West Loop Real Estate Market

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Chicago is known as the city of neighborhoods. With so many unique hoods, looking to a general Chicagoland market analysis for advice on buying and selling is about as helpful as an empty Divvy station. You’re a smart Chicagoan; you know market trends in West Loop differ from market trends in Lakeview, which will differ from market trends in Avondale and so on. Combining these stats isn’t always going to paint an accurate picture for buyers and sellers, which can lead to less-than-ideal results.

This is why we’re creating a hyper-local, in-depth analysis of the residential real estate market neighborhood by neighborhood, starting with our friends to the West. Enter: the West Loop real estate market report.

Here, you’ll find live, up-to-date info on the real estate market in the 60607. We’ve broken down the most relevant stats and what they mean to you as a home buyer or seller, along with a forecast for what’s to come in 2019 and 2020.  

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West Loop Real Estate Market Current Conditions

What is the West Loop real estate market like for buyers right now?

We’ll check in here every month to let you know how it’s going for our home buyer clients.

June, 2019 market update

Buyers, you have options! Or at least, more options – 41.1% more options to be precise. That’s how many more homes there have been for sale, on average, over the last 12 months. As of June specifically, there were 307 homes for sale, versus only 219 the year before. That has resulted in a huge swing in terms of competition. As of 2018, the West Loop was a strong sellers market, with only a 2.6-month supply of homes. So far this year, we’ve seen that number increase to a 4.1-month supply. And that, friends, is what we call a balanced market. Happy house hunting!

July, 2019 market update

You still have far more options than you have had at any point since the recovery began in 2012. As the year wears on, fewer sellers will list, instead opting to wait until the busier spring months. That means that while your competition will decrease, so will your options. With rates low and inventory at a 7-year high, now could be your best shot for a few years. Many are predicting that inventory will constrict again in 2020, and as more and more companies move to the West Loop, demand will likely increase.

August, 2019 market update

There were 18.2% more West Loop homes for sale at the end of August than there were in the same month of 2018. Meanwhile, the homes that did sell in August took 233.3% longer to do so. No, that’s not a typo, homes were just selling incredibly quickly (12 days) before, and now they’re taking a bit longer (40 days) than the rest of the city center to sell. More options…lower mortgage rates…more leverage in negotiations…One more time: if you’re thinking of buying a home in the West Loop in the next year or so, get moving!

September, 2019 market update

Home buyers still have the upper hand in West Loop. But as predicted, they don’t have quite as many options as they did earlier this year – 17% fewer than the high in May. October will be the last month where the pickings are good. After that, you’ll need a good Realtor (oh hey there…) with access to private broker-to-broker networks to round out your home search.

October, 2019 market update

As predicted the number of homes for sale is continuing to dip. That said, interest rates are reaching glacier-melting lows, and buyers will still have the upper hand through December. That means if you see something you like, go get. And don’t be afraid to make a slightly more aggressive offer – sellers on the market right now are likely motivated.

November, 2019 market update

This time of year, keep an eye out for homes that have been on the market for a while. Sellers who are still listed between Thanksgiving and New Years typically have a home under contract somewhere else, which means they need to sell. Come January, the West Loop market will begin to balance out – you’ll have more options than in years past, but the best homes will still receive multiple offers and command price premiums. That means now is still your best chance to score a deal if you see your dream home.

December, 2019 market update

If you’re planning to buy a home in West Loop this year, strap on your helmet. There will be more homes for sale, but lots of competition for the best ones. You’ll have to sift through more listings than in the past, but move quickly to make strong offers when you find “the one.” Make sure to educate yourself on the market and home buying process so you can not only spot the best deals, but be ready to move quickly when you see them. Partnering up with a local market expert (ahem) is key.

January, 2020 market update

Oh, hi! We see that some of you have finally taken our advice to take advantage of low rates and the likely-temporary softness in the West Loop real estate market. It seems like that softness may be abating, so you’ll want to bring your A-game if you want to score an A-listing this spring. The supply of homes for sale has started to ride that roller coaster back downward, and the West Loop has quietly been tipping back toward a seller’s market since August. The Months Supply of homes has fallen from its peak of 4.9 months in May to just 2.6 months in January. While supply is always a bit lower Nov-Jan, the trend has been a steady decrease since the late-spring of 2019. If you’re searching for West Loop homes for sale this spring, get your game face on!

February, 2020 market update

If you missed out on 2019’s favorable West Loop buyer’s market, the party’s not completely over. Maybe a better way to put it is: the party is actually still raging, but it’s getting kinda crowded. You still have more homes to pick from than at most points since 2013, but the competition is heating back up. And, with mortgage interest rates expected to keep dropping, more and more buyers are going to start showing up to this party. If you want to grab that prime real estate, you’ll still need to be fast.

