The Chicago real estate market ended 2019 on somewhat of a high note considering the time of year. In fact, recent data suggests that Chicago home buyers are more active this winter than usual. 

Because Chicago is so large and diverse, to gauge the market most accurately it’s important to narrow the scope of the data, which is why we survey the city overall, the downtown area and each neighborhood specifically. Further, we separate the data by overall residential sales and condos/townhomes specifically to give you an idea of the market based on what you’re personally buying or selling.

Starting with the cost of homes for sale in the city of Chicago, the median residential sales price grew 9.8% year-over-year in December to $277,250. Meanwhile, the number of Chicago homes sold in December grew 10.5% while the number of Chicago homes for sale fell 7.1 percent.

Despite the increased demand, market time increased about a week during the same year period – Chicago homes took 60 days to sell (median) in December 2019 compared to 53 days in December 2018.

The condo and townhouse (attached single) market in Chicago had a lesser jump in sales prices, up 7% to $321,000. But, closed sales in this sector skyrocketed 19.5% while inventory fell 1.4 percent. Market time reached 64 days ­– up 6 days from the year prior.

Cost of living in downtown Chicago

Home prices in the downtown area (north to Irving Park, west to Logan Square/Ukrainian Village, south to South Loop and east to Lake Michigan) rose 2.2% year-over-year to $432,750.

Home sales downtown surged 26.6% last month compared to December 2018. Still, inventory fell 3.1% leaving Chicago home buyers competing for fewer options.

The average home in downtown Chicago sat on the market 71 days before going under contract compared to 65 days a year ago.

Chicago home prices by neighborhood


The most expensive neighborhood to buy a home right now is Lincoln Park for all home types. The Loop, where overall residential and condo sales fetched a median price of $320,000 in December, is the least expensive relative to the major neighborhoods. The South Loop was a close second with a median home price of $323,000.

In December, Lakeview had the highest number of closed sales while the West Loop had the fewest. Lakeview also had the most homes under contract.

The average accepted offer on a home for sale in the West Loop is 97.7% of the original asking price – the highest of any neighborhood near downtown.

Last month, homes sold the fastest in River North and Bucktown/Logan Square (tied). Meanwhile, homes in Gold Coast and Streeterville that sold in December sat on the market the longest of any neighborhood. Gold Coast and Streeterville had the highest number of new listings, while West Loop saw the fewest number of new listings.

Chicago housing market performance by neighborhood

West Town and Wicker Park had the highest home price growth of 7.9% annually. Meanwhile, West Loop and South Loop had the largest drop in home prices year-over-year at 21.9% and 20.2%, respectively.

Median market time accelerated in a little over half of Chicago’s hottest neighborhoods, with homes in the Loop and Avondale selling 20+ days faster compared to a year ago. Homes for sale in Wicker Park and West Town took an additional 28 days to go under contract after being listed for sale.

Outside of the West Loop, where closed sales fell 27.7%, sales grew in every neighborhood near the urban core of Chicago. The biggest boost in sales was seen in neighborhoods such as Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, and Lakeview.  And, while inventory is still tight overall, West Loop, South Loop, and River North saw the number of homes for sale increase since last year.


Thinking about buying or selling a home in Chicago in 2020? Contact Z Chicago today to get started: 312-810-2295