Despite the unusually bitter cold temperatures and record snowfall in Chicagoland this winter, home buyers continued to take advantage of the opportunity to buy now as home sales continued at pace with last year’s February trends, reported the North Shore-Barrington Association of Realtors (NSBAR).
“The weather undoubtedly can act as a deterrence to any buyer looking to home shop; however, sophisticated first viewings, which often happen on the Internet, help buyers scan inventory and then immediately schedule to see only what they are very interested in before aggressively making an offer,” said Jim Votanek, president of the NSBAR and a broker associate with @properties in Libertyville.
Interest rates, paired with competitively priced homes and low inventory, continue to move buyers who were previously on the fence to pursue their purchase.
“Today’s market really allows for buyers to evaluate their own long-term goals and make a purchase that will act as a positive investment for years to come. Changes in job, family situations, a desire to be closer to certain schools and lifestyle choices are often the reasons– regardless of season– that a buyer considers when purchasing a home,” Votanek said.
Several North Shore communities reported improvements in home sales from February of last year. Lake Forest saw the largest increase in sales, up 29.6% from February 2013, with 35 homes sold year-to-date compared to 27 last year. Golf-Glenview had a sales increase of 11.1% despite the median home price increasing 24.1%, the largest price increase in the area. Evanston also saw increased home sales among rising home prices with sales increasing 6.7% and the median home price increasing 18.1% from $357,000 to $421,500.
For towns that did not see growth, sales still remained steady. Fifty-two single-family homes were sold in the Barrington area, compared to 58 last year, and Northbrook saw 43 home sales, only two less than last year despite a median sale price increase of $10,000.
“The spring market is now,” Votanek noted. “Sellers are not waiting to list their homes later in the year, but rather, are meeting with realtors to assess their home’s value based on comparative marketing pricing in their neighborhood. With this also comes the conversation of knowing what your game plan is after selling. Making the costly mistake of listing your home without having planned can cost you more in relocation, as well as decrease your ability to negotiate on your next purchase if time is of the essence.”
Sales and price information is generated by NSBAR with Midwest Real Estate Data. Visit NSBAR online at www.NSBAR.org.