False Alarm

September 2018 View more

Photo courtesy Scott Gerami

In June, online finance resource GoBankingRates.com named Naperville as one of 13 cities across the country experiencing a decline
in home values. The report stated that in March 2018 the median list price of a home was $433,495, compared with $435,238 the year before—a fall of $1,743.

“Until recently, home prices in Naperville were rising due to a demand for homes in family-friendly communities outside of Chicago,” the report read. “But they’re now on the downturn.”

But Bill Gill, managing broker at Baird & Warner, says he disagrees with the findings.

“My report shows the average close price is up from $454,170 in 2017 to $482,376 in 2018,” he says.

According to Gill, the highest growth is in the luxury end of the market: “The biggest surprise is in the $1,000,000 to $1,999,999 price range,” he says. “There were 16 homes sold in 2017 and 32 in 2018. No other category was doubled.” In fact, a home on Naperville’s Oxford Lane recently sold for $3 million—the first sold at that price point in more than seven years.

Scott Gerami, a licensed broker with Re/Max Professionals Select, agrees that home prices are actually on the rise.

“If you look at the average sale price here in Naperville—versus 12 months ago—it has gone up $10,000, or approximately 2.2 percent, and they are selling in less time,” he says. “It’s not a lot, but certainly not going down.”

But Gerami admits it is taking longer to sell higher-end homes over $750,000, sometimes almost a year.

“The only anomaly I notice in the upper price ranges is location,” he adds. “If the home is located in or near downtown Naperville, it seems to sell a lot faster than the other areas.”

One real estate agent who does agree somewhat with the report is Alice Chin, with Keller Williams Realty Infinity.

“I would agree with these findings within certain prices and areas in Naperville,” she says. “Some of the areas, notably town homes, have not seen very much appreciation in recent years, and actually have a slight downturn.”

Chin says the upper end of the market has been affected more than the lower end, where inventory levels are still very low.

The one thing all three agents agree on? It is a good time to buy.

“There are always deals and great houses that come up in wonderful locations,” says Gerami. “The trick is to get there first to get it before someone else. You need to be vigilant and aggressive.”