RE/MAX Northern Illinois Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate: Changing Market for Million-Plus Homes Evident in April-June Sales Results

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Sales of luxury homes rose 20 percent in the Chicago area during the second quarter, and there were signs of geographic expansion in that market segment.

The market for homes selling at a million dollars or more in the metropolitan Chicago area is showing signs of geographical expansion even as sales activity rose to a new post-Great Recession high for the second quarter of the year. The quarterly RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate pegged second quarter luxury sales at 737 units, 20 percent more than during the same period last year and the most second-quarter sales since RE/MAX began tracking luxury market data in 2009.

The median sales price for homes selling for a million or more was $1,350,000 during the second quarter, unchanged from the 2014 results. The RE/MAX report is a quarterly analysis of $1-million-plus home sales in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.

While prices in the luxury segment were fairly stable, the geography of the luxury home market showed signs of expansion.

In Chicago, the Near South Side recorded 13 sales of luxury attached homes for the quarter and has had 20 this year, a sharp contrast with the single luxury transaction in the area during the first half of 2011 and 2012 and five in 2013.

Luxury detached sales in the city’s Lincoln Square area more than doubled to 14 so far this year, including nine in the second quarter. That compares to six luxury sales during the first six months of 2014 and four or fewer during the first half of the three previous years.

Change also seems to be occurring in the suburbs where million-plus sales are becoming more common in Naperville. That suburb had 19 luxury sales in the first half of this year, including 14 in the second quarter, giving it more luxury activity than such traditional luxury markets as Barrington and Highland Park.

"Given the strengthening economy and strong demand we are seeing for luxury properties, it’s not surprising that more areas are attracting significant numbers of buyers ready to spend $1 million or more,” said Jim Merrion, regional director of the RE/MAX Northern Illinois real estate network.

Overall, there were 401 luxury home sales during the second quarter in the suburban portions of the metro area, a 15 percent increase over the same period last year. The median sales price was $1,280,000, down slightly from $1,315,000 a year earlier, while the average market time was 153 days, up from 139 last year.

Winnetka remained the most active suburban market for luxury homes, with 51 second-quarter sales at a median price of $1,550,000, and Hinsdale followed with 40 sales at a median price of $1,377,750. Tied for third in sales activity with 34 sales during the quarter were Lake Forest, with a median price of $1,337,500, and Wilmette, where the median price was $1,252,500.

Chicago recorded 336 luxury sales for the quarter, 25 percent more than a year earlier. There were 185 detached sales with a median price of $1,450,000, and 151 attached sales at a median of $1,400,000. Detached sales were up 38 percent; attached sales rose 13 percent.

The average market time for luxury city homes during the second quarter was just 106 days for detached properties and 113 days for attached properties.

The most active luxury detached market in the city was North Center, which for the first time topped Lincoln Park in closed transactions with 44 at a median price of $1,350,000. Lincoln Park had 43 sales during the quarter at a median price of $1,725,000.

The Near North Side remained the dominant market for luxury attached sales, with 90 transactions closing at a median price of $1,416,000.

RE/MAX agents consistently rank among the most productive in the industry. In the United States, RE/MAX agents averaged 15.6 years of real estate experience and 16.0 transaction sides in 2014. RE/MAX has been the leader in the northern Illinois real estate market since 1989 and is continually growing. The RE/MAX Northern Illinois network, with headquarters in Elgin, Ill., consists of 2,200+ sales associates and 105 independently owned and operated RE/MAX offices that provide a full range of residential and commercial brokerage services. Its mobile real estate app, available for download at, provides comprehensive information about residential and commercial property for sale in the region. The northern Illinois network is part of RE/MAX, a global real estate organization with 100,000+ sales associates in 90+ nations.


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Stephen Johnson
RE/MAX Northern Illinois
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