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$1-Million-Plus Home And Condo Sales Jump 18% In Chicago In 2017

A booming stock market and strong national economy in 2017 paid dividends to buyers and sellers of $1-million-plus homes and condominiums in Chicago, real estate experts say. “Luxury home sales in the city of Chicago were up sharply in 2017, gaining 18% to 1,332 units,” said Jeff LaGrange, vice president of the RE/MAX Northern Illinois Region.

A growing inventory of $1-million-plus home listings caused median sales prices to slip 1.7% to just under $1.35 million. Average market time was 136 days, three days longer than 2016.

The year-end edition of the RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate reported that $1-million-plus condominium, co-op apartment and townhome sales in the city were particularly brisk. Sales in this category skyrocketed 32.9% to 647 units, while average market time fell to 117 days from 125 days.

However, the median sales price for condos, co-ops and townhomes slipped 2.4% to $1.318 million, reflecting at least in part the 26.4% growth in listing inventory for luxury units. Where are $1-million-plus condos?

One important development in 2017 was that two neighborhoods which had seen relatively small numbers of luxury, $1-million-plus condo and townhome units sold in prior years registered substantial increases, RE/MAX reported. The Near West Side generated 45 luxury condo and townhome sales in 2017, up from just 17 units in 2016 and 16 units in 2015. In Lake View, there were 39 luxury condo and townhome sales last year, up from 22 units in 2016.

“Another major factor in the attached luxury market was the impact of new construction, which accounted for 132 sales in 2017, or 20.4% of the total,” said LaGrange. That compares with 71 new-construction condo and townhome sales in 2016 representing a 14.6% share.

The RE/MAX breakdown for luxury condo and townhome sales in other leading upscale neighborhoods follows:

• Lincoln Park. Sales of luxury condos and townhomes exploded in Lincoln Park and Old Town in 2017. A total of 128 luxury units were sold, a whopping 75.3% increase over the 73 units that changed ownership in 2016.

• Near South Side. The booming Near South Side condo and townhome market posted 40 luxury sales, a strong gain of 25% over 2016.

• Near North Side. The Near North Side remained the leader in the sale of luxury condos and townhomes with the marketing of 320 units, a 16.8% increase over 2016.

• Loop. Fifty-nine luxury condos and townhomes were sold in the Loop, a gain of 1.7% over 2016. Detached luxury homes hot

RE/MAX reported that 685 luxury detached single-family homes were sold in 2017 in Chicago, 6.7% more than in 2016. The median price was $1.36 million, a 1.9% decline. Year-end inventory was down 22.6% to 326 units. The sales of luxury $1-million-plus single-family homes were concentrated in eight city neighborhoods areas, primarily on the North and Northwest sides.

Lincoln Park led with 177 luxury home sales. North Center, with 152 luxury home sales, recorded a gain of 26.7% over 2016. Lake View posted 110 luxury home sales. West Town had 94, a gain of 22.1% over 2016. Logan Square recorded 45 sales, Lincoln Square posted 28, The Near North Side had 23, and Uptown 14.

Over all, the market for $1-million-plus homes in Chicago and the seven-county metropolitan area showed solid improvement in 2017. RE/MAX reported that sales rose 9.7% to 2,658 units, while inventory levels fell 15.3%. Suburban luxury homes

The 2017 median luxury home sales price in the seven-county area slipped 1.9% to $1.3 million, and the average time on the market was 169 days, four days longer than in 2016. The number of luxury home sales in the $1 million-to-$2 million range increased by 21%, but homes that sold for at least $3 million decreased by 6.3% in 2017.

Luxury home sales in the suburbs in 2017 totaled 1,326 units, up 2.5% from the prior year. The median sales price was $1.28 million, down 0.4% from 2016. Average market time was 203 days, a 10-day increase.

Winnetka led the suburbs in $1-million-plus luxury-home with 148 units, followed by Hinsdale with 143. Wilmette had 109 sales, Lake Forest 101, Glenview 76, Glencoe 62, Evanston 57, and Highland Park 46. Mortgage-rate creep

Continuing their upward trend, benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rates rose to 4.22% on February 1st from 4.15% a week earlier, reported Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed loan average was 4.19%.

“Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates have increased for four consecutive weeks and are now slightly above where they were last year at this time,” noted Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist at Freddie Mac.

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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