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REALTORS® Confidence is Dipping. But Should Yours?

REALTORS® Confidence is Dipping. But Should Yours?

REALTORS® Confidence is Dipping. But Should Yours?

REALTORS® aren’t quite as confident about the housing market as they once were, according to the latest confidence report released by the National Association of REALTORS® (“NAR”).

The big question is WHY? What accounts for this drop in confidence?

According to the report, REALTOR® confidence in the housing market in September fell to its lowest level in 2.5 years. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, said that he isn’t really sure why the confidence levels have dropped. After all, the economy is still recovering, and consumer confidence is on the rise.

I know, too, that the housing market on the North Side of Chicago is still a strong one, and one that calls for confidence. Yes, sales of Chicago condominiums and single-family homes are down from last year. But, in good news for sellers, the sales prices of these city homes have been steadily rising. That’s particularly true in such strong neighborhoods as Lincoln Square, Lakeview, North Center, Logan Square and Lincoln Park.

Of course, the housing market is not perfect. It still faces its own challenges. And that might be what’s behind the drop in confidence among REALTORS®.

The NAR report points to one such challenge: It’s more difficult for consumers today to qualify for mortgage loans because of more stringent credit standards. That, of course, has reduced the number of consumers in the housing market and the number of home sales, both in Chicago and across the nation.

Others said that there is a smaller number of affordable homes available for first-time buyers, and that is keeping these buyers out of the market.

Whatever the big issues are, it’s clear that the housing market faces challenges. Of course, this is nothing new. The housing market always faces challenges. But here’s a truth: It has always found ways to overcome these challenges, too.

I think this is true today. It still makes sense to buy a home in Chicago. This is a great city. And there are plenty of affordable, quality homes on the market. I have confidence in this market, and you should, too.

 

The MG Group is an award winning residential real estate group ranked #1 IN ILLINOIS & TOP 40 IN THE NATION since 2011 by The Wall Street Journal & in Real Trends’ THE THOUSAND TOP REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS. The MG Group is also recognized as a LUXEHOME 25 by Top 25 Luxury Broker in Chicago and FIVE-STAR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL by Chicago Magazine.  SHARE THIS POST & FOLLOW US NOW ON:

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A Boost to the Chicago Housing Market Needed. What’s Your Role in the Market?

What’s Your Role in the Market?

What’s Your Role in the Market?

We can all agree that the Chicago housing market is still in recovery mode. But that recovery could be even stronger if not for the number of adults — often young ones — who are putting off forming their own households.

Crain’s Chicago Business recently ran an interesting feature on the growing number of adults who are holding off on either renting apartments or buying homes. The information for the story comes from a recent report by real estate website Zillow.

According to the story, household formation has been sluggish since the days of the recession. The problem? Too many adults are living with parents or doubling up with friends or family members instead of renting their own apartments, buying their own homes and starting their own households.

The Zillow report says that in 2012 the average household in Chicago had 1.88 adults living in it. That number stood at 1.81 in 2000.

That might not seem like a big difference. But it is. According to the Zillow report, the Chicago area now has 138,728 hidden households. These are households that would exist — but don’t now — if the number of adults living in the average Chicago household would fall back to 2000 levels.

Just think of the boost to the Chicago housing market and economy that these adults could provide if they would form their own households. They’d pump rental income into the economy. They’d spend all that money to buy a home. But that’s just the beginning. They’d also spend on furniture, Internet services and lawn-care products. The list goes on.

Housing prices are slowly rising throughout Chicago. But the number of single-family and condominium sales here has been falling. A wave of new households would certainly provide a much-welcome boost to the local housing market.

The MG Group is an award winning residential real estate group ranked #1 IN ILLINOIS & TOP 40 IN THE NATION since 2011 by The Wall Street Journal & in Real Trends’ THE THOUSAND TOP REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS. The MG Group is also recognized as a LUXEHOME 25 by Top 25 Luxury Broker in Chicago and FIVE-STAR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL by Chicago Magazine.  SHARE THIS POST & FOLLOW US NOW ON:

 

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Top 5 Neighborhoods in Chicago for Buyers & Sellers

Top 5 Neighborhoods for Buyers’ Market in Chicago

Top 5 Neighborhoods for Buyers’ Market in Chicago

Selling a home in Chicago’s Near West side neighborhood? You’re lucky. And if you’re buying a home in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood on the South Side? You’re lucky, too.

At least that’s what the latest Buyer-Seller Index from real estate Web site Zillow says.

The monthly index lists the top city neighborhoods for buyers and for sellers. Chicago Magazine real estate writer Ian Spula recently covered the latest index. And the results show that overall, Chicago is still a real estate market that slightly favors home buyers over home sellers.

It’s important to note that Zillow doesn’t consider home values when compiling its index. Instead, the real estate site looks at such factors as how many sellers drop their asking prices and how long it takes homes to sell. The index also compares sales-to-list-price ratios: What percentage of the listing prices do buyers actually pay when closing on homes?

The ranking of the top sellers’ and buyers’ markets in Chicago is far from a perfect one. But the Zillow index does provide a good overview of those neighborhoods in which sellers rule and those in which buyers are favored.

