Million-dollar home/condo sales jumped in Chicago last year
Loop North News

The Home Front

(Above) Unit 5801 at Park Tower on Michigan Avenue, currently the most expensive condominium unit for sale in Chicago. Photo by VHT Studios. (Click on images to view larger versions.)

7-Feb-18 – 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 Chicago were up sharply in 2017, gaining 18 percent to 1,332 units, according to Jeff LaGrange, Region Vice President at RE/MAX.

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

Photo by VHT Studios (Left) Penthouse unit at Waldorf Astoria on Walton Street, currently listed for $10.95 million. Photo by VHT Studios.

The year-end edition of RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate reported that million-plus condominium, co-op apartment, and townhome sales in the city were particularly brisk. Sales in this category skyrocketed 32.9 percent 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 percent to $1,318,000, reflecting at least in part the 26.4 percent growth in listing inventory for luxury units.

Million-plus condos still on Near North

One important development in 2017 was that two neighborhoods which had seen relatively small numbers of luxury, 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 Lakeview, 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 percent of the total,” said LaGrange (right). That compares with 71 new-construction condo and townhome sales in 2016, representing a 14.6 percent share. Jeff LaGrange

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

• 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 percent increase over the 73 units that changed ownership in 2016.

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

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

• 59 luxury condos and townhomes were sold in the Loop, a gain of 1.7 percent over 2016.

118 East Erie Street (Left) Private movie theater in penthouse unit of 118 East Erie Street.

Detached luxury homes are hot

RE/MAX reported that 685 luxury detached single-family homes were sold in 2017 in Chicago, 6.7 percent more than in 2016. The median price was $1.36 million, a 1.9 percent decline. Year-end inventory was down 22.6 percent to 326 units.

Sales of luxury million-plus single-family homes were concentrated in eight neighborhoods, primarily on the north and northwest sides...

• Lincoln Park – 177
• North Center – 152 (up 26.7 percent over 2016)
• Lakeview – 110
• West Town – 94 (up 22.1 percent over 2016)
• Logan Square – 45
• Lincoln Square – 28
• Near North Side – 23
• Uptown – 14

Overall, the market for million-plus homes in Chicago and the seven-county metropolitan area showed solid improvement in 2017. RE/MAX reported that sales rose 9.7 percent to 2,658 units, while inventory fell 15.3 percent.

(Right) Bedroom of the cheapest of the Million Dollar Plus listings, unit 5402 at 505 North Lake Shore Drive, for sale for exactly $1 million. Photo by VHT Studios. Photo by VHT Studios

Luxury prices slip in suburbs

The 2017 median luxury home sales price in the seven-county area slipped 1.9 percent 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 $1-2 million range increased by 21 percent, but homes that sold for at least $3 million decreased by 6.3 percent in 2017.

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

Suburban million-plus luxury homes sold in 2017...

• Winnetka – 148
• Hinsdale – 143
• Wilmette – 109
• Lake Forest – 101
• Glenview – 76
• Glencoe – 62
• Evanston – 57
• Highland Park – 46

Mortgage rates still creeping upward

Continuing their upward trend, benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rates rose to 4.22 percent on February 1 from 4.15 percent 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 percent.

Len Kiefer “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 (left), Deputy Chief Economist at Freddie Mac.

More Million Dollar Plus listings

By Don DeBat | Loop North News |

Published 7-Feb-18 1:02 AM

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