March, 2020 market update

There are some good deals in West Loop right now, and rates are cheap. If you see what you want, and you’re feeling secure in your job, this might be an opportunity for you. Prior to the events of the last month, we had been seeing some listings where the sellers were still clinging to that 2018 price, even though West Loop home prices are 5-6% off their peaks. Maybe this will change now. There’s going to be a point at which demand snaps back. It’s going to feel like a spring market, with everyone out at once, multiple offers on listings, and short market times. We don’t know when that will be, but our best guess is some time between June and September.

April, 2020 market update

The more things change in COVID-land, the more they stay the same. As predicted, Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood is more of a buyer’s market than it has been for most of the last 7 years, but not quite as good of a buyer’s market as it was in 2019. The main difference – and, this is kind of a big one – is that real estate activity plummeted by about 60% in April compared to 2019. If you’re willing to don your PPE and head into the home buying market in 2020, you’ll benefit from some historically low mortgage interest rates.

What is the West Loop real estate market like for sellers right now?

What do all these numbers mean for West Loop home sellers? We’ll break it down each month.

June, 2019 market update

Sellers, don’t panic. True, you’re not in sole possession of the driver’s seat like you were last year. And yes, market times have…almost doubled. But there is good news! First off, it’s almost a seller’s market. A 4.1-month supply of homes is on the low end of what we’d call a balanced market. And while home prices have gone down a bit since October, contracts year-to-date are actually up. So while a glut of homes hit the market this year, there’s some indication that the demand will eventually keep up. Just keep your fingers crossed for some big corporate lease signings in Fulton Market, and we’ll be alright.

July, 2019 market update

Don’t call it a comeback! No really, don’t. The median home price ticked up for the first time since October of 2018, but West Loop homes are still selling for about $10k less than they were back then. Demand is still strong: buyers and sellers put more contracts together in July than they did last year. But there’s a lot more for sale right now, which has led to an astronomical percentage increase in market time – emphasis on percentage. Homes are still selling in 38 days, which isn’t terrible. You know when you get off the highway, and you feel like you’re barely moving – but you’re actually still going 50 mph? It’s like that.

August, 2019 market update

Well, that was nice while it lasted. After posting their first month-to-month gain of the year in July, median home prices promptly erased that gain in in August. Really, we mustn’t get too caught up in the monthly fluctuations of home prices though. The bottom line is that West Loop home prices are off their 2018 high by about 2% this year, and will likely remain so until spring, or another blockbuster corporate lease signing, whichever comes first. If you must sell this year, make sure you lock up your buyer before November. If you can wait, use this time to declutter and prep your home for sale, then look to hit the market after the new year.

September, 2019 market update

Here’s some more good news for sellers: the softness in the market has been driven not by a decrease in contracts and closings. In fact, there have been more contracts and closings in West Loop this year than there were in 2017, when home prices posted a double-digit increase. Instead, as reported previously, the slow down is happening because there are more homes for sale. Buyers have more options, and sellers have more competition. In other words, y’all are taking some profits. However, even this trend is slowing down a bit. The number of homes for sale every month this year has been, on average, 50% higher than last year. But in September, it was only 8% higher than September last year. Still higher…but less higher…Hang in there!

October, 2019 market update

Not only did we get a nice spike in homes going under contract in the West Loop in October (up 14% from September), but we beat out 2018’s October contracts number…by a lot. In fact, home buyers and sellers put more homes under contract last month than in any month of October since 2013. Over the last 3 months, contracts are up a respectable 12%. Why do we obsess about contracts? Because they indicate the demand for a market. With demand for West Loop homes still strong, we’re confident the market will work through the spike in supply we saw this year. We think that spike happened when West Loop home owners saw how much their places were worth…and their property tax bills.

November, 2019 market update

Woof. West Loop home shoppers put 25% fewer homes under contract in November than they did last year. In fact, if you take out the new construction developments (a few of which are actually selling well), the number was down 34%. Looking at the last 3 months, we’re still a bit ahead of where we were this time last year, but November’s number is a bit of rain on the parade from October. We’re talking about a fairly small area though, so it’s best to keep the big picture in mind: year-to-date contracts are still up 2.5%, and we expect a fairly balanced market come January.

