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$1-Million-Plus Home Sales Fueled By New Construction Boom In City

The market for $1-million-plus homes and condominiums exploded in the city of Chicago in early 2017, a comprehensive new Realtor sales report revealed.

Sales of luxury homes in Chicago rose 33 percent to 242 units in the first quarter of 2017, up from 182 units in the same period last year, reported the RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate.

However, the median sales price slipped 5.6 percent to $1,305,000 in the first quarter, compared with the same period last year. The luxury inventory in the city expanded by 37.7 percent to 1,030 units. Much of the gain represents new-construction homes and condos.

“The ample supply of luxury properties on the market clearly had an impact on prices, but at the same time, lower prices are helping boost sales activity and should bring supply into better balance with demand over the course of this year,” said Jack Kreider, executive vice president and regional director of RE/MAX Northern Illinois.

“If the second quarter of 2017 continues this trend, I think we’ll see luxury-home prices stabilize after a couple of years when the overall trend has been slightly down,” Kreider said.

Sales activity was especially strong in the attached-home market segment, which includes condominium apartments, townhomes and cooperative units, RE/MAX noted. Total attached home sales rose 69 percent to 120 units, compared with the January-March quarter of 2016. However, the median sales price was fell 7.4 percent to $1,227,500. And average market time also declined sharply to 136 days this year from 178 days a year ago.

Four neighborhoods that dominate Chicago’s luxury attached market registered strong sales-activity increases. Lincoln Park posted a 200 percent gain in $1-million-plus sales with 21 units sold. The Near South Side recorded a hefty gain of 150 percent accounting for the sale of 10 million-dollar-plus units.

The Near North Side, which has by far the heaviest concentration of luxury attached homes, had a sales gain of 32 percent to 62 units.

The detached segment of the city luxury market experienced a more modest increase in activity, RE/MAX reported. Sales totaled 122 units, up 10 percent from the first quarter of 2016, and the median price fell 2.9 percent to $1,345,000. Average market time rose to 173 days from 155 days a year earlier.

North Center saw the largest number of luxury detached home sales in the quarter, with 25 units selling at a median price of $1,270,000. Those results represented a 47 percent increase in sales and a 2.8 percent gain in the median price.

The number of luxury detached sales also rose in Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Lake View and West Town but fell in Lincoln Park, Edgewater and Near North.

The Lincoln Park detached-home market was notably soft in the first quarter of 2017, with sales down 25.8 percent to 23 units. The median sales price fell 40 percent to $1,501,000. Suburban Luxury Sales

Luxury home sales in the metropolitan Chicago area also got off to a strong start in 2017, with first-quarter activity up 31.1 percent from the same quarter of 2016, according to the RE/MAX Luxury Report. The results represent the highest level of first-quarter $1-million-plus sales in the Chicago market since RE/MAX began tracking that activity in 2011.

A total of 455 million-dollar-plus homes were sold in the first quarter of 2017. The median price was $1.28 million, down 6.4 percent from same quarter last year.

Average market time rose to 189 days, five days more than last year, and the inventory of luxury homes for sale was 2,905 units, an 8.9 percent increase.

The RE/MAX report is a quarterly analysis of $1 million-plus home sales in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties from data compiled by Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED).

Some 213 suburban luxury homes were sold in the first quarter, a gain of 29.1 percent over the same period a year ago. However, the median sales price fell 5.9 percent to $1.27 million. Average market time rose to 228 days from 206 days a year earlier.

The suburban luxury home inventory was 1,875 units, 2.3 percent lower than a year ago. However, the total still represented a two-year supply based on the sales pace in the first quarter.

RE/MAX said many of the suburban towns where luxury homes are most common saw notable gains in sales activity during the first quarter, North suburban Winnetka was number one in sales for the quarter with a total of 28 units sold, up 47.4 percent over the first quarter in 2016. The median sales price was $1,487,500, down 1.3 percent from the same quarter of 2016.

Other communities seeing more luxury sales in the quarter include Wilmette, Glenview, Glencoe, Evanston, Highland Park, the Barrington area, Northbrook and Naperville. In each case, with the exception of Northbrook and Naperville, the median sales price declined.

Hinsdale, one of the leading luxury-home markets in the suburbs, was the major exception to those trends. Quarterly results in Hinsdale showed sales down 14 percent to 25 units but the median sales price rose 12.6 percent to $1,575,000. 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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