Employment trends may encourage millennials to invest in Chicago properties

When shopping for real estate in Chicago, IL, it may be worthwhile to understand a little about the people who may be bidding against you for a property. In the Greater Chicago area, there are approximately 41,965 for-sale properties, and with the median asking price at $189,000, competition for these affordable housing options is rife, the Department of Numbers reports.

The housing market is in flux in Chicago, and younger homebuyers may be entering the market more regularly than baby boomers. According to the United Nations Department of Economic Social Affairs, the number of millennials reached 79 million in 2012, which already outnumbers the 76 million Baby Boomers in the United States by 3.94 percent. As time moves on, the gap will continue to widen, and more millennials will look for their own homes, the Chicago Journal reports.

What's more, recent job statistics have shown steady and sustainable growth in recent weeks. As more Americans find work, available homes for sale may be claimed at a faster pace than seen in the past few years. Mortgage rates remain low, which may encourage people to invest in real estate in Chicago while values are in decline.

In addition, The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (TM) (ETI) increased 0.8 percent in April 2012 to 108.04, an increase from 107.18 in March 2012.

"The growth in the Employment Trends Index in recent months is signaling moderate improvements in employment," said Gad Levanon, Director of Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. "We did not expect employment growth in December to February, averaging almost 250,000 a month, to continue."

While employment trends continue to fluctuate month-to-month, prospective homebuyers may want to begin shopping today. Affordable housing opportunities exist all around the city, but first-time buyers may want to check out the Edgewater neighborhood.

The area had a housing boom between the summer of 2008 and February 2009, but due to the housing crisis, activity settled down. The average time an Edgewater home remains on the market is just below 150, according to a local Chicago real estate data organization. This may provide prospective buyers ample amounts of time to get their finances in order and put down payments on properties. Moving to the Greater Chicago area can be an exciting time in any person's life, but it's important to do the proper amount of research beforehand, and be prepared to out bid other shoppers in town.