The number of North Shore single family homes that closed in the first quarter of 2012 was up by 14 percent. The number of homes that went under contract in the first quarter was very large. It exceeded the mark set in 2011 by more than 50 percent. The exceptionally warm winter no doubt helped sales, but I also believe a corner was turned in the market. Closings in future quarters will show that sales have picked up. It has become easier to sell a fairly priced home. Market times for newly listed homes are coming down. Here are the statistics for closed single family homes.
Number of Homes Sales
Average Market Time
Average Home Price (in thousands)
Median Home Price (in thousands)
The above statistics are for detached single family homes and were compiled from data collected by the Multiple Listing Service (Midwest Real Estate Data LLC), and may not include all home sales
Prices: Average and median prices were down this quarter. This is partly due to more sales occurring in the lower price ranges. However, in a recovery it takes longer for prices to bounce back than the number of sales. Distressed sales are increasing in number and will continue to hold prices down. The price numbers for the individual suburbs vary widely, but you cannot look at prices in one suburb in one quarter and discern much. The sample size is too small and can be thrown off by a few low or high end sales. Overall North Shore prices were down, but if the number of sales continues at the current pace or, better yet, increases that will help prices.
Interest Rates: Conforming loans (loans below $417,000) continue to have excellent rates with fixed rates at about 4 percent and adjustable rates in the 3 percent area. Jumbo loans also have good rates with the fixed rate at about 4.75 percent and adjustable rates in the lower threes.
Short Sales & Foreclosures: After drifting down for a couple years, the number of short sales and foreclosures is rising again. This is primarily because banks have resolved or settled some of the issues that caused them to halt many foreclosures that were in the pipeline. But now they are again moving properties through and placing them on the market. 27% of sales in the North Shore this quarter were either a short sale or foreclosure.
FYI: The most expensive home in the Midwest was listed this quarter at 2700 Point, Highland Park for $29 million. It is home.