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

Contact Ann

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

Monday, September 30, 2019

Moving On...

Today's post is my last for this blog.  After nearly 17 years working as a real estate broker, I have decided to retire and move on. 

It was a challenging decision and one that came after a lot of reflection and introspection.   I have loved owning my own business and being my own boss.   I have really enjoyed working with so many interesting people through the years.  Some of my clients have become great friends.  I have had the opportunity to meet and work with so many terrific agents -- and the homes I've been able to tour - WOW.  I have strived to deliver exceptional client service with each transaction and hopefully my clients feel that I have served them well. 

But life is about change.   And I have decided to make some changes with my own life.   As my readers know,  I accomplished one big change a few months ago -- selling my house and downsizing.  As I've said many times: moving is not for the faint of heart -- what a wild, stressful, albeit wonderful change. 

With this change,  I find that I want more changes.  In this next chapter, I'd like to travel more, play a little more bridge, perhaps write a book, learn new things, and tick off some of the things on my bucket list. I'm getting more involved with the wonderful History Center of Lake Forest - Lake Bluff.  I have already been working a bit with my sister's business, The Zen of Slow Cooking, and may get more engaged with that.  I might even create a side business of some sort working with businesses like my sister's.  Who knows? Maybe another blog may be in the works.   Stay tuned.

Luckily, I'm not the kind of person who gets bored! 

In the meantime, three things: 

First, I am forever grateful and appreciative of all the wonderful folks who have crossed my path these last 17 years.  I have learned so much about the business of real estate -- but more importantly about human behavior!   It's been quite an education and learning experience.  Thank you.

Second,  I am here.   I am always available to help or share information when I can.  My license will remain active for a while, so if there are any questions I can answer or referrals I can provide,  please don't hesitate to call.

Finally, I have loved writing this blog and thought would end this with a list of my top 10 personal favorite blog posts.

10. Top 10 Tips to Sell your House in a Buyer's Market (my very first post!)
  9. Home as Shelter
  8. My life in real estate: Lessons learned from my mom
      and My life in real estate: Lessons learned from Dad
  7. Saying goodbye to the cottage
  6. Karma
  5. It ain't over until the fat lady sings
  4. Without Helmets
  3. Things
  2. My life in real estate: Memories of Wendy
  1. The Rules (and The Rules Continued)

So moving on... 
Thank you, dear readers, for following my blog these last 10 years.

How's the Market as of October 1, 2019

Welcome to October.   This is typically the last big month of the year when it comes to real estate. Often there is a rush of sales as the "season" comes to an end.  

So, how was the market in September? 

 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 1922 lakefront property in Winnetka.


There are currently 192 houses for sale that are priced greater than $2M. During the month of September, 6 houses closed in this price range:

Community
Sold this Month
as a % of Active
# for Sale
Evanston
0
0%
9
Wilmette
1
14%
7
Kenilworth
0
0%
17
Winnetka
3
7%
41
Northfield
0
0%
6
Glencoe
1
5%
20
Highland Park
1
8%
12
Lake Forest
0
0%
71
Lake Bluff
0
0%
9

Here's hoping for a beautiful fall!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Homelessness

As someone who is in transition and renting, lately I've been thinking a lot about home ownership, renting and even homelessness.   I just finished reading Sonia Choquette's book, Waking up in Paris.   It tells of her move from Chicago to France and all the ins and out of renting and moving to a foreign country.   Some of it is pretty amusing.  For example, in Paris landlords rip out kitchens between tenants -- new tenants have to buy their own appliances!   While the book is more of about her spiritual journey to find the "feeling of being home," I found her adventures of finding the right housing to be pretty relevant to me right now.  

More recently, homelessness is an issue with devastating consequences.  With the hurricane in the Bahamas, it's mind boggling to hear the number of homes that have been destroyed by Dorian and the thousands of people displaced.   At a basic level, people become homeless when their wages and income are not enough to cover rent or a mortgage and other necessities of life.  Destruction of homes by disasters creates a whole other dimension to the problem - supply versus need.  

When I worked in Sacramento during the 1980s there was so much homelessness.   Much of it was tied to the public policy at the time.  For me, personally, it was even disorienting to work there. 

We all have our beliefs and ideas homelessness - myself included.   For that reason, I found it incredibly informative and interesting to listen to this podcast on Solvable.   I'd like to share it.   If you get a chance, listen to it.



As summer moves to fall and winter, home becomes increasingly more important.   We spend so much time in our homes in the months ahead.  

I think we sometimes forget the importance of home. 
"There is pretty strong evidence that the environment in which people live is closely linked to their well-being," says Graham Rowles, a gerontology professor at the University of Kentucky. "It's sort of like the human animal attachment to territory is built into our DNA." 
"We have a need for a place that is called home," he adds. Home provides security, control, belonging, identity, and privacy, among other things. "But most of all, it's a place that provides us with a centering—a place from which we leave each morning and to which we return each evening." (source: US News - Why Our Homes Make Us Happy)
 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

How's the Market as of September 1, 2019

As summer comes to an end, so begins a "new year."   I love September -- it's my favorite month on the North Shore.  The skies are blue; the air is crisper and the colors start to become pretty amazing as our mature trees begin their autumn ritual.     

In real estate, it's usually a new beginning as well.   People return to their lives and begin thinking about moving.   We'll see how this Autumn season does.

So, how was the market in August?  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 unique more contemporary property in Winnetka.   

There are currently 199 houses for sale that are priced greater than $2M. During the month of August, 13 houses closed in this price range:

Community
Sold this Month
as a % of Active
# for Sale
Evanston
2
22%
9
Wilmette
1
14%
7
Kenilworth
0
0%
17
Winnetka
6
13%
45
Northfield
1
14%
7
Glencoe
0
0%
19
Highland Park
0
0%
15
Lake Forest
3
4%
72
Lake Bluff
0
0%
8


September typically brings an increase in sales before winter.   Here's hoping for a beautiful fall!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Green Tips - Reuse!

"Renovating your home and taking down buildings is sometimes necessary, but that doesn’t mean all those materials need to go to waste. In Cook County, construction and demolition materials make up 17% of what goes into landfills. Incorporating reuse and deconstruction into your next project can help fight climate change, support the local economy, and give new life to usable materials."

check out this guide from Evanston..
A Homeowner’s Guide to Reuse and Recycling

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!