Unlike 2013, when the entire year seemed to be a riot of sales and market appreciation, 2014 is starting off as a very good year that seems flat in comparison to last year’s party. The total number of closed properties is down 21% for the quarter, year-over-year.
2014 is still an excellent year though, with sales on track to exceed every year since 2006 (with the exception of last year). Interest rates remain low and the economy remains on track, which bodes well for the rest of the year. This is becoming a market that is increasingly driven by sales over $1,000,000.
Closed units priced over $1,000,000 in 2014 are UP 40% from 2013 in this price range. Conversely, sales below $500,000 are DOWN 21% from last year. Days on Market for Closed Listings for the 1st Quarter is 117 days, down from 155 days for the same period in 2013, a 25% decrease. This improvement reflects the continued low inventory we are fighting in many price points and towns.
To counteract the sluggish first time home-buyer market (reflected in the slow sales in this range on the North Shore) and provide a stimulus, the state of Illinois has created a program aimed at qualified first-time buyers who are purchasing a property below $400,000. Special incentives include $7,500 cash assistance to cover the down payment and below-market interest rates. Updated: 5/5/14