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Chicagoland luxury home sales volume reach new highs

by Lauren Brocato

Metro Chicago’s luxury market saw modest gains in the second quarter, according to the quarterly RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate.

The sales of homes priced $1 million or more increased 1.9 percent from the same quarter last year to a total of 916 sales in the seven-county area. The total increase in the first half of 2018 came in at 1,408 sales, a 3.2 percent growth from last year. Both transaction totals set the highest records for their respective quarters since RE/MAX began tracking the luxury market in 2011.

Unlike the positive growth in sales volume, median prices remained unchanged from last quarter. The median price of $1.3 million stayed constant while the average days on market fell to 149 days from the previous average 167 days last year.

“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,” said Jeff LaGrange, vice president of the RE/MAX Northern Illinois region.

When breaking down the city’s luxury sales, activity looked slightly more positive. A total of 457 homes were sold, a year-over-year growth of 7.3 percent. That brings the total city sales up nearly 6 percent in the first half of this year. The city’s median sales price was similar to the overall median price at $1,311,500, down 2.3 percent from last year. Similarly, the average days on market fell significantly from 142 days to an average of 127 days. Lincoln Park, Lakeview and North Center boasted the largest number of detached luxury sales, but only Lakeview posted a sales increase since last quarter.

“The luxury inventory was 3.6 percent lower on June 30 than it was a year earlier. The exception to that trend was among luxury attached homes, primarily condominium units, in Chicago, where inventory increased 7.3 percent thanks to a steady supply of new construction,” LaGrange said. “The detached-home inventory declined 11.8 percent in Chicago and 4.8 percent in the suburbs. Nonetheless, there remains an ample inventory of luxury homes, and that has helped restrain prices, a situation likely to continue through at least the second half of this year.”

The luxury suburban market did not see the same upward shift in sales that the city did this quarter. With a 3 percent drop in luxury sales, the suburban market still managed to finesse a 0.3 percent gain for the January to June period. The median sales price rose less than 1 percent to $1.28 million while the average days on market fell 17 days to 172 days.

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

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