What Exactly Happened in the North Shore Housing Market in 2020?

Real Estate Agent with Baird & Warner Real Estate

2020 North Shore Housing Review


We all know what made 2020 a wonky year - so I won’t belabor that point. The result, however, was a roller coaster ride for the North Shore housing market. 


The year started out as most do - cold and slow. Just when the spring market started to awaken, along came a virus that put it back to bed. And so it went until the end of May when the economy was partially reopened and the floodgates opened.


From a serious oversupply of homes we now have too few homes for sale. From sagging prices we have seen prices rise and it’s not uncommon now to have multiple offers on some properties. So it went until the holiday season and now we’re back in a Covid Tier 3 situation.


The lack of inventory will continue as some buyers and sellers are not comfortable with the home selling/buying process, even with the mitigation measures that the real estate industry has established.


I still believe that we’ll have a good spring market and I encourage sellers who waited it out last year to list this year. There will still be many city residents who desire to move to the suburbs and they’ll be scouring the local inventory. 


Look at this chart that shows home sales for the years 2016 through 2020:



Home Sales Chart


From 2017  through the beginning of 2020, median home prices and total sales were fairly stagnant. But then the North Shore experienced an explosive 23% in home sales and a more modest increase of 5.7% for home prices.


These numbers are an aggregate of Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Glencoe, and Northfield so the small 5.7% in home prices is an average. 

Individually, home prices in each village were surprisingly varied. Residential home sale prices from 2019 to 2020 showed this data:


Winnetka -9.%

Wilmette +6.%

Kenilworth -6.%

Glencoe -7.5%

Northfield +0.9%


The nitty gritty is that we are going into 2021 with low inventory and if that trend continues, home prices will rise across the North Shore. And with all the uncertainty in the world, predictions are all over the place. But I’m still sticking with the  2021 spring market being a strong one.



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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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Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.  Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day!

Jan 07, 2021 06:57 AM #1
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

interesting how different 2020 was all around the country based on government responses to Covid.  We never missed a beat out of the gate.  And ironically ended up in much the same place.... very low inventory to begin this year and prices rising.  I see that changing though.

Feb 02, 2021 11:31 AM #2
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Margaret Goss

Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
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