December, 2019 market update

West Loop sellers, we have some good news: you don’t need to worry about that November contracts number. Factoring in a strong December, West Loop buyers put 17.2% more homes under contract in Q4 than they did in Q4-2018. In fact, the number was even higher than Q4-2017 and Q4-2016. The latter bodes especially well for if you’re looking to sell your west loop home, as Q4 numbers tend to be a sneak preview of the spring market and 2017 was one of the frothiest spring markets we’ve seen. On top of that, there were fewer homes on the market in Q4, on average, than in 2018. We’re somewhat skeptical that this decrease in inventory will hold, however, so make sure you’re still on your A-game if listing this year. We’re predicting a very lively real estate market during the first half of the year, but expect it to cool markedly as we approach the national elections.

January, 2020 market update

We’ve written about this before, but it’s worth mentioning again – market time for West Loop homes for sale has more than tripled since 2017, with nearly all of that increase coming in 2019. Are you freaking out yet? Stop. In terms of contracts, West Loop just its best January since at least 2008 (the earliest year we have data for). It’s only the first month of the year, but after a solid Q4, it’s hard not to get excited. This “warm” weather has combined with near 3-year low interest rates to create a storm of buyer demand for West Loop. The new office tenant leases in the area probably haven’t hurt either. If the late-2019 market spurned your listing, now’s the time to get back on that horse.

February, 2020 market update

Demand remains strong for West Loop homes, although 2020’s hot start moderated somewhat in February. Meanwhile, the wave of inventory that hit last year seems to be rolling back…a bit. West Loop has still had more listings hit the market this year so far than most years in the last decade. We may see some appreciation this year, but I think it’s likely West Loop home prices will bounce along at their current levels for another year while longer-term owners cash out. If you’re in it for the long haul, or if you bought between 2016 and 2018, hang in there. If you’re just trying to time the market, don’t hold out.

March, 2020 market update

Big picture, home prices are down 5-6% from their 2018 peaks, depending on how you slice it. We were just building up a head of steam again, and then…everything changed. The coronavirus is not going to help West Loop home prices, but it’s not going to last either. And if you’re on the market now, don’t despair – we’ve still seen buyers making strong offers on our listings. If you can wait to list, you should. Even if we’re not out of the woods by the end of April – and we likely will not be – we should have a clearer picture of when we will be. We believe coronavirus has created an artificial kink in the demand hose, and once that lifts, pent up demand will return in force.

April, 2020 market update

April was our first full month to get a look at how the coronavirus lockdown has affected the West Loop real estate market, and it was a doozy – both supply and demand plummeted by about 60%. The “good” news? Home prices were largely unchanged, and have, at least for now, stopped declining. If your plan is to sell in 2020, we recommend starting the process now. Inventory and interest rates are both low, which should increase demand for your home. However, there are some clouds gathering around financing – best to hit the market in case that storm develops further. 

West Loop Median Home Prices

Ever since Google announced they were coming back to Fulton Market in 2013, housing prices have been on a wild ride – even to the point where some speculated there might be a bubble. That hasn’t stopped an army of developers, led by Sterling Bay, from building a whole new Loop’s worth of office towers in the area. If they can land corporate tenants for those developments as well, more jobs will pour into West Loop, so look for the ride to continue.

How fast are homes selling in West Loop?

In the past 5 years, the real estate market in West Loop has been highly competitive (i.e. there are less homes for sale than there are people who want to buy them). Homes were selling fast – in some cases as little as a few days. Multiple offers were not uncommon as buyers had to fight for their future homes. Now, the market time has more than doubled.

Is West Loop a Buyer’s Market or a Seller’s Market?

This common real estate question is answered by looking at “months supply.” This refers to the number of months it would take to sell all the homes on the market at the current rate of sales. To get this number, you take the total number of homes for sale and divide it by how many homes sold that month. So, if there are 200 homes for sale, and homes are selling at a rate of 40 per month, that market has a 5-month supply. 

Looking at months supply will give us a glimpse into the future at what the rest of 2019 and on looks like. Buyers prefer a high months supply, ideally over 6. If this is the case, the market is considered a buyer’s market, which will yield higher market times, lower prices, and more negotiation. Any months supply below 4 months is considered a seller’s market, where homes will sell quicker and for more money. A market with 4-6 months supply signifies a balanced market.

How many homes are selling in West Loop?

A good real estate market traditionally has a good rate of home sales. This means there are enough people to buy the homes that are for sale. This graph gives us a look at how many homes have sold in 2019, compared to the past couple years.

Want to know what your West Loop home is worth?

We got you. Area stats and trends don’t always paint the full picture of how much your home is worth. Especially if its unique. Lucky for you, Center Coast hand-crafts custom reports so you can see what homes similar to yours are selling for. To get a list of comparable homes that have recently sold or are on the market, fill out the form below.

By | 2020-05-13T21:48:13+00:00 January 6th, 2020|

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