Housing Shortage in North Shore of Chicago: High Mortgage Rates and Low Inventory

Housing Shortage in North Shore of Chicago: High Mortgage Rates and Low Inventory

Aleksandra Nowak
2 min read

Housing Shortage in North Shore of Chicago: High Mortgage Rates and Low Inventory

The North Shore of Chicago is currently experiencing a significant housing shortage, with available home listings dropping by 20% overall and up to 38% in some suburbs. The primary factor behind this decline is the high mortgage rates, which are around 7%. These rates are discouraging homeowners from selling their properties and making it difficult for potential buyers to afford new homes.

Homes priced under $1.5 million are selling quickly, often within a few days, while the luxury market faces slower sales due to the high costs associated with new construction and the selective nature of buyers.

This shortage presents significant challenges for first-time buyers and those looking to move to the suburbs, as they face intense competition, including from cash buyers. This is not an isolated issue; it reflects a broader trend. The spring homebuying season saw a sluggish pace, culminating in a record high average home price of $419,300 in May.

Key Takeaways

  • The North Shore is experiencing a 20% drop in home listings, with some suburbs facing a 38% decrease.
  • High mortgage rates, around 7%, are discouraging homeowners from selling, resulting in increased demand and prices.
  • Properties priced under $1.5 million are selling rapidly, often within a few days.
  • The luxury market is witnessing slower sales due to high construction costs and selective buyers.
  • Scarce inventory is perpetuating a cycle that deters potential sellers from listing their properties.


The housing shortage in the North Shore, exacerbated by high mortgage rates and rising construction costs, has notably impacted first-time buyers and those relocating to suburban areas. Short-term consequences include intensified competition and swift sales of affordable homes, while the luxury housing market experiences a slowdown. Without a significant decrease in mortgage rates, the cycle of scarce inventory and escalating prices is likely to persist, further disadvantaging prospective homeowners. This trend has nationwide implications, influencing builders, mortgage lenders, and financial markets reliant on a stable housing sector.

Did You Know?

  • Impact of High Mortgage Rates:
    • Mortgage rates at 7% significantly increase the cost of borrowing for home purchases, leading to higher monthly mortgage payments. This deters potential buyers and makes selling and buying homes less appealing for current homeowners.
  • Dynamics of the Luxury Market:
    • High material costs for new construction and the discerning nature of luxury home buyers contribute to slower sales in the luxury segment, distinct from the general market trends despite the overall housing shortage.
  • Effects of Low Inventory:
    • The low inventory, evident in the 20% to 38% decrease in home listings in the North Shore, has created a seller's market where demand outstrips supply, driving up home prices. This situation intensifies competition for buyers, particularly those entering the housing market for the first time or seeking to move to the suburbs, while also dissuading potential sellers from listing their properties due to concerns about finding suitable replacement homes.

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