Rough start: Both sales and prices drop in Chicago this January

The year got off to a slow start for the Chicago housing market, as both sales and median prices in the city dropped in January, according to the latest research from the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

According to the association’s numbers, the city of Chicago saw 1,164 home sales in January. That’s down a significant 19.4 percent from the 1,444 home sales that took place in the city during the same month a year earlier.

At the same time, the median price of a home in the city of Chicago fell to $252,000 in January. That’s down 4.9 percent when compared to January a year earlier. Back then, the median price of a Chicago home was $265,000.

What’s behind this drop in both prices and sales? The association’s story cites a dip in consumer confidence in the United States in both December and January. Consumers worried about the government shutdown, a slower rate of job growth and uncertainty regarding the future of the national economy, according to the association.

The association said, too, that sellers, reacting to more hesitant buyers, lowered their asking prices to encourage more activity.

This doesn’t mean that you should panic if you’re ready to sell a home. Chicago buyers are still willing to pay fair prices for city condos and single-family homes located in desirable neighborhoods. And fortunately, in Chicago there are plenty of these desirable communities.

If you’re buying, the falling home prices have to be considered good news. Sellers today are willing to negotiate to sell their condos and single-family homes. This gives buyers the chance to land a great property for an especially fair price.

But whatever you do, don’t try to navigate today’s Chicago housing market without the help of a REALTOR® who knows your market. You’ll need the help of such a pro whether you are buying or selling.