Villas for empty nesters hot property
Despite the ongoing housing slump, market analysts are not surprised that buyers have been snatching up the new homes under construction in Glenview off of Shermer Road. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 5, 2012 6:25AM
GLENVIEW — Despite a slow housing market, empty nester home sales have been brisk in a large Glenview development.
Yet, the good showing is not a surprise to people who watch the local housing market as a profession.
The homes went on sale May 5 at the Regency at The Glen Villas off Shermer Road, and buyers have snatched up 37 of the 40 villas.
Maria Wilhelm, vice president of sales for Pulte Homes, said her company built the empty nesters for active adults.
“But we’ve also been selling to first-time home buyers and move-up buyers from smaller homes,” she said. “It seems the empty nester set has expanded to people in different stages of their lives.”
Acknowledging the current struggling market, Wilhelm said, “The Glen has worked. It has all the right elements: proximity to the city, proximity to the highways, pricing, coupled with the quality of what Pulte Homes was available to offer.
The villas start at $500,000. Regency at The Glen also has 109 row homes from $299,000 to the mid-$300,000s, of which 21 have been sold.
Jeff Brady, Glenview’s director of Planning, said the high quality of local programs for seniors also figured into the villas selling well.
“With the duplex villas being built for seniors without children, there is no major impact on local school districts. The homes are more compact and smaller in square feet,” he said, adding the added tax base for village will be unknown until one year after home occupancies.
“All the Glenview village departments met and commented on the project’s proposals. There were about 140 units, and they were seen as not having a major impact on village services,” Brady said.
“I think when you look at surrounding villages, Glenview has housing activity that is no happening elsewhere.”
According to the S&P Dow Jones Indices report, national home prices increased again in July.
However, prices had gone down .9 percent in the Chicago metro area since July 2011.
Still, Maureen Maitland, vice president of S&P Dow Jones Indices, said home prices were down a full 7 percent in February 2011.
“Chicago has suffered since 2007, but in the last couple of months we’ve seen improvement,” she said.
Spencer Cowan, vice president of Woodstock Institute in Chicago, was not surprised the Regency duplexes were nearly all sold.
Before the economic downturn and housing slump, people purchased bigger homes, whereas after they showed caution, he explained.
“People are moving into smaller places, but still want a good school district for children. The quality of education is still a key factor in housing choices,” he said.