Winnetka/North Shore 2019 Real Estate Market Review
Most North Shore agents would say they’re glad 2019 is behind us. It was not as robust as 2018 and many of us felt that sales were sluggish with some outliers throwing the numbers out of whack. In the information below, for example, Kenilworth had 22% fewer home sales in 2019 but both the average and median prices rose.
I saw some of the best values (aka as deals) that I’ve seen since the recession. Buyers caught on that they could now afford homes in Winnetka and prices dropped by substantial increments. It was a buyer's market all year long in every North Shore town.
New construction is still popular but taking longer to sell. Ultimately, the less work that needs to be done to a home, the faster it will sell. Homes on larger parcels of land are also waning in popularity as Millenials seek smaller spaces all around. That is, if they decide to leave the city at all. The one-half to full acre lots that baby boomers loved are not moving right now.
Here is a comparison of stats for 2018 vs. 2019 for the North Shore villages of Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Northfield, and Glencoe combined:
Statistics for the individual villages showing 2019 numbers compared to 2018:
Total units sold:-5.6%
Average sold price: -8%
Median sold price: +4.3%
Current inventory: 68 homes
Price range: $425,000 - $9,500,000
Total units sold: +2%
Average sold price: -3.3%
Median sold price: -2%
Current inventory: 72 homes
Price range: $289,900 to $2,550,000
Total units sold: -22%
Average sold price: +1%
Median sold price: +19%
Current inventory: 29 homes
Price range: $635,000 to $13,750,000
Total units sold: -8%
Average sold price: -10%
Median sold price: -5%
Current inventory: 57 homes
Price range: $349,999 to $4,500,000
Total units sold: -23%
Average sold price: -21%
Median sold price: +15%
Current inventory: 30 homes
Price range: $332,500 to $4,400,000
Inventory is low because it’s early January and most homes that were taken off the market for the holidays will be relisted soon. In fact, there are currently 68 homes for sale in Winnetka plus 11 condos for a total of 79 units. The "private" section of the Multiple Listing Service currently has 77 listings! (The private section of the MLS is not public-facing and cannot be viewed on online.) This means that those 77 listings will be hitting the market soon along with all the other newly listed homes. No problem with inventory here.
WHAT ARE THE REAL ESTATE EXPERT SAYING?
From Leonard Steinberg, former president of Compass:
Sellers will expand home improvements before listing. They will go far beyond staging as buyers become less inclined to buy homes that need work. “They wish to know all costs upfront and mortgage everything at low rates. The work you do after closing is not mortageable - who has any cash left after closing for home improvements when pricing is at a premium.” (Agreed)
He also predicts that the first half of the year will be busy but the second will be distracted by the presidential election. (Agreed)
From the Washington Post:
“Most real estate experts anticipate the (2020) housing market moving sideways rather than up or down.” (I agree)
From Jim Cramer’s TheStreet:
Millenials will get aggressive about buying homes. “Apparently, younger buyers are eschewing inner-city living and have their sights set on 1,800 sq. ft. homes in the suburbs with good neighborhoods and decent schools. Millenials will take more mortgages than baby boomers and Gen-Xers in 2020.” (I hope so)
“Home prices will flatten, increasing just .08% nationwide. Prices will decline in more than 25 of the largest metro areas including Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, and San Francisco.”
And everyone agrees that mortgage rates will remain low, hovering around 3.8%. As a side note, here’s where mortgage rates have been in the past four decades:
Clearly, most general predictions are for the country as a whole. Some areas are experiencing low inventory and bidding wars. Other areas are making downward corrections such as Miami, San Francisco, and Las Vegas.
In the Illinois Cook County in particular, I think we’ll see a continuance of 2019 but just a tad better. Sellers will need to adjust their bottom line if they hope to sell but there also could be pent-up buyer demand left over from last year. One thing we won’t have is low inventory.
While you're here, please sell ALL NORTH SHORE HOMES FOR SALE
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Margaret Goss is a full-time real estate broker since 1998 working in the North Shore communities of Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Glencoe, Northfield, Glenview, and Evanston.
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