4 of Chicago's popular neighborhoods, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North, and the Loop have seen some slowing of activity, according to data from Chicago's MLS.  Compared to June 2013, June 2014 sales have dropped and inventory has increased slightly. Though the market is still considered active, market projections and trends indicate a slower market than we he have been used to seeing.

Sellers encouraged to list sooner rather than later

With the June comparative data now available, sellers are encouraged to take advantage of the current market as soon as possible. Decreases in home sales and increases in inventory indicate competitive pricing is an essential part of an expedited sale, as these homes are reporting low market times (as opposed to overpriced homes, to which buyers are still not responding.) We still reside in a "sellers market" despite the noted slow, but acting quickly will help make the best of a market that may not last much longer.

The current state of the market

Both unit sales and unit under contract figures have seen a drop since June 2013, with a 3.9% decrease and a 4.3% decrease, respectively. Similarly, home sales of homes priced under $500,000 have by 13.4%.

Alongside this data, inventory has seen a relatively steep increase since June 2013. Unit inventories alone rose 21.9%, while the supply of inventory rose 29.5% during the same period, keeping in mind that inventory levels last spring and summer were exceptionally low to begin with.

What do these figures mean for prospective sellers?

This week brought prospective homeowners great news, as 30-year fixed mortgages fell below 4 percent this week, according to Zillow, coming in at 3.97% (down from 4.05% from last week) this Tuesday.

Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages of Zillow, shed some light on the recent market activity:

Rates dropped below 4 percent on Thursday amid the uncertainty and turmoil following the MH17 flight disaster and ongoing military activity in the Middle East. This week, despite a fair amount of domestic economic data slated for release, we expect events in the Middle East and Ukraine will continue to put a damper on rates.

To date, here is the weekly mortgage rate chart which illustrates the 30-year fixed interest rate based around 6-hour intervals (courtesy of Zillow).

Zillow expects purchase loan activity to increase by 4% from the previous week.

There have been recent reports from the KCM Blog and asset management company Nomura that suggest that the Millennial generation has been struggling with not only student debt, but also the general idea of homeownership.

The generation at large seems hesitant to move towards purchasing a first home. But why?

According to a recent article in Housing Wire, it appears linked to the lack of a full understanding about the mortgage process:

Analysts say it’s not that Millennials and other potential homebuyers aren’t qualified in terms of their credit scores or in how much they have saved for their down payment. It’s that they think they’re not qualified or they think that they don’t have a big enough down payment. (emphasis added)

Indeed, a survey from Zelman & Associates revealed that 38% of those between 25-29 years old, and 42% of those between 30-34 years old, believe that a minimum of 15% down is required for a down payment on a home purchasing transaction. The reality is quite different.

Putting less than 15% down, and other optimistic real estate realities for Millennials

Newly Constructed HomeCompetition for home sellers in the past few years has come from distressed properties (meaning foreclosures and short sales). Luckily, the supply of these properties has been dissipating rapidly in most housing markets today, providing an opportune time for tentative sellers to put their home out on the market at long last.

A delay in selling, however, could put sellers in contention with some new competition later this year - newly constructed homes.

As the economy continues to improve, the KCM blog believes we are expected to see an increase an increase in builders bringing newly built properties to the market.

Why will newly built properties inhibit home sellers?

Aside from newly built properties adding to the property pool, it turns out these properties specifically can have a detrimental effect on your ability to sell your home. According to Truila, a purchaser who is given a choice between an older home and a newly constructed home, will typically prefer new construction:

The bottom line?

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