Brokers predict a strong spring market

Falling interest rates and fall presidential election among the factors affecting home sales


Last updated 1/31/2024 at 4:37pm | View PDF

Jim Slonoff

Brokers familiar with Hinsdale predict a strong spring real estate market, in part because interest rates are beginning to fall. Even in a seller's market, it's important for homes to be ready to show. "People are willing to not have everything redone and new, but as meticulous as you can get your house to be, that still applies," Compass broker Kris Berger said. (Jim Slonoff photo)

Potential buyers who drive around Hinsdale aren't likely to see all that many "for sale" signs in front yards. Area real estate brokers have some theories on why that's the case.

"I think that people over 55 that used to go to the city - as we know, no one wants to go to the city anymore - and they are just staying in their house because their interest rate is low," said Kris Berger, a real estate broker with Compass. "They don't want to buy something that is a so-called 'downsize' and have a bigger mortgage payment."

Some buyers are choosing not to put their homes on the public market, said Dawn McKenna, a broker with Coldwell Banker.

"There's a real trend right now in private reserve," she said. "A lot of people call me and say, 'Dawn, I know you have access to all these buyers. I would sell my house. This is what I want. Keep it in your back pocket.' I'm seeing a lot more of that than I have in the past."

Inventory on the public market is down considerably, said Bryan Bomba, a real estate broker with @properties. Typically there are four to six months of inventory in a stable market, and right now it is a little over two months.

"It's definitely favoring sellers again," he said.

The good news is that homes are selling quickly.

"Right now in Hinsdale, the average time between the time a property is listed and the time it goes under contract is 37 days," Bomba reported.

And things are looking up, he and other agents agreed.

"The inventory is not as limited now in 2024 as it had been over the course of the past three years," Bomba said. "There is greater liquidity."

McKenna said she's very excited for this year in Hinsdale.

"I think the spring market is off to the races," she said. "I think it's super positive. We haven't been this busy in 12 months. Jan. 2 came and the phones started ringing."

Interest rates, which already have started to drop, are likely to continue to do so. Berger said that's the message she heard both at a recent conference she attended and from her husband, who is a mortgage lender.

"They all seem to think that the interest rates are going to have a 5 in front of them at the second half of the year, so that being said, it will be a feeding frenzy, I think," she said.

Another positive for the market is the November general election.

"This is a presidential election year, and historically real estate markets are very vibrant, at least during the first two quarters of a presidential election year," Bomba said. "Additionally, the stock market is just soaring. People are definitely wealthier as a result of their involvement in the stock market as well."

Regardless of inventory and interest rates, people will always need to move. Berger and Bomba cited the five D's that cause people to move: diamonds, diapers, diplomas, divorce and death.

"People have to move and they want to move. Things happen. Life goes on," Berger said. "People will never stop needing or wanting to move because of things that happen in life."

The young families who moved out of the city during COVID are drawing even more young families to Hinsdale, Berger said.

"Now all their friends want to live where they live," she said.

Buyers have coped with the recent high rates by adjusting their purchase price, obtaining a private loan or pursuing more creative financing, the brokers said.

And no matter what the rates, Hinsdale is a popular destination for buyers.

"Obviously we know the reasons why everyone wants to live in Hinsdale," Berger said.

Brokers said the positive signs they are starting to see will only get stronger.

"If you look at the bell curve, the top of the bell curve is usually June," Bomba said. "That means properties transact in April. It typically takes 60 days to close a deal. It typically takes 30 days to market a property, so that's February. February is a peak month."

McKenna offered a similar forecast.

"I think we're in the journey right now," she said. "I really think that this spring is going to be amazing, and my prediction is June will be the most closings we've seen year over year for two years.

"I'm very excited about it and I'm very bullish on the Hinsdale market," she added.

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean


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