Home sales strong in neighborhoods north of $1 million
Loop North News

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(Above) 1516 North Lake Shore Drive in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. This four-story, ten-bedroom home is yours for $17 million. Photo obtained from Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. (Click on image to view larger version.)

Home sales strong in neighborhoods north of $1 million

6-Nov-15 – Led by an extremely strong million-dollar-plus home market in downtown Chicago and Near North Side, existing luxury homes, condominiums, and townhomes continued to sell at a strong pace this autumn in the metropolitan area, analysts say.

The quarterly RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate noted that a total of 739 existing homes priced at $1 million or more were sold during the third quarter of 2015 in the seven-county metro area.

The total topped the 737 luxury home sales posted in the second quarter of 2015 in the metro area, and bettered the 736 units sold during the third quarter of 2014.

Sales of luxury homes, condominiums, and townhomes in such hot Chicago neighborhoods as the Loop, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, and Lincoln Square sparked the market.

A total of 202 luxury units were sold in Chicago in the third quarter of 2015 – a solid 12 percent gain over the same period in 2014 and a whopping 30 percent increase over the 2013 level.

However, RE/MAX noted that luxury home prices softened in the city in the third quarter. The median sales price of a luxury resale home in Chicago was $1.4 million in the quarter ending September 30, down four percent from the same period in 2014.

Meanwhile, luxury home/condo/townhome inventory in Chicago grew to a hefty 403 units at the end of the third quarter, a 57 percent gain over two years ago.

Jim Merrion “Demand remains strong, but new construction has helped swell the inventory of luxury homes for sale, so the market is more competitive than it has been for several years,” said Jim Merrion (left), regional director of the RE/MAX Northern Illinois network.

Some details of the RE/MAX survey…

  • The luxury detached-home market was especially active in Lincoln Park in the third quarter. Sixty-four million-dollar-plus properties changed hands, up from 43 units in the second quarter of 2015 and 49 units in the third quarter of 2014.
  • Lincoln Square continued to emerge as a growing location for million-dollar-plus detached home sales. Eleven properties sold during the third quarter, which increased the 2015 year-to-date total to 25 units. Only 11 homes were sold in Lincoln Square through the first three quarters of 2014.
  • A RE/MAX analysis of condominium and townhome sales in Chicago revealed that 140 units changed hands in the third quarter, matching sales in the same quarter in 2014. However, the median sales price rose two percent to $1,392,500.
  • A total of 85 luxury condos and townhomes were sold in the Gold Coast and other Near North Side neighborhoods in the third quarter of 2015. This amounted to 61 percent of the entire Chicago luxury residential market.
  • However, luxury condominium sales in Chicago’s Loop posted the strongest increase of the survey during the third quarter of 2015. Twenty-six units priced at more than $1 million were closed. That is 62.5 percent more than the total number of units sold in the third quarter of 2014.
  • RE/MAX reported the median sales price for all luxury homes in the metro area in the third quarter was $1,309,478, two percent less than during the same period last year. Luxury homes sold during the third quarter spent an average of 121 days on the market, compared with 123 days during the same quarter in 2014.

The RE/MAX survey covered million-dollar-plus home sales in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties. It was compiled from data gathered by Midwest Real Estate Data.

Low home loan rates continue

Benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rates averaged 3.76 percent in late October, down from 3.79 percent a week earlier, reported Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. A year ago at this time, the benchmark rate averaged 3.98 percent.

Sean Becketti, chief economist for Freddie Mac, noted that while the Federal Reserve Board held interest rates steady at its October meeting, the Fed “kept a December rate hike as an option.”

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• Contact Don DeBat at debatnet@aol.com

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