Chicago’s established North Shore suburbs of Glencoe and Winnetka are some of the top locales for younger families looking to buy outside of the city, primarily because of these suburbs’ quality school districts and close proximity to Lake Michigan.

  • Glencoe and Winnetka are considered by one source to be the top Chicago suburbs and the best for schools.
  • Overall home values in the North Shore will appreciation year-over-year by around 3 percent in 2016.
  • Average time on the market in the North Shore is 200 days.

Chicago’s established North Shore suburbs of Glencoe and Winnetka are some of the top locales for younger families looking to buy outside of the city, primarily because of these suburbs’ quality school districts and close proximity to Lake Michigan.

North Shore schools fuel real estate demand

Erika J Mitchell / Shutterstock.com

“The schools are our industry,” Sherry Molitor, an agent with BHHS KoenigRubloff Realty Group.

Niche.com recently dubbed the New Trier Township High School District, which encompasses both Winnetka and Glencoe, as the top Chicago metro school district for 2016.

While this will attract a number of family buyers to these suburbs, being in the midst of the school year, along with seasonality, doesn’t bode well for a number of sellers.

Are Chicago suburbs a more affordable option for young buyers?

According to Molitor, Winnetka was recently three months oversupplied; however, because a host of sellers have taken their homes off the market for the winter that oversupply is now gone.

“It (a home) has to priced very aggressively,” she said, adding the average market time on the North Shore is 200 days and that homes built 80 to 100 years ago are struggling to sell the most.

A large segment of sellers in these suburbs are baby boomers looking to downsize after their children have left the house or are in college.

Younger buyers targeting these baby boomer homes are looking for more turnkey residences; however, they’re finding interiors and finishes typically need updated.

With an average home price around $1.2 million, Winnetka ranks as one of the most expensive markets in the North Shore market.

Wilmette offers a bit of an affordable alternative, with an average price around $700K. In these markets, along with Kenilworth, Molitor expects roughly three percent year-over-year price appreciation this year.

In another ranking, Niche dubbed Glencoe and Winnetka as the top and third best suburbs, respectively, in Chicago. The nearby markets of Northbrook and Kenilworth ranked as the 7th and 8th best suburbs.

Email Erik Pisor

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