Keeping up with Chicago's North Shore Real Estate Market!

Contact Ann

call or text me: 847-691-1111 or email: ann@rannjones.realtor

Thursday, August 1, 2019

How's the Market as of August 1, 2019?

We're coming up on the last month of summer.  Where did the time go? 

We've crossed the first half of the year.   The most exciting news.  My brokerage in Lake Forest had the highest sales numbers for the first half of the year!   It's never easy to break into an established market, but @properties continues to shine and shows why it is the #1 brokerage in Chicago and the North Shore!

To give you a sense about the first half of the year, I did a unit to unit comparison in each community.  


The white and blue lines compares the number of units sold in the first six months in 2018 versus 2019. 

Across all communities,  sales were down from 2018.  The red shows how many active listings there are currently available in each community.  For me, what pops out in this chart are the extremes of the North Shore. Some towns are keeping pace and selling their inventory. Conversely, current inventory in some towns exceeds the number of sales we have had in the first part of the year - sometimes by significant levels. 

Beginning the second half of the year... how was the market in July? 

These next charts show units sold and the median prices.


Using months of inventory is a more effective way of measuring the health of the market.  Anything less than 6 months is considered a sellers' market -- anything more than 8 months is considered a buyers' market. The level of inventory has not deviated much over the last few months.  There continues to be a shortage of inventory in Wilmette and Evanston with a surplus in Lake Forest and Kenilworth.

In the next chart, I list the highest sales for each community during June and July.  At the top of the list was a newer construction house on Lake Road in Lake Forest.   


New construction continues to dominate the high-end sales.   Of the 27 houses that sold during that last two months, over 70% were constructed after 1990 and more than a third were built after 2012.   Of the older, classic homes that sold, all had been updated and remodeled with today's specifications. 

There are currently 194 houses for sale that are priced greater than $2M. During the month of June and July, 27 houses closed in this price range:

Community
Sold This Month
# for Sale
Evanston
2
8
Wilmette
1
8
Kenilworth
3
16
Winnetka
8
43
Northfield
2
7
Glencoe
5
18
Highland Park
0
14
Lake Forest
4
72
Lake Bluff
2
8


As we enter the last days of summer, it will be interesting to see whether sales pick up for the year.   Interest rates remain favorable and there are some remarkable homes for sale.   

Enjoy your August!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

How's the Market as of June 1, 2019?

As I look out my window, it appears that summer may actually be making an appearance.   It's been a strange, wet spring... the good news is, my garden looks beautiful!

So how about real estate on the North Shore? The first report shows units sold, the second presents the median prices.  In general, as you can see, inventory levels are increasing and sales are slightly down.   It has not been quite as a robust spring market as one would hope.   Many in the industry feel that buyers are seeing the pinch of the SALT deductions and it is affecting home prices. 





The months of inventory on the first chart is a better way of measuring progress. Anything less than 6 months is considered a sellers' market -- anything more than 8 months is considered a buyers' market. With the exception of Lake Forest and Kenilworth, most of the North Shore looks pretty good. Wilmette and Evanston continue to have shortages of inventory.   However, it's worth noting that inventory levels are creeping up in most of the communities.   While they remain balanced markets, the number of homes for sale has increased from the previous month.  

In the next chart, I show the high-end sales for each community. Winnetka takes the prize.  Of the eight high-end homes that sold in May, seven were in Winnetka!  The highest sale this month was a privately located 1931 classic home with 1.51 acres within the grounds of Indian Hill Country Club.  


There are currently 200 houses for sale that are priced greater than $2M. During the month of May, 8 houses closed in this price range:

Community
Sold This Month
# for Sale
Evanston
0
9
Wilmette
0
10
Kenilworth
0
15
Winnetka
7
49
Northfield
0
8
Glencoe
1
22
Highland Park
0
14
Lake Forest
0
64
Lake Bluff
0
9


Last month, I shared the news that I was selling my home.  The good news is that I sold it and will be moving shortly.   I must say, the whole experience has increased my empathy for clients going through this transition.  I found the most stressful part was dealing with my dog and making sure he had a place to go when there were other people in the house!  I can't imagine doing going through this for a long time!

Here's hoping the rain stays away for a while and we have a beautiful June!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Green Tips: Save Money by Going Green

"There are noble reasons to embrace the green movement. You'll protect natural resources, reduce pollution, and help to save the planet.

