I’m blown away by the activity level we’re seeing in the Chicago housing market these days. Anecdotally I keep running into other realtors showing real estate and I’m surprised by the number of cash deals out there. As I recently reported, December contracts were up 100% over the previous year and we’re seeing January activity up like 76% so far this month.
The surprise here for me is that I expected that, with the end of the original tax credit set for the end of November, demand would have been tapped out and even the creation of a new tax credit would not be sufficient to replace all the housing demand that had been pulled forward. So I’m left trying to explain what is going on. Here is one possible theory: the government program brought first time buyers into the market in droves sooner, rather than later. This released sellers who have now become buyers and the circle of life goes on. The only problem with this theory is that it would require a belief that the government can actually do something right. Nahhhh. I welcome other theories.