According to the Chicago Magazine story, the top five sellers’ markets in Chicago are the Near West Side, Logan Square, River North, East Village and West Lawn. In the Near West Side, just 33.8% of homes had a price cut, while buyers paid an average of 100% of the list price on recent sales.

The five top buyers’ markets were Beverly, Garfield Ridge, Gold Coast, Streeterville and East Lakeview. In the Gold Coast, for instance, 41.4% of recent listings had seen price cuts. And in East Lakeview that figure stood at 47 percent. It also takes longer for homes in these markets to sell.

Don’t take this to mean, though, that owners in neighborhoods such as the Gold Coast aren’t landing good sales prices for their condominiums or single-family homes. They are. They just aren’t getting quite as much as they want, and they’re not selling their homes, on average, as quickly as they’d like.

The MG Group is an award winning residential real estate group ranked #1 IN ILLINOIS & TOP 40 IN THE NATION since 2011 by The Wall Street Journal & in Real Trends’ THE THOUSAND TOP REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS. The MG Group is also recognized as a LUXEHOME 25 by Top 25 Luxury Broker in Chicago and FIVE-STAR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL by Chicago Magazine.  SHARE THIS POST & FOLLOW US NOW ON:

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Home Sales Still Declining in Chicago

Home Sales Still Declining in Chicago

Home Sales Still Declining in Chicago

The number of home sales in the city of Chicago have been steadily decreasing. And the month of September brought more of the same.

That’s the takeaway from the latest study of Chicago housing data by the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

In September, the city of Chicago saw 2,187 home sales. That’s down 8.7% from the 2,395 homes sold in the city during the same month in 2013. The MG Group’s sales rose by almost 40% in the same period.

There is good news, though, for home sellers: When owners do sell their homes, they are doing so for more money.

The IAR reported that the median sales price of existing homes hit $250,000 in September in the city. That’s up 8.7% from a median sales price of $230,000 in September of 2013.

It’s important to note, though, that median sales price is not the same as average sales price. The median price is that price point at which half of all homes sold for more and half for less. So in September, half of the existing homes sold in Chicago sold for more than $250,000 and half for less.

Hugh Rider, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®, was quoted in the association’s press release as saying that Chicago’s current housing market brings good news for both buyers and sellers. Sellers should be happy to see median sales prices continue to rise. Buyers should be happy to know that the number of homes available for sale in the city is also on the rise.

Of course, the fall Chicago housing market brings challenges, too. Sellers have to contend with a market in which there are fewer buyers. And buyers still need to deal with inventory that remains limited; it might be a struggle for buyers to find that dream home in their ideal location.

The best bet for both buyers and sellers? Work with a REALTOR®. REALTORS® can help sellers sell their homes for the right price and can help buyers negotiate a tight market to find their ideal homes.

The MG Group is an award winning residential real estate group ranked #1 IN ILLINOIS & TOP 40 IN THE NATION since 2011 by The Wall Street Journal & in Real Trends’ THE THOUSAND TOP REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS. The MG Group is also recognized as a LUXEHOME 25 by Top 25 Luxury Broker in Chicago and FIVE-STAR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL by Chicago Magazine. SHARE THIS POST & FOLLOW US NOW ON:

 

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Webster Square a Good Test for Chicago’s Condo Market

Webster Square a Good Test for Chicago’s Condo Market

Webster Square a Good Test for Chicago’s Condo Market

Looking for more evidence that Chicago’s housing market is firmly in rebound mode? Webster Square in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood provides it.

According to a recent story by Chicago Magazine, construction work has started on a 100-unit condominium project at this site, which was once home to the long-vacated Lincoln Park Hospital campus at Webster and Lincoln avenues.

And this follows the opening of 75 apartments in the hospital campus’ seven-story administration building in early June of this year. The condos will occupy a neighboring 12-story hospital building, according to the Chicago Magazine story.

This is good news for the surrounding neighborhood. Lincoln Park hospital abandoned the site in 2008. This left behind 3 acres of empty spaces spread out over six vacated buildings. In all, the hospital left behind 600,000sqft.

No one wants to live next to such a large empty space. It’s a blight. But the new residential activity taking place here is a decided improvement.

So far, renters have flocked to the former hospital campus. The Chicago Magazine story says that the luxury apartments here are now 90% occupied. The apartment building features some nice amenities, including a top-floor gym, party room and green rooftop deck. The second floor of the project features business rooms.

The condo portion of the project stands to be even more interesting as it will serve as a good test of the strength of Chicago’s recovering condo market. As the story says, the only larger condo project that has broken ground since the Great Recession is the 1345 South Wabash condo development.

Will the new condos at Webster Square fill up? Is there enough demand for new condos to justify the addition of 100 new units to Chicago’s North Side? These questions will be answered soon enough. But now this: The cost of renting an apartment in Chicago neighborhoods such as Lincoln Park continues to rise. This should make condo living even more attractive to those who want to live in the city’s most-desirable neighborhoods.

The MG Group is an award winning residential real estate group ranked #1 IN ILLINOIS & TOP 40 IN THE NATION since 2011 by The Wall Street Journal & in Real Trends’ THE THOUSAND TOP REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS. The MG Group is also recognized as a LUXEHOME 25 by Top 25 Luxury Broker in Chicago and FIVE-STAR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL by Chicago Magazine.  SHARE THIS POST & FOLLOW US NOW ON:

 

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