Chicago’s early spring real estate market appeared strong based on market activity in February. The median home price in the city of Chicago reached $290,000 last month – up 6.2% compared to February 2019. Meanwhile, the rolling 12-month average for the city’s median home price grew $5,000 year-over-year to $295,000 – a slow but steady increase that illustrates the average home price over the past year based on the city’s most recent sales.

Chicago condo (attached) prices grew just about 3.2% in February to a median $323,750. The rolling 12-month median sales price was $330,000, up from $325,000 one year ago.

Closed sales in the city of Chicago jumped a mere 2.6% in February compared to the same month in 2019. For condos, the number of closed sales was fairly flat with a slight increase of 1.7%.

Because real estate market data is reported the month after activity occurs, we won’t know the potential impact that COVID-19 has on the Chicago real estate market until April, when March market data is reported. Even then, the first week of the March could nonetheless skew the data. CDC guidelines encouraging social distancing and shelter in place mandates from Governor JB Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot hit Chicago mid-month, so it’s possible that the market was on its normal upward seasonal trend in early March.

Is it a good time to sell a home downtown Chicago?

The median overall home price downtown Chicago reached $450,000 in February, up a whopping 9.3% year-over-year. Condo prices jumped to a median $421,000, up 7.9% year-over-year.

Although prices grew, closed sales fell marginally. Home sales downtown Chicago fell 2.1%, while closed condo sales downtown fell 3.2%.

Median market time for all homes in the downtown area was 88 days in February, up two days since February 2019. Condos, also showing a median 88-day market time, sat on the market four days longer compared to a year ago.

Which Chicago neighborhoods are getting more expensive?

Compared to February 2019, home prices grew in every major downtown neighborhood except for the Loop, where the median sale price dipped 5.25%.

Home prices rose year-over-year in West Loop (+10.45%), South Loop (+13.2%), River North (+3.7%), Gold Coast (+51.4%), Old Town (+11.8%) , Lincoln Park (+4.7%), Lakeview (+5.45%), Logan Square/Bucktown (+10.8%), West Town/Wicker Park (+15.9%), and Avondale/North Center (+6.25%). 

New listings increase in half of downtown neighborhoods

The number of new listings is a good indicator of fresh inventory that usually indicates good conditions for both sellers (seeing a good opportunity to sell) and buyers (more homes equals less competition). There was a greater number of new listings last month in the Loop (+16.7%), South Loop (+21.35%), River North (+4.3%), Gold Coast/Streeterville (+19.7%), Old Town (+18.9%), and Lakeview (+21.7%) compared to the year prior.

Meanwhile, the number of new listings fell year-over-year in West Loop (-10.2%), Lincoln Park (-11.2%), Logan Square/Bucktown (-9.2%), West Town/Wicker Park (-22.4%), and Avondale/North Center (-7%).

Where are Chicago homes selling?

Around half of the major downtown neighborhoods had a stronger residential sales month this February compared to last February. Closed sales grew year-over-year in West Loop (+14.5%), Gold Coast/Streeterville (+1.8%), Old Town (+14.3%), Logan Square/Bucktown (+6.7%), and West Town/Wicker Park (+9.2%).

The Loop (-32.55%), South Loop (-6.25%), River North (-28.6%), Lincoln Park (-20.8%), Lakeview (-11.4%), and Avondale/North Center (-27%) had a weaker February this year.

How long does it take to sell a home in Chicago?

For homes sold during the month of February, the majority of neighborhoods saw a decrease in days on the market before selling. Homes sold faster this February in the Loop (-38.2%), West Loop (-61.7%), South Loop (-24.7%), River North (-46.8%), Old Town (-11.5%), Logan Square/Bucktown (-17.85%), and Avondale/North Center (-1.15%).

In Lincoln Park (+46.6%), Lakeview (+24%), and West Town/Wicker Park (+5.9%), market time grew year-over-year.

In Gold Coast and Streeterville, homes took just as long to sell this February as they did last February.