The Winnetka North Shore Housing Market Update During Stay-at-Home
Buying or selling a home right now is not the first priority for the majority of us. The process itself has changed tremendously with open houses, showings, and client meetings moving to a virtual platform. According to Ris-Media: a quarter of surveyed agents had at least one client who bought a home sight-unseen.
For actual showings of homes there are Covid-19 disclosures to sign and strict adherence to current protocols including wearing booties, hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves.
So while the market continues to slow down and is really a shell of its former self, homes are, in fact, going under contract, having inspections, and closing. Because there are always people that need to buy or sell a home right now.
In the North Shore communities of Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Glencoe, and Northfield, there are now 368 homes for sale on the MLS and an additional 136 on the MLS Private Network. There are a total of 104 homes that are under-contract, and of those homes, 25 of them are dated in April, well after the stay-at-home orders.
That is considerably below a normal spring market when almost that many homes would go under-contract in a day. This chart shows the dramatic slowdown in cotracts being written starting in March 2019 vs 2020:
This year’s real estate spring market was on track to be a very good year - Baird & Warner was 8% ahead of last year. But Covid-19 slammed the brakes except for the most motivated buyers and sellers.
What will happen with the real estate market when the lockdown ends and the economy opens up again? There are several predictions:
- Some believe that when the crisis abates, there will be a flood of activity. We all want to believe that there will be pent-up demand (one agent interviewed by Inman news called it a “tsunami.”) But again, this is local and it also depends on how the market was before the pandemic.
- On the other hand, with millions of people out-of-work and draining their savings, will a new house even be on the radar. Everyone has been affected from the first-time buyer to those with high-end homes. Real estate depends on someone buying your home, who most likely needs to sell their home, and so on and so on.
- And what are buyers and sellers thinking about pricing? Buyers will be looking for lower prices but not all sellers will be open to this. If there is indeed a flood of homes on the market in a month or two, then simple supply and demand will determine the ratio. And the North Shore has had an excess of inventory for many years already.
Here is the current activity in all villages:
*includes public MLS, private MLS, and homes temporarily off the market
There are homes to be bought and sold and real estate agents need to be creative right now in their marketing. Interactive floor plans, room-by-room videos, Facetime, Facebook Live, and drones are being used more while open houses have been banned (and some say should be for good.)
It may look different Post Covid-19 and we won’t really know the impact until it's over. Until then, please let me know if you have any questions or need help with your North Shore home.
While you’re here, please see 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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