Year in Review
2022 Letter

December 2022

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I am excited to bring you a year in review.  This is the first time I have taken this format, but I would be remiss if I didn’t address all that 2022 encompassed. It has been a very interesting year as we navigated a path of an unexpected, changing market.

2022 was a great year for Helen Oliveri Real Estate. We are proud to announce that we have reached over half a million dollars in career sales and almost 3,000 career sales transactions in only 20 years.   We have updated a lot of our systems to make our team run even more efficiently for our clients, welcomed new team members, and enjoyed bringing numerous buyers and sellers together in transactions to reach their real estate dreams. We are so proud of our accomplishments and the awards we won, including the Green Award from the Village of Hawthorn Woods for being an environmentally conscious business. We won the Top 5% Homesnap Agent award, expanded our social media reach by over 186% and we are especially proud of our giving back efforts to show our gratitude for the support we receive from the community and our clients. We love being able to say thank you with our community events and sponsorships and are excited to announce that we had a record number of attendees for many of these events.

There’s a lot of fear regarding the market right now, but there’s no need for it. We’re still listing and selling homes for buyers and sellers and the market is moving. Our company is proudly reflecting on all of the great accomplishments through tumultuous years and we are ready for the new year ahead where we anticipate rebuilding and exponentially growing through resilience and fortitude. 

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“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” ―Pele

It has now been 3 years since I launched Helen Oliveri Real Estate as an independent brokerage and I am humbled by the ongoing support which has allowed us to thrive during challenging times.  We launched in October of 2019 and within a few months the entire world was shut down from the pandemic.  It was an unprecedented time and we managed to plunge forward despite the uncertain path bestowed upon us due to Covid-19. The reality of what the pandemic encompassed could have ruined us, but we pushed through and became stronger than ever showing that passion to succeed would help us overcome the new found challenges we were facing. It was sad to see the world and so many people suffering through this new normal. Many businesses struggled and through those hardships the world continued to move ahead. For the last few years, we are finally back to a somewhat normal environment where we see life as it was pre-pandemic. Clearly the resolve of the people kept us all moving forward because we were determined to get up and move ahead. We rallied together and we survived together. 

“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right.” ―Tony Robbins

Things shift quickly…

Fast forward to 2022, where like the last few years, we experienced another unprecedented real estate market. In the midst of the pandemic, the market shifted quickly to a seller’s market producing an uptick we haven’t seen in decades.  Multiple offers, appraisal waivers, incredible pricing, bidding wars and insane terms to win the offer situation blanketed the market creating an optimal time for sellers to gain returns that were unheard of due to a shortage of inventory in the marketplace combined with incredibly low interest rates.  That market carried on for almost 2 years and as we continued to explore the wonderment of this market, the interest rates abruptly rose to make the highest rate climb in almost 2 decades.  Suddenly the market started to halt as buyers pulled back.  

Low and behold, the enthusiasm that fueled the seller’s market vanished seemingly overnight.  A certain level of panic grew with concerns that we were about to repeat the disaster of 2008.  However, we also know that none of the last 4 years have been typical or predictable, making it a time to circle back to the basics with the most experienced professionals and to evaluate how to not only shift properly to withstand this new market that was quickly bestowed on us, but to also thrive and succeed. This correction of the market was inevitable and while no one can predict the market, the telltale signs of a shift were very obvious.

The Federal Reserve raised the interest rates multiple times in the fall, which we all know is a surefire way to slow the market due to the fact that many buyers’ purchasing power changes when rates go up.  If buyers aren’t buying, sellers are forced to correct their pricing to fuel activity, making home values decline. That is in a typical market. In this unique market, we have little supply which has caused sellers to stand more firm.  While some price adjustments are happening, we aren’t seeing dramatic declines. In fact, we are still seeing buyers who are purchasing homes though it is taking a little longer for them to do so.  The hovering fear that has pounced on the real estate market that is causing alarm is unnecessary. In fact, I am sure the real estate market will be alright. 

Why our market is not like the crash of 2008

According to the National Association of Realtors, a survey was conducted by LendingTree showing that 41% of Americans fear a housing crash similar to that of 2008.  Laurence Yun who is a Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors states that there are many key differences between the debilitating crash of 2008 versus today’s shifting market. Yun states there are 5 differences to consider. 

