Does Chicago Have a 'Low Inventory?' Here's What That Means (Source: wikimedia.commons - used as royalty free image) 

If you’ve spent any amount of time looking into buying or selling a home in Chicago, then you’ve probably heard the term “inventory” come up with some regularity. Maybe you’ve discussed “months’ supply of inventory” with your real estate broker, or read about inventory in a discussion of local market trends. 

But what does inventory really mean when it comes to real estate - and how is this crucial concept impacting buyers and sellers here the Chicago market? 

jefferson park chicago

Located on the northwest side of Chicago, Jefferson Park is one of the city’s 77 designated community areas. It is bordered by nearby Norwood Park and Forest Glen, and is located directly north of 
Portage Park.

Originally founded as a settlement for traders, hunters, and farmers, Jefferson Park was annexed by the city of Chicago all the way back in 1889. Today, you can still feel the history in this quiet, residential-focused community. Poke around Jefferson Park, and you won’t only find lovely homes, tasty restaurants, and top-notch parks and green spaces - you’ll find a stunning old movie palace-turned-cultural center. You’ll find the headquarters of the Gift Theatre, one of Chicagoland’s top companies. You’ll find cultural festivals that woo visitors from around the region - and around the country.

Interested in learning more about this charming Chicago neighborhood? Here are a few local resources worth taking a look at:

Want to buy or sell in Jefferson Park? Here are the current housing market statistics you should know:


4896 N. Paulina is a luxurious renovation in an unbeatable Ravenswood location. 

This spacious home, originally built in 1885, is conveniently located in the northeast corner of the Ravenswood neighborhood, adjacent to Andersonville and Winnemac, and has six bedrooms (four upstairs, two on the lower level) and four full bathrooms and a powder room. The large 165x52 lot features an estimated 5300 square feet of high-quality new construction with a contemporary flair, and boasts 10' ceilings on the first floor. The property is a commuter's dream, located near schools including Lycée Français de Chicago, Chicago Waldorf School, and Rogers Park Montessori School, as well as the Ravenswood Metra station.

Upon entering the striking front door to the main level, you'll notice the flowing space, which invites you from the foyer into the large living room, dining room, breakfast area, and high-end kitchen. The kitchen comes complete with professional appliances, a large breakfast peninsula, and a spacious, custom-built pantry. Upstairs, you'll find four large bedrooms, all with custom-built closets. The gorgeous master suite features a soaking tub with separate shower, as well as a large walk-in closet. The convenient upstairs laundry room offers quartz countertops, a stainless steel sink, and European-style cabinetry. The lower level includes a family room with loads of natural light, a wet bar with a wine cooler, two spacious bedrooms, another large bath, and plenty of storage, complete with comforting floor radiant heat. 

Want to buy a home in the year ahead — but feel glued in place thanks to ever-rising rent prices? You’re not alone. Here in Chicago and across the country, millions of Americans are stuck in what real estate experts call “the rent trap” a situation where so much of a household’s income goes to rent that they have to struggle to save enough to buy a home (let alone save for a rainy day, or take on other major bills, like healthcare costs).

A 2017 report from the Urban Institute suggests that more than 25 percent of renters – or 11.1 million households – are “severely cost-burdened” and spend “at least half their income on rental housing.”

It’s no surprise that so many are feeling trapped by rent especially when you consider how dramatically rent prices have been increasing, here in Chicago and in markets around the country. According to data compiled by the real estate site Zillow, US renters paid more than $4.5 trillion in rent during the 2010s, including $512 billion in 2019 alone. In 2019, a separate Zillow report suggests that the nationwide median rent grew 2.0% year-over-year (from August 2018 August 2019), reaching $1,595. Here in Chicago, median rent exceeded the national level, ringing in at $1,617, and grew by more year-over-year, rising by 2.6%. 

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