Is the evanston real estate market in decline?

Asked by Dunross, Evanston, IL Wed Dec 15, 2010

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Ranj Mohip, Other Pro, Chicago, IL
Wed Apr 6, 2011
Evanston's market is not in decline. Like the rest of the country, there was a decline in value, but value has returned. The market time is considerably less than other North Shore communities.

The information in this answer is general information and is not intended as legal advice, nor do I intend to create an attorney-client relationship with any reader by answering this question or otherwise contributing as a member of
2 votes
Michael Hobbs, , Chicago, IL
Sat Jun 25, 2011
Good Evening,
Evanston is quite a diverse market.
Depending on whether you are speaking of South Evanston, boardering Rogers Park, or East Evanston along Lake Michigan with historic homes, or Evanston of Northwestern University proximity or even Evanston of Skokie proximity, the market is general has showed some strength, but across most price points, there is still a lot of weakness. It is a great time to buy. Much tougher time to sell especially if someone bought in the past 5 years as they are almost assured to be under water, aka negative equity, which can result in a potential seller having to consider a short sale because the value of their home has dropped so much that mortgage exceeds the market value.

Depending on which economists you like to follow, housing is not going to pick back up (based on 2nd qtr 2011 prognostications) until at least 2013 if not 2014.

And Evanston is an all round great place to own and live due to its growing downtown area, proximity to Lake Michigan, Northwestern University influence and strong, generally stable home ownership base.


Michael Hobbs
PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy
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0 votes
Summerville-…, Agent, Evanston, IL
Sat Feb 19, 2011
No. There are the foreclosures and short sales which are keeping prices stable. Any houses that require rehab or even redecorating are sitting on the market and skewing the statistics. However, homes that look great and are priced right are selling fast. In the past two weeks many homes have sold within days of being listed...some in multiple offers.
Savvy buyers who are willing to put in some elbow grease can find good deals. Those looking for perfection should be ready to act quickly.
0 votes
Dayle Lively, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Wed Dec 15, 2010
Hello Mr. or Ms. Dunross,

Actually, the market statistics for Evanston show an improvement in 2010 compared to 2009. There were 310 single family homes that sold in 2009, compared to 370 homes sold in 2010, with the average median selling price rising about 3% in 2010. In the condo/townhouse category, there was an increase in the number of units sold from 370 in 2009 to 416 sold in 2010; the median selling price rose about 1.5%. Evanston has a large and varied inventory of condos and townhouses, so competition is stiff. Of course, as you have heard from other agents, the properties that sold via foreclosure and short sale kept the prices down from peak years, but it's definitely encouraging to see upward movement in both the number of sales and the prices.

Many of us call Evanston our North Shore "urban suburb" because it offers many of the features sought after in the suburbs--tranquil green space, good schools, family activities, and wonderful recreation facilities in its parks, beaches, and ice rink. Yet as a town with a considerably higher population (about 75,000) than its neighboring villages to the north, it also offers a much larger and very vibrant downtown area with theaters and a wide array of restaurants and shops. Along with its excellent public transportation options and proximity to the city, Evanston will continue to be a highly desirable place to live.

I've lived and worked on the North Shore for many years--eight of them in Evanston. I'd be happy to answer any further questions you might have, or to help you with your home sale/search.

Best regards,

Dayle Lively
0 votes
Gerry Gibbs, Agent, Evanston, IL
Wed Dec 15, 2010
Mark Twain is often quoted (rightly or wrongly) as saying, "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics." Depending on how you pull the statistics, an argument can be made that prices in Evanston either rose, fell, or were stable over the last year.

I answer from the perspective of someone who is very analytical and closely tracks the Evanston and surrounding marketplaces (Skokie, Wilmette, Glenview, Rogers Park (east and west)) and who participates in gathering statistical data for Morgan Stanley's research deparment for the broader Chicagoland area.

My answer assumes you refer to price when you speak of decline. There are other interpretations to your question - and it's unclear which meaning you seek an answer to.

In that regard, I agree with Alan and Noah, who - like me - reguarly work the Evanston marketplace. They are correct Evanston is a dynamic, vibrant market, that has not escaped the overall trends of the past couple years, but which also hasn't suffered as much as surrounding communities - because it remains a destination marketplace thanks to the University, the proximity to the lakefront, and the presence of the commuter trains (el and Metra.) As a diverse community with regard to its housing stock (styles, ages, and types) and the accompanying lifestyles for that housing stock (condo living being different than living in a house, for example), some areas have fared more poorly than others.

In general, over the past rolling 12 months, prices have been stable to modestly up for both houses and condos, with the recovery hitting houses earlier than condos. However, the number of deals is still down substantially (30 to 40%) and market times appear to have stabilized.

Realize the pricing picture depends to a large extent on market composition, to borrow an economics phrase. When as a percentage of deals, most of the sales are distressed properties, the average price will show big drops because generally the distressed deals are steeply discounted, pulling the average down disproportionately. When there is more normal activity occuring - and the market mix better matched to historical norms -- prices rise from the distressed level, on the average. This doesn't mean the value of a particular property rose or fell in its instrinsic value, it means the type and number of properties comprising the average has deviated from its normal mix.

