Our market report reflects closed sales for the 1st quarter of 2020. These sales were not significantly impacted by covid-19 and the quarantine as the vast majority of these these properties were under contract prior to March and closings have generally been going through as scheduled. We saw a slow down in sales activity in March, which will be reflected in closings for the 2nd quarter of 2020. Sales for the first quarter, which reflects contracts in late 2019 and the first one to two months of 2020 were strong this year.
The number of home sales in the North Shore increased by 27% in the first quarter of 2020. The median sale price was up 2% and the average market time increased by 15%. Here are the statistics:
|Number of Homes Sales||Average Market Time|
|1st Q-19||1st Q-20||1st Q-19||1st Q-20|
|Average Home Price (in thousands)||Median Home Price (in thousands)|
|1st Q-19||1st Q-20||% Change||1st Q-19||1st Q-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: Prices stayed about the same as last year. The North Shore median price was up slightly and the average price was down a little. Moreover, there was very little change. Statistics for Individual suburbs varied dramatically with some way up and others way down, but those mean very little as the sample sizes are too small to provide a reliable statistic.
Inventory: Not surprisingly, one statistic that has already been affected by covid-19 and the quarantine is inventory. The number of homes for sale in the North Shore, and most suburbs, is down. New homes coming on the market has slowed dramatically in the last few weeks. Wilmette currently has 123 active, not under contract homes, which is 29% below last year. Evanston, with 168 active homes, is the one outlier with a 17% increase in inventory. Winnetka has 105 active homes which is a 37% decrease. Glenview has 215 active homes which is a 25% decrease. The North Shore has 1963 active homes which is a 21% decease. While an inventory decrease is positive for sellers, because homes sales have also slowed, this has not resulted in a better market for sellers.
Interest Rates: Interest rates have been up, down and all around. Briefly they were at the lowest point ever—below 3% for a 30 year fixed rate. Then they jumped up from that to relatively high rates. Currently there is a huge gap between the Jumbo and conforming loans. Jumbos are at 4% for a 30 year fixed rate and the conforming (up to $510,400) are at 3.125%, which would be an all time low except for the one day that they went below 3%. Just a few weeks ago the conforming was over 4% and the jumbo was in the mid 3’s. Now they have flipped. Needless to say interest rates are all over the place. Loans are a little harder to get right now. There are some exceptions, but generally lenders are looking for 20% down.
The highest sale price this quarter is an exquisite David Adler designed home that was built for the Armour family in 1931. It is located in Lake Bluff, has 5 acres of Lake front property, 30,000 square of living space, and a tax bill of $164,409. It sold for $4,200,000.