During the last few years of a volatile real estate market, there hasn’t been much upside to selling your Chicago home–buyers have had the upper hand, negotiating to lower prices and getting great deals in fantastic locations. But as we head into 2013, I believe it’s to a potential buyer’s advantage not to continue to sit on the sidelines if you’re considering a purchase, whether it be a condominium or a single-family home.
I am noticing that it’s no longer solely a buyer’s market, and as it continues to turn around, I think a lot of would-be buyers will find themselves in a “coulda, woulda, shoulda bought” position by the time the best opportunities have already passed. In the end of 2012, we saw a lot less inventory of homes, which began to work to the advantage of sellers. With lower inventory, when a buyer sees a home he or she is interested in, it’s unlikely they are the only ones and those homes will be bought by other buyers quickly.
I anticipate that we’ll see a similar scenario going into 2013, specifically because many sellers do not want to lose money on properties they bought only a few years ago. Luxury real estate in Chicago is especially seeing the pickings decrease, with less covetable properties for the high-end buyer to choose from.
The Wall St. Journal recently reported that a decline in available homes has given some leverage to home sellers. Combined with still-low interest rates, it’s projected that the housing market will continue to improve and even be a top economic performer over the next few quarters.
Now more than ever, baby boomers are trading down from their 5,000-square foot homes in the ‘burbs and purchasing in the city, especially in downtown Chicago. They are typically looking for 3,000 to 4,000 square feet in a Chicago condo on one floor, as they no longer want to be walking up and down stairs.
Downtown is also a sought-after area for this group for its walkability, as it puts them close the the theater, fine restaurants and shopping, including food stores with prepared meals and the finest cuts of meat and chicken with no antibiotics (something that’s becoming increasingly important).
The opportunity now is to purchase a Chicago condo or single-family home while buyers still have the upper hand. In addition, it’s hard to know how long interest rates will remain as competitive as they are now. If you’re considering a Chicago real estate purchase, give me a call. I encourage you to take a look at what’s on the market now and what you might be able to find for your budget and desired location. Contact me at [email protected] or at (312) 498-5080.