Bidding Wars, Short Turnarounds Point to A Very Active Chicago Real Estate Market

Chicago real estate market 2012

The Chicago real estate market has been active in April, with an uptick in buyers making offers on desirable properties in luxury buildings and coveted neighborhoods.


In the last month or two, the Chicago real estate market has definitely picked up–a sign that winter is behind us and that reports of a 2012 real estate recovery could be a very real possibility. I’ve been fortunate to be working with a number of buyers in the last few weeks, and with the increase in activity, there are a number of trends I’m seeing in the market:

Time to sell: One thing that has absolutely surprised me is how quickly properties are moving on the market. Since the beginning of April, where I’ve really seen this is among the “good stuff” on the market–the newer, pristine properties that are selling in just two to three weeks. I’ve had clients who have decided to come back to a Chicago condo for a second showing, and it turns out the property is under contract and pending a sale. A listing I have for a condo in downtown Chicago, went to contract just three weeks after being put on the market, despite assessment fees over $900 per month, which can be a big deterrent for buyers.

Importance of assessments: Speaking of assessment costs, I’ve noticed that these are playing an important role for buyers overall–buyers may consider a higher assessment cost, but they expect a bevy a concierge services and amenities in the building (a pool, an outstanding workout facility) to go with it.

Seller flexibility: Despite the uptick in activity, sellers do realize that buyers still have the upper hand during the negotiation process. I’ve noticed that sellers are more prone to be flexible with their sale prices, given the number of years the Chicago real estate market has been down.

Bidding Wars Among Chicago Real Estate Buyers

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal confirms some of these trends. The article noted that buyers are increasingly caught off guard to learn that they’re competing for the same properties on the market.This is further evidence that housing demand is starting to pick up after a 6-year slump of low activity and tight inventory.

The Journal article also notes several other national trends that I’ve seen reflected in the Chicago market as well–most notably, that inventory continues to be low across the board for desirable properties. In talking with other realtors, I’ve learned that frustration has increased due to the lack of properties especially under the $1 million price point.

The lesson for buyers here? Acting quickly and being competitive continues to be important in today’s market. But it’s a great time for buyers to work their advantage and make a deal on a Chicago home. To talk further about the trends I’m seeing in the market, give me a call at 312-264-5853 or email me at

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