Environmentalism can also come with personal benefits. The changes you make can help you to save money..."

A reader of my blog was kind enough to point me to this article.   Check it out:
The Definitive Guide to Saving Money by Going Green

Monday, May 13, 2019

New Listing

Today I listed my own home.  So now I join my clients in the hopeful yet stressful process of selling my home. 

Check it out:
1115wdeerpath.info

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

What's happening with the next generation

Since 2013, the National Association of REALTORS® has issued their annual Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report. The report provides insights into differences and similarities across generations of home buyers and home sellers.
Some key facts from this year's report:

  • Younger Millennials are broken out in this report—at 11% they are now a larger home buyers group than the Silent Generation (7%).
  • Millennials overall remain the largest generation of buyers.
  • 1 in 4 Younger Boomer and Silent Gen buyers are single females
  • Older Millennials are most likely to have children under the age of 18 in the home at 69%.
  • Gen Xers are now most likely to buy a multi-generational home at 16%.
  • Younger Millennials purchase homes through agents, with the highest share of any generation at 92%.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

How's the Market as of May 1, 2019?

For a brief moment over Easter, I thought Spring had finally sprung.  Looks like we're still experiencing April showers in May.   Strange weather this year and I can't help but think it is affecting the real estate market.   Time will tell.  

So how about real estate on the North Shore? The first report shows units sold, the second presents the median prices.

The months of inventory on the first chart is a better way of measuring progress. Anything less than 6 months is considered a sellers' market -- anything more than 8 months is considered a buyers' market. With the exception of Lake Forest and Kenilworth, most of the North Shore looks pretty good. Wilmette and Evanston continue to have shortages of inventory. 

 In the next chart, I show the high-end sales for each community. The highest sale this month was a 1997 Glencoe lakefront home.   You can read more about it in Crain's.  




There are currently 190 houses for sale on the North Shore, that are priced greater than $2M. During the month of April, 11 houses closed in this price range:

Community
Sold This Month
# for Sale
Evanston
0
8
Wilmette
0
9
Kenilworth
0
14
Winnetka
5
50
Northfield
0
10
Glencoe
3
19
Highland Park
1
13
Lake Forest
2
60
Lake Bluff
0
7

As winter FINALLY comes to an end, I'm going to be listing my own house this month -- a gracious 3BR/2.1Bath ranch home in the Meadowood neighborhood of Lake Forest.  I'm mindful of the transition as I close this chapter of my life as a house owner and go back to living in a maintenance free environment.   I've loved my house and my neighborhood, but it's time to downsize!   If you know anyone looking for a wonderful ranch, tell them to give me a call!

Let's hope the market cooperates as I sell my house!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Green Tips - Recycle App

A group of environmental advocates from Lake Forest and Lake Bluff developed an app that will help residents better use local recycling resources. The group is called Green Minds LFLB.
Green Minds LFLB has created a free downloadable app--Recycle LFLB -- to help residents find solutions for how to recycle.   Learn more at http://www.green-minds.org/.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Exclusions

Years ago I was buying a condo in Chicago.   After several months of searching, I finally found one I really liked in a vintage building on Chestnut Street.   I loved the layout of the apartment, and one room in particular stood out for me: the dining room.   Around the room were these gorgeous alabaster sconces that gave the room a warm glow.  I was smitten and made an offer for the apartment.   

The sellers accepted my offer and I arranged for the inspection.  When I went back in with the inspector, the dining room sconces were gone and had been replaced with less distinctive fixtures.   I was so annoyed and it really bugged me that those lights were gone -- it felt like a bate and switch.   It had never occured to me to ask for those specific fixtures - I just assumed they were staying with the unit.  While there were some inspection issues and some building requirements I disliked,  I was still annoyed about the lights.  I withdrew my offer.   If I'm really honest with myself, it was the sconces, that were probably the thing I loved best about the apartment.  My agent kept telling me I could buy new ones... but ...as crazy as it sounds, once those lights were gone, I lost interest in the place.  

Exclusions can be a real sticking point during negotiations.   Being very clear upfront what is staying and what is going with the house needs to be spelled out early in the process.  Frankly, I think it needs to presented in the listing information sheet.   Exclusions can even destroy the sale of a house -- my clients almost failed to close on their property because of a contentious garden statue!   

The contract lists things like: light fixtures, shelves, window treatments, fireplace grills, etc.  In general, anything that is affixed to the wall is considered a fixture and remains with the property.  But what does that actually mean?   Televisions?  Mirrors?  Given my own personal experience, it's my opinion, that the buyers should never even see the things the sellers definitely want to take with them.    Light fixtures in particular can be a really sticking point.  I always advise my clients to replace grandmother's chandelier before they list the house, so there is no misunderstanding or negotiating about it!

Back to my story... I kept looking and eventually bought another place on Pearson Street.   It was a wonderful condo, that I gutted and remodeled.  Every fixture, tile, wallpaper, fabric, etc.  I picked out carefully and intentionally.   One of my favorite selections were the hall chandelier and some sconces for the living room and bedroom.  I found a person who repped for dozens of lighting companies and pored over her catalogs for hours.  I finally found the light fixtures I wanted - they were handmade in Italy.   Little did I know that it would take over a year for them to arrive .... apparently the Italian craftsmen worked to their own schedule which included summers off.   Once they finally arrived and were installed, I so admired and loved the fixtures.  As you might suspect, when I moved to Lake Forest I brought them with me.  I often get compliments on them.    

As many of you know, I'm selling my beloved house on Deerpath this year -- I want to downsize and move into something smaller that is maintenance free.   Going through the years of things that have accumulated has been quite an ordeal -- I ended up with my parents' stuff and they ended up with their parents' stuff, so it has been a year long process of clearing things out and getting the house ready for the market.  

This week the handyman came to help me with the final touches... my sconces and chandeliers came down and were replaced with something not quite so special.  I think it's best that they are packed up not shown with the house.  I don't want anyone to fall in love with my light fixtures, the way I fell in love with the alabaster sconces on Chestnut Street.  The replaced fixtures have actually changed the way the rooms look -- odd how special lights can be.  

My lights coming down is almost like a metaphor for the sale of the home.   I've taken "my light(s)" out of the house... so now it's time for someone to bring their light(s) in!

p.s. If you someone looking for a wonderful, gracious ranch home in Meadowood, tell them to give me a call.  It will officially be on the market in May, but I'm showing to interested parties now.  

Sunday, March 31, 2019

How's the Market as of April 1, 2019?

The sun is shining and it looks like Spring... the air may be a bit chilly, but at least there is no snow on the ground - finally!  

As I was preparing these charts, I was trying to see how different the numbers were from last year.   Year on year, things are about the same.   For example, this time last year 160 YTD units had sold in Evanston -- this year 162.  Last year 64 YTD units has sold in Lake Forest -- this year 69.  Given how cold the winter was, I find this news rather encouraging.   We didn't seem to lose traction during the first quarter.  Some towns did better than others, but it feels like we have settled into new normal.  

So how about real estate on the North Shore?  The first report shows units sold, the second presents the median prices.



The months of inventory on the first chart is a better way of measuring progress.  Anything less than 6 months is considered a sellers' market -- anything more than 8 months is considered a buyers' market. With the exception of Lake Forest and Kenilworth, most of the North Shore looks pretty good.   Wilmette and Evanston actually have a shortage of inventory.   

In the next chart, I show the high-end sales for each community. The highest sale this month was a 1955 Glencoe lakefront home situated on 1.2 acres.  Read more about it: North Shore lakefront mansion is priciest suburban sale this year


There are currently 173 houses for sale on the North Shore that are priced greater than $2M. During the month of March, 8 houses closed in this price range:

Community
Sold This Month
# for Sale
Evanston
0
7
Wilmette
0
8
Kenilworth
0
10
Winnetka
4
49
Northfield
0
9
Glencoe
1
18
Highland Park
0
10
Lake Forest
2
55
Lake Bluff
1
7

After this long winter, let's hope for a beautiful spring!
Source of data: MRED (Midwest Real Estate Data) Multiple Listing Service

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Green Tips - recycle those crayons

Crayola and schools across North America have banded together to help kids understand the importance of their role in protecting the environment. That’s they launched Crayola ColorCycle. Through this initiative, students in K-12 schools across the continental United States can collect used markers and send them to a conversion facility where they will be repurposed and kept out of landfills. Learn more about how you and your kids can participate! Learn more about Crayola ColorCycle click here.

