February 2018 continued a very sluggish start to the new year in Lincoln Park, Near North, Lakeview and North Center.
Year over year decreases in sales and units under contract, combined with modest increases in inventory, median prices and market times are making this a very uneven and unpredictable market.
While North Center seems to be having the largest swings in it's monthly results, the other three neighborhoods seem to be going in a similar direction.
Inventory levels, rising interest rates, expanding rental options and the perception of rising crime have all been given as reasons for the slow start. It is my opinion that the market has not yet revealed itself and that it is too early to make any definitive predictions or to panic.
The luxury market of homes over $1,000,000 has had a significant turnaround in inventory levels, months of supply of inventory and median pricing from a year ago.
Home priced between $500.000 and $1,000,000 seem to be having the most difficult time with sales dropping, inventories and market times rising, and flat median prices.
When analyzing the seven key components below and market results by price point, there are still a number of indicators that point to a slower, yet healthy market.
February 2018 vs 2017 – Cumulative Home Sales dropped 18.0%.
NEAR NORTH - Down 19.0%
LINCOLN PARK - Down 20.9%
LAKEVIEW - Down 5.0%
NORTH CENTER - Down 37.8%
Sales of luxury homes (priced over $1,000,000) dropped 14.3% (this is the first drop in three months).
Sales of homes homes priced from $500,000 to $1,000,000 dropped a dramatic 25.4%.
Sales of homes priced under $500,000 dropped 12.9%.
HOMES UNDER CONTRACT
February 2018 vs 2017 – Cumulative Homes Under Contract decreased 9.4%.
NEAR NORTH - Down 8.0
LINCOLN PARK - Down 9.5%
LAKEVIEW - Down 9.3%
NORTH CENTER - Down 16.1%
This is the first time in ten months that all four areas reported decreases in Homes Under Contract.
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.
HOMES FOR SALE
February 2018 vs 2017 – Cumulative Inventories of homes rose 1.8%.
NEAR NORTH - Up 8.7%
LINCOLN PARK - Down 5.0%
LAKEVIEW - Up 2.9%
NORTH CENTER - Down 21.5%
While the cumulative inventory levels rose slightly in February, the results varied by price point.
Luxury home inventories showed a decrease of 7.6% for the fourth consecutive month.
Inventories of homes priced between $500,000 to $1,000,000 increased 10.0%.
Homes priced under $500,000 saw inventory levels increase by 4.8%.
MONTHS OF SUPPLY OF INVENTORY
February 2018 vs 2017 – Cumulative Months of Supply of Inventories dropped 2.9% to 3.3 MSI.
NEAR NORTH - Up 6.8% to 4.4 MSI
LINCOLN PARK - Down 3.0% to 3.2 MSI
LAKEVIEW - No Change 2.5 MSI
NORTH CENTER - Down 17.6% to 2.8 MSI
Traditionally, MSI over 6.0 designates a buyer’s market and under 6.0 a seller’s market.
MSI of luxury homes priced over $1,000,000 dropped for the fifth consecutive month to 7.6 MSI. An incredible 21.6% drop over last year.
MSI of homes priced between $500,000 and $1,000,000 increased 14.7% to 3.9 MSI.
MSI of homes priced under $500,000 rose 9.0% to 2.9 MSI.
While these numbers are still well in the range of a sellers market, luxury homes and homes priced under $1,000,000 are trending in opposite directions and the reverse of what we were seeing last year.
February 2018 vs 2017 –Cumulative Median Prices increased a modest 1.5%.
NEAR NORTH - Down 4.1%
LINCOLN PARK - Down 1.6%
LAKEVIEW - Up 16.7%
NORTH CENTER - Down .7%
Median prices varied widely by price point.
Median prices of luxury homes priced over $1,000,000 increased 18.3%.
Median prices of homes priced from $500,000 to $1,000,000 decreased slightly by .8%.
Homes priced under $500,000 increased 11.5%.
DAYS ON THE MARKET
February 2018 vs 2017 – Cumulative Average Days On The Market rose 2.8% to 112 days.
NEAR NORTH - Up 18.9% to 132 days
LINCOLN PARK - No Change 90 days
LAKEVIEW - Down 1.9% to 106 days
NORTH CENTER - Down 5.5% to 120 days
Market time for luxury homes priced over $1,000,000 decreased slightly .6% to 176 days.
Homes priced between $500,000 and $1,000,000 posted market time increases of 12.6% to 116 days.
Homes priced under $500,000 saw a 12.4% decrease in market time to an average of 85 days.