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Chicago’s $1-Million-Plus Home & Condo Market Continues On A Roll

Despite higher mortgage interest rates, the market for $1-million-plus homes, townhomes and condominiums in Chicago has not lost its glitter.

Powered by strong sales of both detached and attached homes in Chicago, sales of $1-million-plus homes in the seven-county Chicago area rose 6.6% during the third quarter to 790 units, up from 741 units in the same period last year, according to the RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate, a quarterly analysis of $1-million-plus home sales.

The median sales price of luxury properties sold during the quarter rose slightly, gaining 0.8% of 1 percentage point to $1.32 million.

Average market time, which is the number of days from the date a property is listed until it goes under contract, dipped to 141 days from 162 days a year ago, and the inventory of luxury homes for sale declined 10.3% to 2,874 units, which represents a 10.9-month supply based on the pace of third-quarter sales. Through the first nine months of 2018, luxury sales in the Chicago area rose 4.4% to 2,198 units.

“There are two especially encouraging factors in the current Luxury Report,” said Jeff LaGrange, vice president of the RE/MAX Northern Illinois Region. “One is the strength of demand in the city, with luxury sales setting a record for the third quarter. In fact, every quarter this year has set a record.”

LaGrange said the other important trend is the continued decline in the inventory of suburban luxury properties. “The suburban luxury market had 2,291 listings two years ago, but it now has 1,744, which is higher than we’d like but much more manageable,” he said. Chicago Luxury Sales

Luxury residential sales in Chicago turned in an especially strong performance during the third quarter, gaining a whopping 19.1% to 424 units, and the median sales price edged up 0.2% of 1 percentage point to $1.34 million.

For the first nine months of the year, city luxury home, townhome and condo sales were up 10.5% to 1,141 units. Average market time in the third quarter was 108 days, four days less than in the same quarter last year, and the inventory of luxury listings fell 5.2% to 1,105 units.

Remarkably, the number of attached and detached luxury properties sold during the quarter was precisely equal at 212 units each. It is the second year in row that has happened. Last year sales in both categories totaled 178 units.

There were, however, some differences between the results posted by attached and detached homes. The median sales price for townhomes and condos—rose 2.1% to $1.35 million, while for detached luxury single-family homes it declined 0.7% of 1 percentage point to $1.34 million.

Average market times also diverged. Condos and townhomes averaged 102 days, up two days from the prior year, while detached homes averaged 113 days, down from 123 days a year earlier.

In the luxury condo and townhome market, the Near North Side retained its leadership position with 95 sales during the quarter, a gain of 10.5%. The Near West Side continued its emergence as the city’s hot new luxury attached market with 43 sales. In contrast, it had just 16 sales a year earlier and none five years ago.

Luxury sales were little changed elsewhere, falling by four units in the Loop and two units in Lincoln Park, while gaining a single unit in both Lake View and the Near South Side. In the detached single-family home category, luxury sales set records in Lake View at 40 units and Logan Square at 20 units. North Center tied its third-quarter high with 37 units sold for $1-million-plus. Detached luxury sales were also higher in Edgewater, Lincoln Square, the Near North Side and West Town, but were lower in Lincoln Park and Uptown. Suburban Luxury Sales

Third-quarter sales of $1-million plus homes in the suburbs totaled 366 units, down 4.9% from the comparable 2017 total. The median sales price was $1.28 million, down 1.2%, and average market time fell to 180 days from 209 days last year. Sales for the first nine months of 2018 were 1,057 units, 1.5% less than the same period in 2017.

Winnetka returned to the top spot in suburban luxury sales with 51 transactions in the quarter, a unit gain of 6.3%, at a median price of $1.59 million. Hinsdale fell to second with 38 sales, a unit decline of 13.6%, at a median price of $1.44 million.

Lake Forest was third with 34 sales at a median price of $1.44 million. Other suburbs with at least 20 luxury sales were Wilmette (23 units), Glencoe (21 units), and Evanston (20 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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