In the go-go years of lots of new construction, the phenomonen was seen in a different way. It appeared prices were going up 20% a year simply because a lot of new construction inventory was added to the marketplace. It didn't mean the value of a vintage condo necessarily went up 20% in a year. It meant the average of condo sales shifted in response to a change in the relative number of new and old properties in the average.

The value of a particular property is subject to what a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to sell for.

There remain more sellers who want to sell than buyers who want to buy - so prices will be under presssure until there is better balance in the marketplace between buyers and sellers. You need to segment the market between condos, co-ops, and houses - because they are all very different markets, just as the dynamics for the vintage market is different than the new construction market.

Evanston has fared far better than its neighbors in Rogers Park, Skokie, and Glenview - for different reasons in each community. Wilmette, for houses, has so far outperformed Evanston. It has a limited condo marketplace, so it's difficult to compare on that front.

Feel free to be in touch with me to discuss the specifics behind your question.
0 votes
Jack Flash, , Mount Prospect, IL
Wed Dec 15, 2010
I would say, no it's not. Over the past 12 months, the median price of both attached and detached homes in Evanston hit a high point in August this year of 400,500. If you were comparing November to August, it's look like prices have fallen 20.3 percent. But November 2009 to November 2010, median price is up 12.6 percent.

It's interesting though that the price per square foot has fallen over the same 12 months. But square footage is a tough thing to get a handle on. The multiple listing service in our area, in their infinite wisdom, has chosen to make square footage an optional field. Actually, they just recently made it mandatory, but you can enter zero. So it's pointless. The reason I bring it up though is that there were enough agents who took the time to enter square footage on their listing that there was enough for comparison. Dollars per square foot has dropped from $296 in November 2009 to $187 last month. What this shows us is that even though sale prices are up some, people are getting a lot more house for their money.

The Chicago area, generally speaking seems to be recovering slowly. I wouldn't hold my breath for any earth shattering gains, but I believe most of the Chicago area has hit bottom and is coming up now. This, of course, can change. Money supply, inventory, public mood, so many things factor into it. But as long as nothing too bad happens, we should continue on this upward trend.

I can give you market information down to street level. Drop me a line if you have further questions.

Jack Jentzen
Prudential Starck Realtors
Cell/Text: (224) 234-5276
0 votes
Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Wed Dec 15, 2010
Not sure where your question comes from, and why you are asking it in the first place..... Do you intend to buy, to sell, rent or just wondering....

You know when buying it always depends on what exactly YOU are looking for, what your needs are, what you like and dislike, and since it seems you are already in Evanston, you do know it well, or so I assume!

So you should sit with an area Realtor, or at least via e-mail discuss your options, where you work, why you would potentially buy in Evanston and where in Evanston. And it depends are you looking for a vintage condo, a newer condo (and with pool and elevator etc. etc. you monthly assessments need to be considered) are you looking to buy a single family home? And would you consider buying in surrounding suburbs like Lincolnwood, Skokie, Wilmette.....

All markets depend on the economy, the unemployment, how many short sales and foreclosures are on the market and how many selling properties are considered distressed properties...... For buying though, this is if employment is safe, good credit and a nice down payment, is a great time now......Asking prices are low,
negotiations are often easier than ever before, and the interest rates are low.....

As I said before it all depends why you are buying or thinking about it, what and what your price range is.

Good Luck to you!
Edith YourRealtor4Life and Chicago/Northshore Expert
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients
0 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Wed Dec 15, 2010
While prices in Evanston have retracted quite a bit, and sales are off their peak, the market in Evanston has held up pretty well, in comparison with other markets in the area and in the country.

Properties that are priced right, continue to sell, and Evanston continues to be a desireable location for buyers. We've seen a bit of a sales bump in the last quarter, so sales are actually climbing at the moment, so I would not consider the Evanston real estate market to be in decline.

The Evanston market is selling better than many of it's North Shore counterparts, so the short answer to your question is "No, the Evanston market is NOT in decline".
0 votes
Noah Seidenb…, Agent, Evanston, IL
Wed Dec 15, 2010
Quite the opposite. I have had a good year. Evanston has had prices go down like any other community but some buyers who are educated call it a correction. I have sold houses and condos all year in Evanston and never have stopped for years. Please call or email me and I will show you raw data. Evanston is a transient community in the good sense. People are coming and going for NU as students and professors and workers, I get tons of calls from young married city couples wanting to move into Evanston from their city condos as they start to have children and are thinking about houses Vs condos. The schools are quite good. The middle schools especially.
I’d love to show you no obligation.
Please view my sites, I am an Evanston specialist.
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker Evanston
Toll Free (800) 858-7917
Office (847) 316-8529
Fax (847) 939-5636
On the web:
Real Estate Specialist Chicago-land and Suburbs
Licensed Illinois real estate agent
My blog:
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