Five Early 2018 Real Estate Market Indicators That Came As A Surprise

Many of my fellow brokers and I were excited at the apparent fast start to the real estate market in January in Lincoln Park, Near North, Lakeview and North Center.

Strong buyer and seller activity and well attended open houses gave us the impression that the " 2018 spring real estate market" was starting earlier than usual.

Needless to say, I was very surprised to see that the January numbers painted a much more sluggish picture with sales decreases and rising market times when comparing January 2018 to 2017.

Alas, all is not lost, as median prices rose and inventory levels were stable. The market continues to be healthy as the new year begins.



January 2018 vs 2017 – Home Sales dropped 10.1%.

Three of the four areas posted decreases in home sales. North Center, however, reported a 34.3% increase.

Noteworthy – Sales of luxury homes (priced over $1,000,000) rose for the third consecutive month with an impressive 27.51% increase.

Sales of homes homes priced from $500,000 to $1,000,000 dropped a dramatic 34.3%.

There was no change in sales of homes priced under $500,000.



January 2018 vs 2017 – Homes Under Contract decreased 2.2%.

Results ranged from a .9% increase on the Near North to 7% deceases in Lincoln Park and North Center. There was no change in Lakeview.

Noteworthy – Most home sales that closed in December went under contract in a previous month. Units Under Contract can reflect a more accurate picture of the current month, although not every home that goes under contract closes. 



January  2018 vs 2017 – Inventories of homes dropped .5%.

Results varied by neighborhood with Lincoln Park and North Center posting decreases, While Near North and Lakeview posted increases.

Noteworthy –  While the cumulative inventory levels dropped slightly in January, the results varied by price point.

Luxury home inventories  showed a decrease of 7.1% for the third consecutive month.

Inventories of homes priced between $500,000 to $1,000,000 increased 5.4%.

Homes priced under $500,000 saw inventory levels increase by .5%.



January 2018 vs 2017 – Months of Supply of Inventories dropped 2.9% to 3.3 MSI.

MSI of luxury homes priced over $1,000,000 dropped for the fourth consecutive month to 6.5 MSI. An incredible 24.4% drop over last year. 

MSI of homes priced between $500,000 and $1,000,000 increased 10.0% to 3.3 MSI.  

MSI of homes priced under $500,000  rose .5% to 2.1 MSI. 

Noteworthy – Traditionally, MSI over 6.0 designates a buyer’s market and under 6.0 a seller’s market.



January 2018 vs 2017 – Median Prices increased a modest 1.3%.

Results ranged from a 7.3% increase in Lincoln Park to a 8.7% decrease in North Center.

Noteworthy –  Median prices of luxury homes priced over $1,000,000 increased 8.0%. 

Median prices of homes priced from $500,000 to $1,000,000 increased 3.8%  (These numbers were skewed by a 17.9% increase in North Center).

Homes priced under $500,000 increased 3.3%.



January 2018 vs 2017 – Average Days On The Market rose 6.6% to 113 days. 

Lincoln Park and North Center posted increases while Near North and Lakeview market times dropped.

Noteworthy – Market time for luxury homes priced over $1,000,000 decreased 19.7% to 159 days.

Homes priced between $500,000 and $1,000,000 posted market time dramatic increased of 79.5% to an average of 140 days. 

Homes priced under $500,000 saw a 25.2% decrease in market time to an average of 77 days.