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Chicago’s $1-Million-Plus Home Sales Jump 7.3% In Second Quarter

The market for $1-million-plus homes, condominiums and townhomes in Chicago is continuing to flex its muscle, especially on the Near North, Near West and Near South sides of the city, experts say.

The Chicago luxury-home market posted strong overall sales activity second quarter, with 457 homes, condos and townhomes changing hands—a solid 7.3% gain over the same quarter last year, according to the RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate.

As buyers rushed to gobble up available listings, average market time shortened to 127 days from 142 a year ago.

While sales of $1-million-plus homes in the city gained 5.9% in the first half of 2018, there was some price slippage. The median sales price for the second quarter fell 2.3% to $1,311,500 from the same quarter in 2017. (The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.)

Purchases of $1-million-plus homes in the seven county Chicago area climbed to a total of 916 units, up 1.9% from the same period last year. In the first half of 2018, total luxury sales increased 3.2% to 1,408 units.

Both those transaction totals were the highest for their respective periods since RE/MAX began tracking luxury home sales in 2011.

“The luxury market isn’t booming, but it is certainly doing well in terms of sales volume, and it is working through some of the excess inventory that accumulated over the 18 months prior to 2018,” noted Jeff LaGrange, vice president of RE/MAX Northern Illinois. Detached Luxury Homes

Sales of detached luxury single-family homes in Chicago totaled 242 units in the second quarter, down 1.2% from the year-earlier period, while the median sales price for the first half of the year slipped 0.4% to $1.34 million. Average market time fell by 26 days to 133 days.

Lincoln Park, Lake View and North Center again had the largest numbers of detached luxury home sales, but only Lake View posted a sales increase, gaining 2.5% on 41 sales in the second quarter. Lincoln Park’s 55 sales were a 14.1% decline, while North Center recorded 39 sales, down 42.6%.

Luxury detached home sales in Logan Square soared 255.6% to 32 units. Luxury sales also increased 8.3% in Lincoln Square, 100% in Near North Side and 66.7% in Edgewater. Luxury home sales fell 50% in Uptown, and were flat in West Town. Luxury Condo Sales Surge

RE/MAX reported that the second-quarter jump in luxury units sold is attributable to a surge in condo and townhome sales, which rose to 215 units sold, a gain of 18.8%.

However, the median sales price for luxury attached units also slipped—falling 2.4% to $1.29 million.

Here is a second-quarter luxury condo and townhome sales breakdown by the hottest neighborhoods:

• Near North Side. The traditional leader in luxury condo and townhome sales, the Near North Side posted 125 transactions, an increase of 30.2%.

• Near West Side. Condo and townhome sales in the emerging Near West Side—where high-rise construction is booming—totaled 23 units, a whopping gain of 228.6%.

• Near South Side. Fifteen luxury condo and townhome sales were posted on the Near South Side, a hefty gain of 114.3%.

However, other key areas saw fewer luxury condo and townhome transactions for the quarter than in 2017. Unit sales dipped 20% in the Loop, 27.3% in Lincoln Park and a whopping 41.7% in Lake View.

Luxury suburban home sales

Luxury home sales activity in the seven-county Chicago area increased modestly during the second quarter, while prices showed little upward momentum, RE/MAX reported. The second-quarter median sales price in the luxury bracket was unchanged at $1.3 million, and average market time dipped to 149 days from 167 days a year ago.

“The Chicago-area luxury inventory was 3.6% lower on June 30th than it was a year earlier,” said LaGrange. “The detached-home inventory declined 11.8% in Chicago and 4.8% in the suburbs.

Suburban luxury sales fell 3% in the second quarter but managed a 0.3% gain for the January-June period. The median sales price for the second quarter gained 0.4% to $1.28 million, and average market time fell by 17 days to 172 days.

Hinsdale led all suburbs in luxury activity in the April-June period with 54 sales a gain of 5.9%, while runner-up Winnetka posted 52 sales, up 4% from a year ago.

The biggest increases in luxury suburban sales were 90% in Naperville to 19 units, 41.7% in Wilmette to 51 units and 33.3% in Elmhurst to 24 units. The two luxury markets with the softest second-quarter results were Highland Park, down 52.4% to 10 units and Glenview, down 30.3% to 23 units.

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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