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Brutal year for buyers

Don't look at me. I'm not selling SanSnitzian. And besides you couldn't afford it.

No, what it is, is a giant pain in the rear. The heating bill is off the charts and trying to get a contractor nowadays to fix anything. And don't get me started on the drafty windows, which all need to be replaced this year.

A brutal year for buyers

Chicago's low housing inventory pushed prices high this year, and that likely won't change in 2024.

Why it matters: The year's record-low housing affordability might not be drawing to an end.

Zoom in: Some shoppers are starting to accept that mortgage rates probably won't fall back to pandemic levels, Debbie Pawlowicz, owner of a West-suburbs brokerage, tells Axios.

The big picture: U.S. home sales have cratered as many owners clamp down on their lower mortgage rates.

"If there's nothing out there for me to buy, why would I sell? We are all kind of stuck in that paradigm right now," chief economist Matthew Gardner at Windermere Real Estate said at a November conference.

Between the lines: The number of Chicago-area listings available to buy dropped from around 41,500 to roughly 25,500 between October 2019 and October 2023, according to the latest Redfin data.

Reality check: It's not all bad news. Chicago shoppers can find some deals this winter on high-rise condos and in outlying neighborhoods of the city.

What we're watching: Mortgage rates would need to slide significantly to loosen homeowners' golden handcuffs and boost listing activity, real estate experts say.

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