The North Shore real estate market softened in the first half of 2019. The number of sales dropped by 8%, median prices were down 3%, and market time was up 6% as compared to the first half of 2018. This softening was consistent across the suburbs that I cover with every suburb seeing a decrease in the number of sales. The summer and fall markets in 2018 were weak after a strong spring. It will be interesting to see how the summer and fall play out this year and if there is some improvement over last year.
Here are the first half statistics.
|Number of Homes Sales||Average Market Time|
|1/2 yr-18||1/2 yr-19||1/2 yr-18||1/2 yr-19|
|Average Home Price (in thousands)||Median Home Price (in thousands)|
|1/2 yr-18||1/2 yr-19||% Change||1/2 yr-18||1/2 yr-19||% Change|
The above statistics are for detached single family homes and were compiled from data collected by the Multiple Listing Service (Midwest Real Estate Data LLC), and may not include all home sales.
Prices: The North Shore saw prices decrease in 2019 with the median and average down 3%. Some suburbs, like Wilmette, had large statistical decreases, however, it is difficult to judge an individual suburb’s price performance with just half a year of sales. The sample size is so small that a few extra sales at the high or low end can throw off the numbers. Moreover, Wilmette’s prices did not actually go down by 18% as the stats indicate, but there was some decrease—probably close to the North Shore’s 3% decline.
Inventory: Wilmette currently has 178 active homes on the market that are not under contract. That is just over 5 months of inventory at the current pace of sales. This is up slightly from the 176 homes that were on last year at this time. Evanston’s tight inventory softened with the number going from 133 to 163 this year. That is 4.5 months of inventory. Winnetka has 171 active homes which is 9.2 months of inventory and Glenview has 351 homes which is 8.4 months. The North Shore as a whole has 2833 active homes, that are not under contract, which is 8.1 months of inventory and a 6% increase over 2018.
Interest Rates: Interest rates have dropped in 2019. Currently a 30 year fixed is 3.875% and a 15 year is 3.375%. These are both down at least half a point from this time last year. Moreover, rates have been dropping in 2019 after steadily rising in 2017 and 2018. Will these rate decreases halt the market softening? We should know more over the next 6 months. If you purchased in 2018, you might be able to refinance to a lower rate.