North Shore market, as a whole, posted slightly more sales in October than the
record numbers of 2013, but this hides a weakening of the market when
individual towns are considered. Only Northbrook, Skokie and
Wilmette posted sales noticeably above 2013 levels. The remaining towns
in the region are selling at a pace under 2013, although when put in
historical context, is still a very good.
It is in inventory that we really see the softer market – we
no longer are experiencing universally low levels. There are price points
in each town that still remain low, but the market in general is
far more in balance and, in the case of the upper bracket, there is a glut of
listings. This glut starts at the $1,000,000 price point in the majority
of towns, except Wilmette, Glenview and Winnetka, where the number of active
listings out numbers the six month’s sales beginning in the $1,500,000 range.
Perhaps contradicting the message of rising inventory
levels, the Days on Market for closed homes fell to 87 days (1/1 – 10/31/14),
which is a 20% improvement over the same period in 2013. Median Sold
Price also continues to climb for the same period – up 4.8% to $550,000. So, what does this mean for sellers who continue to
insist on overpricing their homes? The data – increased sales,
continued falling market times and higher median sales prices – strongly
suggest that this market remains solid, but the rising inventory levels
indicate that buyers know an overpriced home when they see one. It is
extremely important when pricing a home to remember that although prices are
rising, we are nowhere near the peak values of 2007.
The North Shore real estate market, although slower than
2013 remains strong and will likely remain so. Continued labor market
gains, low interest rates and even the slower increases in home prices point to
further improvements in the market!