With home being more important than ever, it’s not surprising that Illinois is experiencing gains in real estate sales. As an essential service, Realtors have elevated their business offerings to employ the latest technology and safety practices, allowing them to best serve their clients’ needs.
Today’s homebuying process marks a new reality for the real estate and lending industry—technology is both enhancing and streamlining the search process. And it’s paying off—MRED (Midwest Real Estate Data) reports that as of May 12, 2020, homes under contract have increased 75% since early April.
Several factors are contributing to this growth. In addition to buyers who are resuming a home search they may have paused earlier in the year, low rates, low inventory and a hyper-focus on home are all driving sales in today’s market.
Buyer demand is growing
Residents are spending the lion’s share of their time at home and may now be looking for features such as bigger outdoor spaces, extra bathrooms or bonus rooms that can serve as a home office or workout space. The interest to move up has become more central for both renters and current homeowners.
Historically low rates are fueling the market
Mortgage rates have hit historic lows over the last four months. Buyers who may have been uncertain about starting their home search are now jumping into the market, eager to buy more home for their money. However, as cities reopen, there is potential for rates to rise. Experts are urging buyers to take advantage of current conditions to avoid any future rate volatility.
Home prices are on the rise
Median home prices in Illinois rose 8% year-over-year in March. It’s great news for both active and potential sellers, as well as for buyers looking for a great investment. Rising prices are a good indication that a strong year is underway. Buyers should expect to make competitive offers as brokers have reported a growing number of bidding wars for the most desirable homes.
High demand, short supply
According to a study by the Chicago Association of Realtors, the Chicagoland area has seen a shortage in housing inventory for a couple of years, something which has only become more apparent these last few months. Demand for housing has far exceeded the supply on the market, resulting in multiple offers on homes. Buyers have to be strategic when submitting their offers, while sellers are seeing extremely positive returns on their home sales. This is becoming the norm—experts expect that housing inventory will remain low across the area, keeping home prices steady.
The market has adapted
New procedures like virtual meetings, extensive video and 3D tours, and even drive thru closings have made the process of buying and selling a home more efficient than ever before. “The real estate industry is adapting to meet market needs,” Yuval Degani, founder and CEO of Dream Town, says, “and we’re finding that old processes were just not as efficient as they could have been. Real estate is evolving, and these updated systems are becoming the new norm—our brokers appreciate how they’ve made the process easier for clients.”
With stay-at-home restrictions still in place, sellers are reserving in-person home tours to serious buyers only. These buyers have their mortgage pre-approval secured, a move-in date in mind, and are ready to make an offer. Most have vetted the property through virtual tours or video, so by the time they tour in person, they are ready to sign on the dotted line—electronically of course.Sources: Broker Metrics, 2006-2020 Terradatum, National Association of Realtors, Midwest Real Estate Data, Crain’s Chicago Business