Chicago’s vacation home market isn’t slowing down as prices are being pushed up by homeowners and buyers have few options.

Crain’s said there is growing demand for second homes in affluent areas like Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and Union Pier, Michigan, with closing prices often well above the original asking price. Report.

There are many reasons for the tight supply. After the housing boom peaked last summer, there simply wasn’t much to sell. Additionally, rising interest rates and home prices have caused potential sellers to wait for market conditions to stabilize.

“There’s not a whole lot to buy there,” Maureen Culp, an agent for Re/Max Harbor Country, told the outlet. Between Cayman’s 20 miles of lakefront, it’s not uncommon to see about 300 homes on the market each year, but “we’ve been below 100 for the last year and a half.”

The number of home sales fell sharply across the Chicago area. Within that 20-mile radius, 71 homes sold last quarter. That’s a 34% drop from the same period in 2022, according to the Southwest Michigan Association of Realtors, cited by the outlet.

Most shoppers looking for new stores in these areas are inevitably disappointed. Culp pointed to a Union Pier property that received 18 offers in its first few days on the market, underscoring how quickly people are flocking to rare homes that come on the market. Since wealthy buyers are determined to buy one of these homes, they are often willing to pay a premium.

The average sale price of a home in Lake Shore was $635,700 last quarter, up 21% from a year earlier. As of the end of April, home prices in Walworth County, which includes Lake Geneva, were up 18.3 percent from a year earlier, the outlet reported. In several transactions, buyers paid 10% to 15% more than the asking price, Culp noted.

Dru Cash, also an agent on the ReMax 100, believes the increase in second-home shoppers will remain a trend. Bob Webster, a Compass agent on Lake Geneva, said the resale market is strong because “it’s not just buying a residence, people want to buy a lifestyle,” he told the publication.

— Quinn Donoghue

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