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Wealthy North Side Buyers Scooped Up Mansions & Penthouses In 2014

Luxury home sales boomed on the North Side of Chicago in 2014 as wealthy buyers rushed in to scoop up mansions, fancy townhouses and penthouse condominiums, a new study reveals.

RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate noted that the city of Chicago posted 1,012 luxury-home sales last year, a 12 percent increase over 2013, and those transactions represented 47 percent of the total 2014 metro luxury market.

The median luxury-home sales price rose 4 percent to $1,419,500, and average market time shrank to 108 days from 141 in 2013. RE/MAX reported.

Detached homes accounted 51 percent of city luxury housing transactions. A total of 517 luxury single-family homes were sold in 2014, a 7 percent increase over 2013. The median sales price on mansions rose 8 percent to $1,462,500. Average market time shortened to 88 days from 120 the previous year.

Six upscale or rising neighborhoods—Lake View, Lincoln Park, Logan Square, Near North, North Center and West Town—accounted for 89 percent of all detached luxury sales, RE/MAX reported.

However, sales trends in those communities varied substantially. Detached home transactions for the year rose in three of the hottest communities, including gains of 57 percent in West Town, 27 percent in Logan Square and 15 percent in Lake View. However, the market in North Center and Lincoln Park saw fewer sales than 2013, and the Near North total was unchanged.

The median resale price rose in four neighborhoods. Median prices for detached luxury homes in Lake View inched up 3 percent, while median values in Lincoln Park leaped 22 percent. Logan Square posted median-price gains of 20 percent, while the Near North Side’s median resale prices skyrocketed 36 percent. However, median prices slipped 1 percent in North Center and fell 9 percent in West Town.

There were 495 sales of luxury condominiums and townhouses in the city during 2014, a robust 19 percent increase over the 2013 total, RE/MAX reported. The median sales price for a condo or townhouse climbed 1 percent to $1.4 million, and the average market time was 128 days, down from 166 the prior year.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR) reported that the price rebound for all types of residential real estate continued into 2015. The median price of a home in Chicago rose 11 percent in January to $222,000 compared with January of 2014.

However, frigid January weather caused the number of sales transactions to slip. There were 1,295 single-family homes and condos sold in Chicago in January, down 8.3 percent from January of 2014.

“The strong price surge in the first month of the year shows that even in a traditionally slow time for real estate there’s enormous interest in finding a home to buy,” said Jim Kinney, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors.

“Those with homes on the market are definitely seeing traffic and with a slight reduction in inventory levels, sellers are able to command higher prices in many cases,” Kinney said.

“Families and professionals have a strong desire to buy a home yet a full market recovery continues to be stalled by the limited homes for sale,” noted Hugh Rider, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors. “Buyer demand on lower inventory is pushing up prices to offer sellers an incentive.”

Don DeBat is co-author of “Escaping Condo Jail,” the ultimate survival guide for condominium living. For more information, visit

“The book is Escaping Condo Jail by Sara Benson and Don DeBat. I would say that anybody thinking about buying a condo, or even anybody serving on a condo board, or anybody who has any connection to a condo, this is must reading—all 600 and something pages. Thanks a lot for a great book!”


Steve Sanders, “Your Money Matters” WGN TV, December 22, 2014

By Don DeBat

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