After a strong first quarter, the North Shore real estate market went down sharply in the 2nd quarter and ended up with an 8% drop in sales for the first half of 2020. Median prices were unchanged, and market time was up 16% as compared to the first half of 2019. Home sales in March and April were down dramatically due to covid-19 and led to the weak 1st half numbers. However, sales began to recover in May and were flat out exceptional in June.
More North Shore, detached single-family homes, went under contract in June of 2020 than any other month in at least the past 10 years. The June contracts will be reflected in the 3rd quarter sales statistics so I expect those numbers to be strong.
Here are the first half statistics.
|Number of Homes Sales||Average Market Time|
|1/2 yr-19||1/2 yr-20||1/2 yr-19||1/2 yr-20|
|Average Home Price (in thousands)||Median Home Price (in thousands)|
|1/2 yr-19||1/2 yr-20||% Change||1/2 yr-19||1/2 yr-20||% 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: In spite of the drop in sales, North Shore home prices remained the same in 2020. Some individual suburbs had large statistical changes, however, it is impossible 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 up by 12% and Winnetka’s did not go down by 27% as the stats indicate. In fact, those numbers were almost the reverse in the first half of 2019 when Wilmette’s median price was down dramatically and Winnetka’s was up a lot. Moreover, prices, as the whole North Shore stats indicate, stayed level.
Inventory: This is the statistic that saw the most dramatic change this year and it occurred across all the suburbs that I cover. Wilmette currently has 127 active, detached single-family 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 down significantly from the 178 homes that were on last year at this time. Evanston’s inventory has gone from 163 homes to 114 this year. That is just 3 months of inventory. Winnetka has 92 homes, which is 5 months of inventory, and a big drop from the 171 homes that were on last year. Glenview has 226 homes which is also 5 months of inventory and a large drop from the 351 homes that were active this time last year. The North Shore as a whole has 1763 active homes, that are not under contract, which is 5 months of inventory and a 38% decrease over 2019 when 2833 active, not under contract, detached single family homes were on the market.
Interest Rates: Interest rates have dropped in 2020 to all time lows. Currently a 30 year fixed conforming is 3% and a 15 year is 2.5%. These are both down at least 3/4ths of a point from this time last year. Moreover, rates have been dropping in 2020. Many people have been refinancing with these exceptional rates.