tight housing market, according to Mainstreet Organization of Realtors statistics.

In the organization's region of 200 communities in DuPage, Lake and suburban Cook counties, 2,733 single-family detached homes were sold in December, down slightly from 2,864 sold in December 2015, according to data provided by Midwest Real Estate Data LLC. Average time on the market was down by five days and median sale price was up 5.3 percent to $227,500 compared to last year.

"Lack of inventory is driving time on the market down and median sale price up," said Catherine Terpstra, president of the MORe board of directors. "Winter buyers don't always have the luxury of time or big inventory to wait for the perfect home."

Currently, the suburban housing market has only six months of inventory, making it a sellers market.

Overall, 2016 ended with growth in the suburban housing market as the year ended with a total 4.6 percent increase in the total number of single family detached houses sold.

Median price was up 6.2 percent to $240,000, according to the data from MORe. Terpstra expects the market to continue to grow despite rising mortgage interest rates as it is becoming easier for first-time buyers to get a home loan. Terpstra encourages those watching the market to apply for loans now and be ready to make their purchase as inventory increases in the spring.

"It is going to cost more money the longer you wait and you don't want to loose that buying power. Even $200 month can make a difference in the amount of home you can get," said Terpstra, a REALTOR® with more than 12 years experience.

Communities throughout MORe's region that saw a notable increase in the number of houses sold in 2016 include the south suburban communities of Oak Lawn (17 percent), and Orland Park (13.4 percent). Near western suburbs also saw increases in 2016 including Darien (31.3 percent) and Willowbrook (27.5 percent). In the Northwest suburbs Palatine saw an increase of 13.8 percent and in the North notable increases were found in Hainesville-Grayslake (10.7%), Wauconda (12.1%) and Green Oaks-Libertyville (16.4%).

Transportation is at the heart of many buyers' decision. Any community close to the expressway or an easy train ride will always be a draw," Terpstra explained.

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