If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in 2020 but are hesitant to make the move, you’re not alone. The Chicago housing market has been in what seems like a constant fluctuation over the past 10 years. With frequent market dips and changes in interest rates, the already overwhelming decision to buy/sell is made even more difficult. So, to help clear up some confusion, we’ve gathered important insights into the Chicago housing market in 2020.
Early this month, we attended the 2020 Market Outlook hosted by the Chicago Association of Realtors. There, we heard from three expert economists who shared their insights on Chicago’s real estate market. The overall market consensus? The market will make a slow and steady climb up, but don’t expect big results.
Outlook for Buyers:
The chief economist of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Lawrence Yun, reports that “it’s a very good time to buy a home.” The stock market, employment, and consumer confidence are all high, and interest rates are low. However, he also comments that “There’s not enough inventory for sale at the midprice level, midprice and below,” which he put in the $200,000s. “That’s where most of the buyers are,” he said.
This means that buyers looking for a midprice home may have to sift through several listings before finding the ideal place and will face more competition once they do. Those looking to streamline the buying process may want to get in touch with a real estate agent to help.
According to a recent report by NAR, “The typical buyer who did not use the internet during their home search spent only 4 weeks searching and visited 4 homes, compared to those who did use the internet and searched for 10 weeks and visited 10 homes.”
In addition, once buyers have found the right home, they will want to act swiftly and put in a strong offer. We suggest making an offer in the first few weeks to increase your odds against the competition. Working with a realtor can help simplify the buying process and alleviate the stress that comes with closing.
Outlook for Sellers:
According to a Realtor.com report, “Chicago-area home sales are expected to decline by 0.9 percent in 2020, and prices to dip 0.3 percent.” Economists attribute the decline to ongoing population loss and high property taxes. Despite how it sounds, this doesn’t mean sellers are doomed. While there may be more of a challenge to sell your home, the low-interest rates continue to bring momentum to the market.
There are also several key factors that can help get your home sold. The first is pricing your home so that it’s in line with recent market sales. Next, is putting your home on the market between February and March (peak buying time) and lastly, stage your home in the best light possible.
Additionally, NAR reported that for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) sellers “typically sell for less than the selling price of other homes; FSBO homes sold at a median of $200,000 last year (the same as the year prior), and signiﬁcantly lower than the median of agent-assisted homes at $280,000.)” Therefore it may be beneficial for sellers to work with a realtor during the home sale process. Not only can a real estate broker help the process go smoothly, but they will help maximize the home’s worth.
The Chicago housing market in 2020 remains unique based on your buying or selling situation. While the market appears to be in favor of buyers, it’s more of challenge for those looking for a home at the mid-price level. And while it may be an uphill climb for sellers, it doesn’t mean they should wait to put their home on the market. As long as you bring your A-game, price accurately, and remain patient, your home will sell.
It’s also important for both buyers and sellers to consult with a real estate professional. They will walk you through the specifics and can put together a strategy that ensures a successful transaction.