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Business

Northern Illinois housing market faced challenges, opportunities in 4th quarter

This is the main home on a wooded property at 2123 E. 1075th Road, Oglesby.
This is the main home on a wooded property at 2123 E. 1075th Road, Oglesby.

An unusual confluence of trends in the northern Illinois housing market presented a mix of challenges and opportunities to buyers and sellers during the final months of 2018, according to an analysis by the RE/MAX Northern Illinois regional network.

“We’re seeing sales activity and price levels comparable to what we experienced a year ago, but with some important differences,” said Jeff La Grange, vice president of the RE/MAX Northern Illinois Region.

One significant change was a turnaround in the inventory of homes for sale. The supply of listings in the Chicago area shrank for two years until May 2018, but slowly has expanded since then, LaGrange said.

However, most of that growth involved attached homes and luxury homes. Listings of moderately priced single-family homes were in short supply.

Another change was a slowdown in overall appreciation, with prices still rising but at a slower pace.

According to Dave Shalabi of RE/MAX Synergy in Orland Park, homes priced from $250,000 to $500,000 continued to sell briskly.

“Pricing is definitely under pressure for homes listed at $800,000 or more, and that is creating some excellent buying opportunities,” he said. “Rising property taxes are dampening the potential price appreciation for those homes, and rising mortgage interest rates may be having a similar impact.”

Val Hatzelis of RE/MAX 10 in Oak Lawn has been impressed by the growing preference among buyers for homes that require little or no fix-up after purchase.

“They all want the same property – move-in ready, updated, freshly painted, new flooring, almost perfect homes with no work needed,” she said.

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