Local Community, Great Schools Drawing More Home Buyers to Elmhurst

​By Anicka Slachta (Patch Staff)

Despite reports that DuPage County home values are decreasing, Elmhurst realtors are saying that local business is good — and getting even better.

The DuPage Policy Journal recently reported that in the past decade, local homes have dropped in value by as much as 48 percent. In Elmhurst, those numbers looked more like 25 percent — a home that was worth $484,674 in Elmhurst in 2007 was worth $363,000 in 2015.

Karen Cookingham, the managing broker at LW Reedy Real Estate, said those numbers are deceiving.

“We have buyers waiting for houses,” she said. “There’s a lot going in the community. We have a thriving downtown.” Elmhurst, she said, is in high demand.

Cookingham said that between 2015 and 2016, numbers started going up in Elmhurst. Realtors were low on inventory for the majority of the year, she said, but around wintertime, when buyers usually aren’t looking as much, they were seeing historically high turnouts at open houses.

She said that this year, especially since winter in the Chicago area has been relatively mild, Elmhurst realtors have seen success in months that are usually slower for offices. This January, she said, her selling rates have been higher than expected.

“We haven’t seen any large drop,” she said, referring to the DuPage Policy Journal’s numbers. “I don’t think that’s how anyone in the market is feeling. We are headed in an upward direction.”

Those numbers were also recorded at the start of a steep recession, she said. It’s unfair to compare those figures to what’s going on now.

In 2016, according to numbers provided by Lena Parsons, who works with the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors, 585 homes were sold in Elmhurst. That number was down 3.2 percent from the previous year, but sales prices jumped 7.6 percent to an average of $536,783. The median sales price in the area also climbed 6.1 percent, to $435,100. Independent data collector Midwest Real Estate Data tracks their numbers, Parsons said.

Cookingham said she’s looking forward to more positive growth in the Elmhurst market in the near future. It’s a great location, she said — a mix of new and old houses in every style — and in-demand due to factors like highly ranked education.

So, yes, property taxes will be affected by factors like schools in the area, she said, but not as drastically as the DuPage Policy Journal’s numbers make it seem.

“Many people buy in DuPage because of the schools,” she said. “If you want good schools, you’re going to have to pay for them.”

For more information about the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors, click here. To see the DuPage Policy Journal’s numbers from the past eight years, visit this site.


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