September 2016 Market Snapshot

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 September 2016, 2,370 homes sold in the City of Chicago. This is a 1.8 percent decrease from September 2015.
  • The median sales price in the City of Chicago for September 2016 was $260,000, up 4.0 percent from this time last year.
  • The City of Chicago saw listings average 73 days on the market until contract, a 3.9 percent decrease from 76 days in September 2015.
  • Check out the September 2016 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. The Chicago PMSA includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.
  • In September 2016, 9,895 homes sold in the Chicago PMSA. This is a 0.1 percent increase from September 2015.
  • The median sales price in the Chicago PMSA for September 2016 was $218,000, up 5.1 percent from this time last year.


  • “We continue to see a vibrant Chicago real estate market with homes moving quickly and with steady median price gains,” Matt Silver, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and partner at Urban Real Estate, said. “It is taking 42 days to sell a home, indicating buyers are eager to purchase when they find the right property.”
  • As anticipated at the outset of the year, demand has remained high through the first three quarters of 2016, propping up sales and prices despite heavy reductions in inventory and months of supply across the country. With rental prices and employment opportunities in a consistent climb, year-over-year increases in home buying are probable for the rest of the year but not guaranteed.
  • In general, today’s demand is driven by three factors: Millennials are reaching prime home-buying age, growing families are looking for larger homes and empty nesters are downsizing. However, intriguingly low interest rates often prompt refinancing instead of listing, contributing to lower inventory. Recent studies have also shown that short-term rentals are keeping a collection of homes off the market.


  • City of Chicago inventory is down 11.1 percent, from 10,517 in September 2015, to 9,347 in September 2016.
  • In the City of Chicago, the month’s supply of inventory is down 15.2 percent, from 4.6 in September 2015 to 3.9 in September 2016.


  • The median price forecast indicates moderate annual growth in the Chicago PMSA. Median price increases of 4.4 percent in October, 4.3 percent in November and 5.0 percent in December are forecast.
  • Read the REAL Forecast in full.


  • In September 2016, 1,916 houses were newly filed for foreclosure in the Chicago PMSA and 1,631 foreclosures were completed. As of September 2016, there are 40,768 homes at some stage of foreclosure – the foreclosure inventory.
  • In September for the Chicago PMSA, the percentage of foreclosed sales among total sales was 10.4 percent, the lowest September reading since 2009.


  • While underwater properties are substantially down nationally since the 2012 peak, Illinois ranks second when it comes to states with the highest percentage of seriously underwater properties.
  • Chicago ranks first among housing markets with more than 2 million people, according to Dr. Geoffrey Hewings’ review of data.
  • “It will take a while before the rising home prices can change the status of underwater homeowners in Illinois,” Dr. Geoffrey Hewings said.


  • CoreLogic recently found that U.S. homeowners gained an average of about $11,000 in home equity in the past year. In Illinois, gains were around $5,000 per household.
  • Read more.


  • NAR’s most recent Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that the median length of time a homeowner remains in their home before selling was nine years in 2015.
  • This is a trend that has been fairly consistent in recent years, but has steadily risen over the last 30 years.
  • Read more.