Who ever thought that we could transition so quickly from high inventory to low inventory? It became clearer as 2020 drew to a close but then the spring market delivered a whole new crop of homes. Which are now long gone.
Of course, there are still houses for sale. For instance, Winnetka currently has 40 listed homes, some of which have not sold after a month or two on the market.
Exactly half of the those homes are priced over $2 million which necessarily means that they will take longer to sell. Of the twenty homes under $2 million, some are overpriced. Even in this hot market buyers will push back when they sense price exceeds value.
In Wilmette where there are 66 homes for sale, 38 have been on the market for over 30 days. Price seems to be the issue for many of those, or location or condition. Which all comes down to price.
With all five villages taken together there are 175 homes for sale priced between $325,000 and $18,000,000. Sixty-nine of those homes are under $1 million and 57 are under $2,000,000. Inventory might be low but not low enough that no homes are available.
And, there are 68 more homes for sale in the MLS Private Network*. Not all are available for sale right now, but many, if not most, are and help to alleviate the strain.
Most popular homes are those that are newer, remodeled, and priced under $1 million. The median price for all homes sales in Winnetka, Wilmette, Glencoe, Kenilworth, and Glencoe in the past six months is $930,000.
For just homes priced over $1 million, the median price is $1,450,000.
How low has inventory gone in the past year for the five villages listed above?
Right now the focus is on buyers getting the home they want. But it's sellers who control the market in so much as inventory goes. If they decide to stay put, the problem of low inventory will continue.
One reason people are deciding not to sell is because they need to buy a house themselves. Some don't want to enter that fray and prefer to stay in their current homes until the rush is over. That's why we have bidding wars.
So we have a chain reaction that results in an impasse which may be where we are now. But don't be mistaken - there are many buyers who are still desperate to find the right home and they've probably made other, unsuccessful bids.
Other issues leading to low inventory are high costs of materials for new construction and the 30-year fixed mortgage which is at a 50-year low. The pandemic is still pushing a certain segment of buyers out of smaller condos and into suburban homes helping to fuel the frenzy.
Prices have risen slightly over 10% (local number, not national) in the last 12 months and as you can see from this graphic, it seems to be leveling off. But with the summer months still ahead, it's too early to determine that for certain.
If you have the desire and wherewithal to list your home now, I can almost guarantee a quick sale and a dream price. Real estate pundits have different things to say about how long this market will last.
And all the preparation that goes into getting a house ready for market has not changed. It still needs to be done (i.e. repairing, painting, staging) in order to get the ideal results. Most younger buyers may be desperate but they still won't buy a home that needs work.
While you're here, please see:
*MLS Private Network lists homes for sale that are not ready to be on the public market yet. Many homes sell while listed in the Private Market.