ColorCycleItHeader

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

No-Fail Paint Selections for Staging Your Home

When preparing to sell your home, it’s important to consider every step that will increase its appeal to potential buyers. While the existing color scheme made it feel like home to you, pressing the reset button to neutral will help potential buyers envision themselves living in the house. Skip the paint research-induced headaches by using these no-fail staging paint selections, and watch the sold sign go up in no time.


All-Over Neutral: Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
This greige hue is a go-to choice to create a neutral backdrop in open areas. The grey-beige color can appear both warm and cool, depending on lighting. Pair Revere Pewter with white trim for a polished, neutral look.
Suggested rooms: Open spaces, such as family rooms or open concept layouts.

Go-To Gray: Sherwin Williams Crushed Ice
This pale gray option blends in with virtually every design style. Whether your home is traditional, transitional or modern, Crushed Ice will seamlessly blend in the background, letting your home’s selling features shine.
Suggested rooms: This chameleon color can be used throughout the house.

Calming Blue: Benjamin Moore Blue Veil
Help your home evoke vibes of peacefulness and calm, from the minute potential buyers walk through the door. This cool pale blue has enough color to subtly stand out, but not enough to dominate the space.
Suggested rooms: The entryway, gathering spaces or bedrooms.

All-Over White: Benjamin Moore Simply White
With countless white paint options to choose from, it can be the most difficult color to select. This clean white has both warm and cool hues, making it work with a variety of decor styles and appeal to many different tastes.
Suggested rooms: This crisp shade can help entryways or sun-drenched spaces shine.

Create Space: Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
This bright white can make any space appear larger. Crisp, yet soft, this hue creates a fresh, while cozy vibe. Use this color in rooms you want to create the illusion of additional space.
Suggested rooms: To brighten — and enlarge — a kitchen or master bathroom.

Distract from Poor Lighting: Benjamin Moore White Dove

White Dove works wonders in rooms with poor lighting. Use this shade in rooms without overhead lighting, or in rooms with limited natural light. The soft white hues stay true to color, regardless of the level of light.
Suggested rooms: In the basement, office or bedrooms without sunlight.

Dramatic Neutral: Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal
When you think of neutrals, light hues typically come to mind. However, a dark neutral adds intrigue and style, while making a space memorable to buyers. A dark paint selection also has the ability to make a small space appear larger.
Suggested rooms: This cool, sophisticated color is perfect for an office, dining room or powder room.
Classic Navy: Benjamin Moore Stunning
Another dark neutral, navy paint coordinates with most decor styles and adds an instant level of classic appeal, while not taking itself too seriously.
Suggested rooms: Similar to a charcoal, this timeless hue adds extra richness to an office or den, dining room or guest bathrooms.

Finish Guide

Once you have selected your paint selections, getting the right finish can elevate your home’s appearance, as well as hide any flaws on the walls. As a general guide, the higher the sheen the more durable the paint will be.
Rooms prone to moisture (kitchens, bathrooms): Semi-gloss or high gloss finish.
High-traffic areas (family room, play room, living areas): Satin finish, for easy cleaning.
Low-traffic areas (dining room, bedrooms): Eggshell or matte finish.
Source: @properties @home

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Smile for the cameras!

As you probably know, Big Brother is the fictional character symbolized in George Orwell's novel, 1984.   He is the leader of Oceania, a totalitarian state wherein the ruling party wields total power over the inhabitants. In Oceania, every citizen is under constant surveillance by the authorities. The people are continually reminded of this by the slogan "Big Brother is watching you."

Well, home buyers -- that slogan is one you might want to take to heart.   Big Brother is here and now with surveillance cameras etc.   I was on tour not too long ago and the agent whispered to us and let us know that her clients were watching us from afar.  Egads.

This experience highlighted for me a growing issue in real estate. As smart-home technology becomes more common, real estate agents and their clients are increasingly and uncomfortably finding themselves living in 1984 with someone watching them as they walk through the home.  This practice surfaces questions about ethics, legality, and privacy that have not been fully understood nor addressed by the real estate community.

So buyers beware.   
1. Look around, but don't touch or do anything that might cause the seller concerns.
2. When walking through a property, certainly don't talk strategy or share personal information that could be used in a later negotiation.
3. Be careful what you say about the home -- negative comments could later come back to haunt you.

It's a "brave new world" out there.