Monthly real estate market report based on residential real estate activity in the city of Chicago, the downtown area, and neighborhood-specific sales data broken down by all residential and attached single-family (condos/townhouses).

Chicago is a big city. For a long time, the downtown area was the place to be. Now, neighborhoods further from the Loop and the lakefront see more buyer demand than those closest to the urban core.

The amount of for-sale inventory across the city is skyrocketing, as it has since the spring. In some areas, there has been enough buyer demand to absorb that extra supply – for condos close to the urban core, not so much. Still, downtown home prices are still up from last year. Don’t assume that by buying a condo in West Loop or River North, that you’re saving a ton of money because of COVID. We haven’t hit that point – yet.

Chicago real estate activity – September 2020

Chicago home prices grew 10.6% year-over-year to $323,000 in September. From a rolling 12-month perspective, the median sales price for the city was up 6.9% at $310,000.

Closed sales spiked 30.4% and market time fell 18 days (the median is now 23 days). There were 30.6% more homes under contract this September compared to last.

New listings rose 19.2%, while overall inventory rose 3.8 percent.  In September, the city had five months’ worth of home supply. Months’ supply explains how long it would take to sell every home in the city. Real estate experts and economists typically point to four to five months’ supply as average/healthy. Fewer months would equate to a sellers’ market (undersupply), and more months would equate to a buyers’ market (oversupply).

Downtown Chicago real estate activity – September 2020

In the general downtown area, the median home price grew 6.9% from last year to $450,000 and closed sales grew 22.7 percent. Homes sold in a median of 24 days – that’s 22 days faster than they sold in September 2019! We also saw a 21.8% year-over-year increase in homes under contract downtown for the month. Based on this data alone, you may assume downtown real estate is experiencing one of the best early autumn markets in years.

However, oversupply remains a concern. Eager to capitalize on the demand, new listings jumped 36 percent year-over-year. Overall inventory in the downtown area is up 36.1 percent. Unlike other parts of the city and the suburbs, there doesn’t appear to be as many buyers to absorb the new listings. The downtown months’ supply level reached 7.4 months in September. For comparison, the downtown months’ supply was 5.4 months in September 2019. This is where we are seeing an imbalance in the making. If this continues, we could see prices fall on a larger scale (outside of normal seasonal shifts and one-off deals that can be found virtually any year).

Chicago real estate prices and activity by neighborhood – September 2019 vs September 2020


Green (good for sellers) = price, sales, under contract increase since last year / market time, new listings, months’ supply decrease

Red (good for buyers) = price, sales, under contract decrease since last year / market time, new listings, months’ supply increase

Black = unchanged