    • “The labor market remains strong. In the last major housing downturn, there were 8 million job losses in a single year. Now there are virtually none. Though layoffs in the technology and mortgage industries are occurring, they haven’t accumulated enough to form a net job loss, Yun noted. A strong job market bodes well for housing’s future.”
    • Less risky loans. Yun also noted the subprime loans that were prevalent during the 2008 housing bust are basically nonexistent today.
    • Underbuilding and inventory shortages. New-home construction prior to the 2008 crash was amounting to 7.65 million units annually. Today, it’s 4.6 million. Yun points to “a massive housing shortage” from a decade of underproduction in the housing market.
    • Delinquency lows. About 10% of all mortgage borrowers were delinquent on their loans in the previous housing bust. The mortgage delinquency rate is now at 3.6%, holding at historical lows, Yun said.
    • Ultra-low foreclosure rates. Homes in foreclosure reached a rate of 4.6% during the last housing crash as homeowners who saw their property values plunge walked away from their loans. Today, the percentage of homes in foreclosure is 0.6%—also at historical lows, Yun said. He predicted foreclosures to remain at historical lows in 2023.”

This information is timely and extremely encouraging that we will NOT head into the catastrophe of the crash of 2008. With a small amount of homes in foreclosure, little job cuts, almost no subprime loans it’s unlikely we will see the same effects of the 2008 market. And while interest rates hiked up more than we have seen in decades, the reality is they couldn’t stay as low as they were forever. It was inevitable they needed to rise to stabilize the market and the economy.  It’s probable the rates will stay where they are today, which are still at a decent percentage making homeownership affordable.  With the lack of inventory, buyers will end up buying.  After all, you can’t stop your life and your journey because of the interest rates.  People will move along as they simply have to and rising to the tide is expected. We learn from history and we can see that history is not repeating itself in this situation.  It’s just happening faster than anticipated and now that the market correction is here, people tend to panic. This timely data from NAR and Chief Economist, Laurence Yun demonstrates that this market is going to be OK and not like 2008.  Fear not, it will be ok and we all know the numbers don’t lie.  Facts are facts….the rest is projections based on economic conditions. And while inflation is high and the economy is flat it will balance and correct itself as well. Turbulent times don’t last forever, nothing does in real estate. It’s ever evolving.

US Home Price
Expectations and Anticipation…

According to Fannie Mae, many consumers expect housing prices to decline.  Much anticipation of this could be because of inflation, economic turbulence and the largest interest rate hike we have seen in decades. But to be clear, that does not mean we will not have a real estate market. The market may shift but we also have historically low inventory and that affects the rate of sales.  Pricing is holding steady simply because there is less housing to compete with slowing the decline rate.  While the data shows a slight decline it’s important to remember that consumer anticipation is largely based on media influence.

Let’s talk national market data

According to the National Association of Realtors the November data was promising with 4.09 million sales and a month over month increase of 7.7% and a year over year of 35.4%.  The inventory was at 3.3 months which is up from November of 2021 where it was 2.1 months. As you can see, there is a slower growth rate  and probably a result of the interest rates rising as much as they did in this fall season.  Finally, the median sale price was $370,700 which year over year is up 3.5% and that is a direct result of the low inventory that drove up sales prices.  As you can see, the market is moving and will continue to do so.

Let’s talk local numbers….Lake County MARKET UPDATE

The numbers always tell the story. It’s very clear when you look at the numbers and analyzing the numbers is what I do.  To know the numbers is to know the market.  Lake County statistics for November 2021-2022 and year to date tell a story, and do you know what that story is?  Look at this chart from Illinois Realtors showing the statistics for housing to determine the health of the market. The median sales price from 2021 to 2022 is +4.1% which shows growth in closed sales price. That means sellers got more money this year than the previous year.  Inventory went down to -18.6% from 2021 to 2022 and the number of closed homes in 2021 was 1,029 vs. 2022 was 670.  Clearly the sales went down substantially showing a huge lack in inventory in Lake County, yet pricing for closed sales for those that sold went up and really the greatest challenge we see in our County is a lack of homes for sale.  Once we have more inventory the market will slowly adjust and balance in a self correcting mode.  The majority of homes sold are single family homes with 504 homes closing in November of 2022 and the average median price is $345,963. However, the median sales price for all homes was $312,250.  And finally the year over year chart below shows the needle has been rising since 2017 showing a slow and steady growth with a few dips here and there.

