Market Snapshot: March 2016

C.A.R.’s market snapshot helps prepare you to answer questions about Chicago’s real estate industry, while projecting confidence and consistency as a voice for Chicago REALTORS®. If you would like to discuss any of your upcoming media or other public speaking opportunities, contact Jessica Kern, Director of Marketing & Communications or Maria Dickman, Communications Specialist.


*The City of Chicago Market Snapshot represents the residential real estate activity within the 77 officially defined Chicago community areas as provided by the Chicago Association of REALTORS®.
  • In March 2016, 2,119 homes sold in the City of Chicago. This is a 2.5 percent decrease from March 2015.
  • The median sales price in the City of Chicago for March 2016 was $268,500, up 3.3 percent from this time last year.
  • The City of Chicago saw listings average 95 days on the market until contract, a 9.7 percent decrease from 105 days in February 2015.
  • Check out the March FastStats.


*The Chicago PMSA Market Snapshot represents the U.S. Census Bureau’s definition of the nine county Chicago area, including areas that would qualify as metropolitan areas on their own, yet are linked to other cities in close proximity.
  • In March 2016, 8,386 homes sold in the Chicago PMSA. This is a 0.8 percent increase from March 2015.
  • The median sales price in the Chicago PMSA for March 2016 was $210,000, up 3.9 percent from this time last year.


  • “Intense buyer interest during the first months of the year further reduced the already low number of properties which were on the market,” said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and senior vice president for government relations for The Inland Real Estate Group of Companies. “With more properties coming on the market as consumers embrace the spring selling season, we should see inventories better able to meet significant buyer demand. Homes are selling faster than they were last year, so consumers need to act quickly if they are interested in buying.”
  • The spring housing market is in swing and while homebuyer demand remains strong, the ongoing issue of low housing inventory is giving even the most motivated buyers fewer properties from which to choose. Consumers are keeping an eye on the overall economy, but mortgage rates, which have fallen to their lowest levels since 2013, could be motivating buyers to move now as evidenced in the recent uptick in purchase mortgage applications. On the other side, sellers can take advantage of steadily rising home prices and the boost it gives to their home equity.


  • City of Chicago inventory is down 15.4 percent, from 9,390 in March 2015, to 7,943 in March 2016.
  • In the City of Chicago, the month’s supply of inventory is down 23.3 percent, from 4.3 in March 2015 to 3.3 in March 2016.
  • The second quarter tends to rank as the best time to list a home for sale, but with inventory remaining low, it’s difficult to sustain sales increases in year over year comparisons. Prices are seemingly not so high as to stall the market completely; demand is present but an abundance of choice is not, and therein lies the rub.
  • For homes priced below 500k in the Chicago PMSA, months of supply decreased, while for homes priced above 500k, the months of supply increased.
  • Low inventory levels are creating a seller’s market. A decline in available housing inventory is impacting the market in Chicago as well as nationally. Rising prices and limited inventory are making it harder for buyers to find the right property at an affordable price.


  • The median price forecast indicates mild-moderate annual growth in the Chicago PMSA. Median price increases of 6.2 percent in April, 6.5 percent in May and 6.9 percent in June are forecast.
  • Read the REAL Forecast in full.


  • In March 2016, 2,138 houses were newly filed for foreclosure in the Chicago PMSA and 1,366 foreclosures were completed. As of March 2016, there are 38,728 homes at some stage of foreclosure – the foreclosure inventory.
  • In March, for the Chicago PMSA, the percentage of foreclosed sales among the total sales was 19.4 percent, the lowest March reading since 2008.
  • The national foreclosure inventory decreased annually by 23.9 percent in February and completed foreclosures declined by 10 percent since last year, according to CoreLogic’s February 2016 National Foreclosure Report. Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic, says that more income and improved household finances have helped bring serious delinquency rates down in nearly every state.

NAR: Foot Traffic Eases in March

  • Foot traffic slowed slightly in March compared to the month before, but is likely to continue its long-range upward trajectory as mortgage rates remain low and employment grows.
  • Foot traffic shows buyer interest and can point to potential sales trends in the future.
  • See the infographic.