I've been telling you for a while how the Chicago housing market seems to have really turned the corner lately with demand up, supply down, and homes selling in record time. Although I've already shown you the record low home inventory levels in Chicago I haven't really shown you just how fast homes are selling. So here's the market time data going back to 2007 - almost 6 years worth. And just to be clear, this is a little bit different than the data I normally present because it's how long it took homes that DID sell TO sell. And it's broken out by detached (single family homes) and attached (condos and townhomes). The blue line is detached and the brown line is attached.
As you can see the current market time (September data) for detached homes is pretty much at record lows while the market time for attached homes is approaching record lows. Attached market times have plummeted this year to 120 days from a peak of over 200 days during the early part of 2011 and it's also down 27% from last year at this time. Meanwhile, detached market times are down to 116 days from a peak over 170 days during early 2009 - down 13% in the last year.
One could argue that this is just the result of sellers pricing their properties more realistically and there would be no way to prove or disprove that theory - e.g. contract activity may be up only because pricing is more favorable. But the lack of inventory is probably an independent factor - unless you argue that the people aren't selling because they too are finally more realistic about what they can get. Who knows?
Aside from the fact that this is good news for sellers and bad news for buyers there is one other thing to keep in mind when the market is like this. If you are trying to sell your home you will encounter a lot of chest thumping realtors claiming to possess special powers in selling homes fast. As usual it's all BS. When the market is like this it's easy for any realtor to look like a hero - and don't forget that these numbers can easily be manipulated. Keep in mind the #1 rule in picking a listing agent: find out what they are going to DO for you.