Where Helen Oliveri Real Estate is today

It’s with great resolve that I approach 2023.  I am excited for the future and we have spent the last half of 2022 restructuring our business to reflect the new trends and growth trajectory we expect to take. I have spent years establishing systems and tools to be ahead of the curve and provide an experience to our clients that is unmatched.  Our technology rivals the best available, each staff member has at least a decade of experience with us and our brokers are talented and trained extensively.  Our brokerage creates an opportunity for brokers to thrive through our culture, systems and tools, without the added pressures of financial stress that comes from a typical brokerage model.  We streamline the entire process for listings, transaction management and more. In turn, our clients have an unmatched experience because we always strive to be the best in every way for our growing business.  Our future largely depends on the relationships we build and maintain. 

I want you to think about how you can get into our real estate climate and participate with us to get you what you want out of it.  When I think about how exciting it is to have Helen Oliveri Real Estate, I want to shout from the rooftops that we are here to help you make your best move.  After all, we are here to serve and we are going places that no one can imagine. It’s time to leap ahead, not just step ahead and we can’t wait. Looking forward, I want to address 3 core values that will drive us into 2023, both in-house and client facing.  

  1. Nurturing success for everyone.  No one succeeds alone and we know that intimately.  Our goal is to take care of your real estate needs above and beyond to create the ultimate experience for you. Whether a buyer, seller or broker, we tailor our services to meet your expectations to create a successful experience that is memorable.  We are all tech savvy, mobile and are accessible to help you above and beyond normal expectations.  Ethical advocacy, trustworthiness and integrity. You’ll see this in everything we do.
  2. Exponential growth; everyday in all ways.  Our goal is to be the broker of choice.  As a managing broker owner who has boots on the ground, I am always here to help people grow. I personally train and hold accountable every team member to uphold our high standards.  We plan on adding several internal support staff, several brokers to accommodate your every request.  We will handle it all for you and I will work tirelessly to ensure that our growth is never compromised in service and satisfaction.  
  3. Future forward; best in class.  To be the best in class is an achievement that takes a special kind of mindset. We have that mindset and spirit that drives us forward.  We have to start from the ground up and rebuild through the chaos.  We have goals of expansion & market share, media domination, communication upgrades, digital space and world class marketing that are on the cusp of greatness.  We plan on disrupting the market and making our name the household name.  Best in class.  Unapologetically.

““Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. Time will pass anyway.” ―Earl Nightingale

It’s amazing how time flies.  It seems like yesterday I launched Helen Oliveri Real Estate and even with all of the trials and tribulations, the success we have experienced is only the beginning.  It was my best move to branch off and open our company and I know we are going to be exactly who we want to be with resolve, resilience, persistence and determination.  You have to rise like a Phoenix to soar beyond your wildest imagination. 

I can’t believe that my son is 11 years old. He thinks and acts like a grown man, swims like a fish, is fluent in Greek and is thriving in school, sports and his communities. He has a vibrant personality and a brilliant mind. My daughter is 9, and also fluent in Greek, swims like a fish, loves school, is a gymnast and loves being active in her communities. She is a fierce competitor with a heart of gold. Our home renovation is completely done (it only took 3 years; Omg) our business is in growth mode and I’m working on getting back to my best self after a challenging year (Covid almost killed me twice; literally and that’s a story for another day.)  My husband is still at it with videography, photography, drones, technology and everything else he does both at work and at home.  Our family is doing well and we are juggling home and work life as best as we can.

I leave you with a sense of gratefulness.  Wow, what a year. I made it is all I can say; we all did!  All my dreams came true when I launched Helen Oliveri Real Estate and now I have new dreams that I know can be accomplished with your continued support. And by taking care of you and nurturing you, we will get there.  We will all experience success. While we have gone through a lot on the real estate roller coaster, I am overwhelmed with a sense of hope and renewed enthusiasm for what’s to come.  I’d like to close with a great big thank you from my family and all of us at Helen Oliveri Real Estate.  I personally wish you all the best in 2023 including happiness, health and prosperity.  Let’s remember that we all need one another so let’s be supportive and kind while we lift each other towards success.  Thank you for being you and allowing us to be a part of your journey.  We are eternally grateful.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.

Best regards,

Helen Oliveri
Designated Managing Broker Owner
Helen Oliveri Real Estate
101 W. Gilmer Road
Hawthorn Woods IL 60047

December 26, 2022

Helen OliveriYear in Review – 2022 Letter