Real estate trends you should know before buying a home in Chicago and the suburbs
So you’re setting your sights on Chicagoland. You’ve made the right choice – living here can offer so much more in the way of convenience and housing options compared to Los Angeles or New York.
Before you get started, it helps to be in the know about the current real estate trends in the Chicago metropolitan area that may become a factor in your home purchase.
High housing demand and low inventory persists
2021 was a red-hot year for the nine-county Chicago metro area, and the demand for homes remains high in 2022. However, housing inventory is still at one of its lowest levels in recent memory.
The median home sale price for the region rose to $299,000 in 2021, which was still lower than the U.S. median of $346,900. More recently, the housing market is showing signs that it’s becoming more balanced. The sales-list price ratio has dipped slightly below 99%, and home prices are forecasted to grow more slowly this year.
With interest rates continuing to hover at historically low levels, the time to make a move is now. It’s more than possible to get a fair price on a home in the Chicago metro area if you move fast and expand your search.
Rising rents may turn more renters into buyers
The average rent for a 1-bedroom in some Chicago neighborhoods is now over $2,000, and rents in the region are projected to keep rising in 2022. This makes rental properties an excellent option for real estate investors, and it may also be the push that some renters need to finally enter the housing market.
To jump-start the home-buying process, first-time buyers should look into down payment assistance programs that the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) offers. It's also a good idea to become better acquainted with the different mortgage products available. Apart from traditional mortgages, there are custom loans that may be a better choice for buyers with specific needs.
Quality of life remains hard to beat
Trends and statistics mean little without looking at the big picture. Compared to NYC and LA, Chicagoland is clearly the better option when considering overall quality of life.
Chicago has been consistently ranked as one of the best cities to live and work by sites like Niche.com and Forbes. With walkable neighborhoods, bike-friendly roads, and a metropolitan area that’s less dense than either New York City or Los Angeles, Chicago is hard to beat.
Then there are the northwest and northern suburbs, which offer a mix of vibrant suburban and lakefront living. Schools in the area include New Trier High in Winnetka, Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, and Northwestern University in Evanston.
If you want to learn more about the region’s different communities, consider exploring the area with a local real estate agent. Our professional Realtors from United Realty Group are extremely knowledgeable about the housing market in Chicago and its suburbs.