Summer 2020 Chicagoland Market Update: A Whole New World of Real Estate

Olive Well broker Charlie Wood breaks down the current market trends, and offers up the best details about 345 W. Onwentsia Rd.



The past several months have brought about huge changes to our daily lives as we have all adapted to working from home, using this funny sounding website called Zoom, and wearing masks whenever we leave the house.


Real estate has been no different. We saw a major slowdown in the market during March and April, months that typically see some of the highest market activity throughout the year. With lockdown orders happening all over the country and restrictions placed upon the real estate industry, the typical spring market was impacted significantly. According to MRED, new listings slowed to a trickle and pending home sales dropped at least 50% during some weeks year over year. 


What happened next was something many of us could not have predicted—starting in late April, as phase one moved into 2 and after people had several months at home to assess their housing situations, consumer mentality started to shift in dramatic ways. In essence, as people adapted to their new normal, they found themselves wanting more space in which to live as the reality of work from home and summer with kids at home from sports and camp became inescapable. Whether in the city or the suburbs, market activity picked up significantly during the months of May and June, and shows no signs of slowing down. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, ‘in the first week of June, contracts were up 18 percent from the same time a year earlier; in the fourth week, they were up 33 percent.’ In Lake Forest, the month of June saw a 247 percent increase in homes under contract from this time last year, even as the number of homes for sale was down 41 percent. The summer months are generally a dreary time in real estate as people turn their focus to summer vacations, music festivals, and baseball games. Needless to say, most of those plans have been dashed this year. So an atypical year has turned into an atypical real estate market, and many are of the belief that it is here to stay for some time. 


The Olive Well Team has experienced our own microcosm of this larger market trend, as many of our clients have also come out of the woodwork to make significant life changes, many of them several years before they intended to do so. Today’s post will highlight some of these stories and observations from our experiences helping our clients as well as highlight some of our great listings that could be an opportunity for you or someone you know.


One example that illustrates what consumers are up to today comes from our sellers of 2256 Lincoln Park West. Having outgrown their space in the city, our sellers were already ready to make the move to the suburbs.

They listed their condo just prior to the pandemic (great timing!) and lived through one of the slowest beginnings to the spring market in memory. However, as the market picked back up as spring turned into summer and buyers started coming back out in full force, they received multiple offers on their beautiful Lincoln Park home after a small price reduction to $900,000. Having been searching for several months with their condo on the market and with it newly under contract, they were ready to act on a gorgeous house in Winnetka. Their experience helps us understand that the changes to the market are not unique to the city or the suburbs. There is increased activity everywhere as needs are met in both locations. 

Similarly, in West Town, the sellers of 1754 W Augusta Boulevard recently found that they had outgrown their place and were looking to spread their wings in the suburbs. They listed when the market was starting to normalize, and it didn’t take long for them to receive two offers. Having secured a contract on their house, they were able to secure their dream house in Highland Park in short order. 


Which brings us to our latest suburban listing at 345 W. Onwentsia Road in East Lake Forest. This turnkey, almost-new construction house is the perfect oasis for summer fun in the yard…

…entertaining friends and family…

...and working from home in the multiple den/office spaces.

Built by the esteemed Landmark Development Group with custom millwork, 10 ft ceilings, and 6 massive bedrooms, "something for everyone" doesn't even begin to describe this house.

Beautiful details abound, like the gorgeous tile floor foyer, butler's pantry, and sparkling white kitchen.

The nearly one acre backyard was recently renovated by Perricone Bros. Landscaping for an ideal summer hangout (and plenty of room for a pool, too!).

We really can't stop thinking about the gorgeous home and its sprawling back yard. Click here for more information. You can also watch a preview video or take a 3-D virtual tour.


Perhaps the most interesting change to come from the current market trend is a new generation of renters deciding that buying a home is a far better use of their savings than paying rent on a cramped, overpriced apartment, particularly in light of historically low interest rates.


A client of ours recently won a multiple offer bid on a gorgeous turn of the century converted carriage house in Lincoln Park with three outdoor places, a feature that no-doubt drives considerable interest in today’s climate. This example helps reinforce the experience that agents all over Chicago are witnessing- namely that multiple offers are becoming more of the norm than the exception, especially for truly special properties. 


We hope that you learned something today about changes to the real estate industry. We are always happy to discuss these things in more detail as every situation is unique. Feel free to reach out directly to see how we can customize our approach to help you.

1643 N Milwaukee 

Chicago, IL

Tel 773.480.5078

@Olive.Well

#WhereAllLiveWell

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OLIVE WELL IS A TEAM OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS AFFILIATED WITH COMPASS, A LICENSED REAL ESTATE BROKER WITH A PRINCIPAL OFFICE IN CHICAGO, IL, AND ABIDES BY ALL APPLICABLE EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY LAWS. ALL MATERIAL PRESENTED HEREIN IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. INFORMATION IS COMPILED FROM SOURCES DEEMED RELIABLE BUT IS SUBJECT TO ERRORS, OMISSIONS, CHANGES IN PRICE, CONDITION, SALE, OR WITHDRAWAL WITHOUT NOTICE. NO STATEMENT IS MADE AS TO ACCURACY OF ANY DESCRIPTION. ALL MEASUREMENTS AND SQUARE FOOTAGES ARE APPROXIMATE. THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO SOLICIT PROPERTY ALREADY LISTED. NOTHING HEREIN SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL, ACCOUNTING OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE OUTSIDE THE REALM OF REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE.