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Chicago Leads The Metro Area In Sales Of $1-Million-Plus Homes

Led by an extremely strong $1-million-plus home market in downtown Chicago and the Near North Side, existing luxury homes, condominiums and townhomes continued to sell at a strong pace this autumn in the metropolitan area, analysts say.

The quarterly RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate noted that a total of 739 existing homes priced at $1-million-plus were sold during the third quarter of 2015 in the seven-county metro area.

The total topped the 737 luxury home sales posted in the second quarter of 2015 in the metro area, and bettered the 736 units sold during the third quarter of 2014, RE/MAX analysis reported.

Sales of luxury homes, condominiums and townhomes in such hot Chicago neighborhoods as the Loop, Gold Coast, Near North Side, Lincoln Park and Lincoln Square sparked the market.

A total of 202 luxury units were sold in Chicago in the third quarter of 2015—a solid 12-percent gain over the same period in 2014, and a whopping 30-percent increase over the 2013 level.

However, RE/MAX noted that luxury-home prices softened in the city in the third quarter. The median sales price of a luxury resale home in Chicago was $1.4 million in the quarter ending September 30th, down 4 percent from the same period in 2014.

Meanwhile, luxury home, condo and townhome inventory in Chicago grew to a hefty 403 units at the end of the third quarter, a 57 percent gain over two years ago.

“Demand remains strong, but new construction has helped swell the inventory of luxury homes for sale, so the market is more competitive than it has been for several years,” said Jim Merrion, regional director of the RE/MAX Northern Illinois network.

Here are details of the RE/MAX survey:

• Lincoln Park. The luxury detached-home market was especially active in Lincoln Park in the third quarter. Sixty-four $1-million-plus properties changed hands, up from 43 units in the second quarter of 2015 and 49 units in the third-quarter of 2014.

• Lincoln Square. The Mid-North neighborhood continued to emerge as a growing location for $1-million-plus detached home sales. Eleven properties sold during the third quarter, which increased the 2015 year-to-date total to 25 units. Only 11 homes were sold in Lincoln Square through the first three quarters of 2014.

A RE/MAX analysis of condominium and townhome sales in Chicago revealed that 140 units changed hands in the third quarter, matching sales in the same quarter in 2014. However, the median sales price rose 2 percent to $1,392,500.

• Gold Coast & Near North Side. A total of 85 luxury condos and townhomes were sold on the Gold Coast and the Near North Side in the third quarter of 2015. This amounted to 61 percent of the entire Chicago luxury residential market.

• The Loop. However, luxury condominium sales in Chicago’s Loop posted the strongest increase of the survey during the third quarter of 2015. Twenty-six units priced at more than $1-million-plus were closed. That is 62.5 percent more than the total number of units sold in the third quarter of 2014.

RE/MAX reported that the median sales price for all luxury homes in the metro area was $1,309,478 in the third quarter, 2 percentage points lower than during the same period last year. Luxury homes sold during the third quarter spent an average of 121 days on the market, compared with 123 days during the same quarter in 2014.

The RE/MAX survey covered $1-million-plus home sales in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. It was compiled from data gathered by Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED).

• Low home-loan rates continue. Benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rates averaged 3.76 percent in late October, down from 3.79 percent a week earlier, reported Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. A year ago at this time, the benchmark rate averaged 3.98 percent.

Sean Becketti, chief economist for Freddie Mac, noted that while the Federal Reserve Board held interest rates steady at its October meeting, the Fed “kept a December rate hike as an option.”

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