In any given year, it’s common to see Chicago home prices dip between August and September as the summer officially comes to a close. This year, home prices saw a slight uptick during the autumnal shift.

September’s median sales price reached $287,300, up from $285,000 the month prior. A similar jump occurred in Chicago’s condominium market, where the median sales price for September hit $314,450 from a prior $300,000 in August.

Compared to September of last year, Chicago home and condo prices jumped 4.5 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively. Since last year, closed sales in the city dropped 15.4 percent and new listings rose 4.5 percent.

In addition, the overall market time in the city increased by 26.7 percent. Last September, homes in Chicago sat on the market for a median of 30 days, and this September, they sat for 38 days. Between September 2015 and September 2017, the market time had dropped every year, so the increase is telling.

Chicago home prices by neighborhood

Compared to just a year ago, home prices increased across every major Chicago neighborhood near downtown, with the exception of River North, where home prices remained flat. And, with the exception of West Loop and Lakeview, homes in all other major downtown neighborhoods sat on the market longer this September compared to a year ago.

Here’s how the market has changed in each neighborhood over the past 12 months:

The Loop, Chicago 

  • Home prices in the Loop rose 12.8 percent
  • Market time in the Loop rose 50 percent
  • Closed sales fell 18.1 percent
  • New listings fell 13.2 percent

West Loop, Chicago 

  • West Loop home prices rose 40.5 percent
  • West Loop’s overall residential median market time fell 40 percent – from 15 days in September 2017 to 9 days in September 2018
  • Closed sales rose 23.4 percent
  • New listings fell 3.8 percent

South Loop, Chicago

  • South Loop home prices rose 11.2 percent
  • Market time rose 48.6 percent
  • Closed sales fell 19.4 percent
  • New listings rose 6 percent 

River North, Chicago

  • River North’s median home price remained flat
  • Market time rose 92.3 percent
  • Closed sales fell 42.6 percent
  • New listings rose 25 percent

Gold Coast/Streeterville, Chicago

  • Gold Coast and Streeterville home prices rose 19.3 percent
  • Market time rose 55.6 percent
  • Closed sales fell 2.4 percent
  • New listings rose 5.7 percent

Old Town, Chicago

  • Old Town home prices rose 13.1 percent
  • Market time rose 54.1 percent
  • Closed sales remained flat
  • New listings rose 29.3 percent

Lincoln Park, Chicago

  • Lincoln Park home prices rose 11.1 percent
  • Market time rose 28.6 percent
  • Closed sales fell 29 percent
  • New listings rose 18.4 percent

Lakeview, Chicago

  • Lakeview home prices rose 2.4 percent
  • Market time fell 6.7 percent
  • Closed sales fell 28.6 percent
  • New listings fell 4.5 percent 

Logan Square/Bucktown, Chicago

  • Logan Square and Bucktown home prices rose 26.3 percent
  • Market time rose 173.7 percent
  • Closed sales fell 12.7 percent
  • New listings fell 4 percent

West Town/Wicker Park, Chicago

  • West Town and Wicker Park home prices rose 7.1 percent
  • Market time rose 36.4 percent
  • Closed sales fell 16.4 percent
  • New listings rose 15 percent 

Avondale/North Center, Chicago 

  • Avondale and North Center home prices rose 8.6 percent
  • Market time rose 33.3 percent
  • Closed sales fell 1.4 percent
  • New listings rose 19.4 percent

Chicago real estate market 2018 overview

The fact that Chicago homes continue to become more expensive year after year typically indicates a seller’s market. Admittedly, Chicago has been in a seller’s market since the housing market rebounded following a bottom in 2012.

However, homes selling slower in almost every major Chicago neighborhood near downtown is a strong marker of a swing that favors Chicago home buyers. The longer a home sits for sale, the more motivated a seller becomes, usually boosting their willingness to negotiate. In addition, buyers are less likely to make hasty decisions when they have an extra week, maybe even two weeks, before the property they are considering is taken off the market by another buyer. Those extra days make a big difference, especially to buyers who previously became discouraged with the Chicago real estate market and its highly competitive atmosphere.

More new listings hitting the market this September compared to the same time last year might indicate some anxiety among current and potential home sellers. Because homes are sitting longer, and closed sales are dropping, homeowners could be rushing to sell before sales prices begin to react negatively to an otherwise slowing market. With reports of a slowdown looming, we can’t say we blame them. More new listings benefit Chicago home buyers, especially those who are particular about must-haves like neighborhoods, size, layout, and amenities.

Do we think home prices are going to drop exponentially as they did in 2012 following the recession of 2008? Probably not, thanks to tighter lending standards this time around. But it is likely that the large annual jolt in Chicago home prices we’ve seen for the past five years will begin to subside over the next six to twelve months, giving many of today’s renters a better shot at homeownership.