Chicago Tribune Says Home Sales Up! Is Is True in Winnetka & North Shore Suburbs?

Real Estate Agent with Baird & Warner Real Estate

Today's Chicago Tribune (November 24, 2009) front page headline proclaims:  "Home Sales Surge in Area."  Is it true in Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Glencoe and Northfield? Have prices plummeted as the article claims?

House SalesWell, in a word, no.  And how much of this increase can be attributed to the First Time Home Buyer Credit.  Is real estate local?  First the numbers:


Units Sold:  54

Average Market Time:  259 days

Median Price:  $677,500

Average Price:  $917,573

Total Volume:  $49,548,952


Units Sold:  48

Average Market Time:  185 days

Median Price:  $620,600

Average Price:  $884,253

Total Volume:  $42,444,125


Units Sold:  62

Market Time:  126 days

Median Price:  $866,500

Average Price:  $1,233,568

Total Volume:  $74,481,238


Units Sold:  49

Market Time:  97 days

Median Price:  $642,500

Average Price:  $903,602

Total Volume:  $44,276,500

The newspaper said:  "It was the best October for sales in the Chicago area since 2006."  Not true for the North Shore where the area sales spiked for October 2007, 62 units sold to 54. Year-over-year it has taken longer for houses to sell going from an average of 97 days in 2006 up to 259 days this year.

Some good news, some not so good:  Athough sales went up, prices went down. While Chicago saw an upsurge of home sales this October over last of 28.5%, the North Shore communities also saw sales go up, but at a slower rate of 11%.  As for average price, well, we've followed the national trend there with prices coming down approximately 26% in the span of two years (October 2007 to October 2009.)

My opinion is that these large city and national statistics are driven by the First Time Home Buyer Credit which allowed for an $8000 credit on the purchase of a new home by November 30 (since extended.)  I had one such sale in Chicago's north side and the push was to search, buy, close, and quickly.  Of course the numbers would jump - but only temporarily.  It's just not something we are going to see in Winnetka or Kenilworth with average home prices being well beyond the reach of most first-time home buyers and most residents making in excess of the minimum salary requirement.

Prices have dropped record amounts in the past two years and I feel that we are getting close to the bottom - not there yet, but close.  I don't see a rebound that will shock and awe, but rather a slow appreciation that might take many years to get back to 2007 prices. 

If you are a seller, be realistic and price accordingly with the help of your realtor.  If you are a buyer, be methodical and don't pin your hopes on one house or you might not get the best price. 

If you need help buying or selling real estate in this challenging market, call me for a free market evaluation or daily list of home updates.

Posted by

Margaret Goss - Winnetka and North Shore Real Estate Broker
Specializing in homes for sale in Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Northfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Northbrook, and Evanston.

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Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Margaret:  Interesting stats and info to consider in this blog.  I totally agree with you that there are alot of influences being felt within our market today ... and much of what is felt (pro and con) depends largely on the specific area of which you speak.  I hail from the Will County area ... an area that covers alot of square mileage and represents a very diverse socioeconomic population/real estate.  Depending on where you are in Will County ... the numbers are drastically different.  Any real estate report from Will County would have to have all sorts of asteriks and sub-headers.  No blanket report could possibly tell the full story.

Everyone ... in the industry or public ... needs to do their research and homework these days.  Your reports proves exactly why.  Great work!

My best to you for Thanksgiving!


Nov 24, 2009 10:32 AM #1
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate


The problem I'm seeing is that clients read these headlines or hear the news reports and assume it is a blanket that covers everyone.  Real estate is very regional and many Active Rainers are writing that they are seeing real improvement in their marketplace - that's the point, their marketplace!  Thanks for your comment.

Nov 24, 2009 01:35 PM #2
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Margaret Goss

Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
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