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MRED Chicagoland Report for February, 2017

The start of the year ushered in a wave of good news about a hot stock market, higher wages and an active home sales environment. At the same time, housing prices have continued to rise, and the low inventory situation and affordability crunch has been particularly hard on first-time buyers struggling to get into the market. Nevertheless, buyer activity is easily outpacing seller activity in much of the country, culminating in relatively quick sales and low supply. Demand definitely remained strong this month.

New Listings in Chicagoland were down 0.8 percent for detached homes and 2.0 percent for attached properties. Listings Under Contract increased 9.2 percent for detached homes and 6.3 percent for attached properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 11.9 percent to $207,000 for detached homes and 11.0 percent to $182,000 for attached properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 19.9 percent for detached units and 23.4 percent for attached units.

Unemployment has reached pre-recession levels, and Americans remain optimistic about finding quality employment. This matters because job growth and higher paychecks fuel home purchases. Unfortunately, that won’t matter for potential buyers if price appreciation outpaces income growth and if mortgage rates continue their upward trend. Sellers are getting a generous number of offers in this market. The worry for sellers then becomes that there will not be a generous number of homes to choose from when they become buyers.

MRED real estate professionals can log into MREDLLC.com and click on the Statistics tab to get the latest Lender Mediated and Monthly Market Indicators Reports.  You can also click on the Local Market Updates choice under the Statistics tab and use our Interactive Market Analytics map for the latest local market metrics.

Inadequate Inventory Driving Prices Up

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The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed a direct correlation between a lack of inventory and rising prices.

We are all familiar with the concept of supply and demand. As the demand for an item increases the supply of that same item goes down, driving prices up.

Year-over-year inventory levels have dropped each of the last 18 months, as inventory now stands at a 4.0-month supply, well below the 6.0-month supply needed for a ‘normal’ market.

The median price of homes sold in November (the latest data available) was $234,900, up 6.8% from last year and marking the 57th consecutive month with year-over-year gains.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun had this to say:

“Existing housing supply at the beginning of the year was inadequate and is now even worse heading into 2017. Rental units are also seeing this shortage. As a result, both home prices and rents continue to far outstrip incomes in much of the country.”

But there is good news about rising prices. More and more homeowners are recovering from a negative equity situation and learning that they are able to sell their homes and either move up to their dream home or downsize to a property that will better suit their needs. Look for these homes to come to market soon.

Bottom Line

Buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale. Listing your home in the winter attracts serious buyers who are looking to close the transaction quickly.

Blog post via KCM Blog

Illinois REALTORS®, MRED Extend Member Benefit Subscription to Inman Select

Illinois REALTORS® and MRED are pleased to announce that they have signed an extension to continue to provide real estate professionals throughout Illinois with Inman Select.

MRED_Illinois REALTORSThat means that the more than 44,000 Illinois REALTORS®, many of whom are also customers of MRED, will continue to get access to the daily news service that provides extensive coverage of real estate news and trends. It’s an important member benefit that was provided by the organizations beginning in 2015.

If you haven’t signed up to claim your membership, it’s easy to do. Just go here.

“The real estate industry is complex, and providing information to our members to help our members navigate the business is an essential part of Illinois REALTORS®’ mission,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Mike Drews. ‘We’re pleased to be able to partner with MRED to provide this service.”

“Anytime we can help our customers, and do it with our great friends and partners at Illinois REALTORS®, we’re in,” said MRED President/Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Jensen.  “Inman Select does a great job of informing real estate professionals, and knowledgeable brokers are successful brokers.”

Signing up for Inman Select gives access to the service’s constantly updated news feed, an email newsletter and information on upcoming events.

Blog Post via Illinois REALTORS®

SentriLock Now Integrated With Homesnap

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Realtors using SentriLock to open lockbox key doors now have the option to view that listing in Homesnap as soon as the lock opens!

The process is simple:

1. Login to SentriSmart

2. Locate the property you wish to see.

3. Type in your PIN.

4. Once you’ve received the access code, enter it into the lockbox.

5. When prompted, choose Homesnap to view the property details. This will pull up the listing in Homesnap.

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It’s simple! Now you can learn everything you need to know about the listing from the best real estate app around.

Blog Post via Homesnap Blog

Want to Get an A? Hire A Real Estate Pro [Infographic]

Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying a Home!

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Many people wonder whether they should hire a real estate professional to assist them in buying their dream home or if they should first try to go it on their own. In today’s market: you need an experienced professional!

You Need an Expert Guide if You Are Traveling a Dangerous Path

The field of real estate is loaded with land mines. You need a true expert to guide you through the dangerous pitfalls that currently exist. Finding a home that is priced appropriately and ready for you to move in to can be tricky. An agent listens to your wants and needs, and can sift through the homes that do not fit within the parameters of your “dream home.”

A great agent will also have relationships with mortgage professionals and other experts that you will need in securing your dream home. 

You Need a Skilled Negotiator

In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. Each step of the way – from the original offer, to the possible renegotiation of that offer after a home inspection, to the possible cancellation of the deal based on a troubled appraisal – you need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.

Realize that when an agent is negotiating their commission with you, they are negotiating their own salary; the salary that keeps a roof over their family’s head; the salary that puts food on their family’s table. If they are quick to take less when negotiating for themselves and their families, what makes you think they will not act the same way when negotiating for you and your family?

If they were Clark Kent when negotiating with you, they will not turn into Superman when negotiating with the buyer or seller in your deal. 

Bottom Line

Famous sayings become famous because they are true. You get what you pay for. Just like a good accountant or a good attorney, a good agent will save you money…not cost you money.

Blog Post via KCM Blog