The Chicago real estate market still has some life left, according to the latest home sales data. The median home price in Chicago hit $271,000 in October, up 4.2 percent year-over-year, while the median condo price fell marginally to $300,000.

For seasonal comparison – and to better understand how much home buyers save in the fall and winter – city home prices reached their 2018 peak in June at $315,000. Condo prices peaked in March at $350,000.

Across the city, the market time has increased every month since May, which is expected as the busy buying season decelerates and the holiday season inches closer. Still, the median Chicago home spent 43 days on the market this October compared to 37 days in October 2017 – an increase of 16.2 percent. Chicago condos also spent 43 days on the market, a jump of 10 days compared to last year.

Chicago home prices by neighborhood

The Loop, Chicago 

  • Home prices in the Loop fell 7.3%
  • Market time in the Loop fell 8.3%
  • Closed sales fell 1.8%
  • New listings rose 20%

West Loop, Chicago 

  • West Loop home prices rose 12.2%
  • West Loop’s median days on the market rose 65.4%
  • Closed sales rose 1.8%
  • New listings rose 27.8%

South Loop, Chicago

  • South Loop home prices fell 6.1%
  • Market time rose 7%
  • Closed sales fell 29.8%
  • New listings rose 11% 

River North, Chicago

  • River North’s median home price fell 10.5%
  • Market time rose 188%
  • Closed sales fell 48.4%
  • New listings fell 15.4%

Gold Coast/Streeterville, Chicago

  • Gold Coast and Streeterville home prices fell 15.8%
  • Market time rose 49.2%
  • Closed sales fell 13.6%
  • New listings rose 3.2%

Old Town, Chicago

  • Old Town home prices rose 10.5%
  • Market time rose 31.8%
  • Closed sales rose 16.4%
  • New listings fell 3.8%

Lincoln Park, Chicago

  • Lincoln Park home prices rose 3.6%
  • Market time rose 18.8%
  • Closed sales rose 14.4%
  • New listings rose 16.3%

Lakeview, Chicago

  • Lakeview home prices fell 5.8%
  • Market time rose 22%
  • Closed sales rose 5.3%
  • New listings rose 18.1% 

Logan Square/Bucktown, Chicago

  • Logan Square and Bucktown home prices rose 11.2%
  • Market time rose 115.4%
  • Closed sales rose 1.4%
  • New listings fell 8%

West Town/Wicker Park, Chicago

  • West Town and Wicker Park home prices fell 5.1%
  • Market time fell 11.8%
  • Closed sales rose 3.5%
  • New listings rose 5.5%

Avondale/North Center, Chicago 

  • Avondale and North Center home prices rose 11.7%
  • Market time remained flat
  • Closed sales rose 1.5%
  • New listings rose 4.6%

Could Chicago home prices fall?

Based on the prices alone, the effects of the rumored market slow down have yet to take effect. In September, closed sales took a major hit that left many home sellers and real estate professionals uneasy.

Citywide, home sales were down a shocking 16.6 percent year-over-year in September. Z Chicago’s September real estate market report looked closer at the data to find fewer closed sales in the majority of neighborhoods near downtown, including the Loop, South Loop, River North, Gold Coast, Streeterville, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Logan Square, Bucktown, West Town, Wicker Park, Avondale and North Center. In fact, the only neighborhood to see an annual jump in home sales was West Loop. Old Town had the same number of closed sales last month as the year prior.

Fortunately, the decline in sales was short lived. Based on the latest data, closed sales were up in October in over half the neighborhoods we surveyed, including West Loop, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Logan Square, Bucktown, West Town, Wicker Park, Avondale and North Center.

And, in October, citywide home sales were down a mere 1.7 percent.

Is now a good time to sell or buy a home in Chicago?

The Chicago real estate market appears to be in good health for now. That’s not to say we won’t eventually enter a buyer’s market due to rising interest rates that lead to fewer sales, or general uncertainty over the local and national political climate that spark home buyer hesitation. We probably won’t have a strong outlook until springtime, when and if Chicago home sales heat up again as they normally do. Most sellers should and will wait until the spring to list as usual, especially with currently lengthy market times across the city. But it’s never too early to start planning your home sale. We recommend finding a Chicago real estate brokerage or agent to discuss the costs associated with selling, an ideal timeline, and marketing plans.

For buyers, don’t expect any crazy discounts by waiting until next year. Even if home prices decline as a result of a slowdown, Chicago homes and condos will (probably) still cost more than they do right now because our market is highly seasonal, and the market hasn’t shown any definite or steady declines to support major markdowns. Plus, higher interest rates next year will make long-term homeownership costlier. The other benefit of buying now is time – homes for sale are sitting longer than they did last year in most Chicago neighborhoods.

The real estate market ebbs and flows, but we think Chicago home buyers are in a good position to take advantage now. The real question is – is the right home out there? Start your Chicago home search to find out.