RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate: Million-Plus Home Sales Maintained 2015 Trends in July-September Quarter

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Third-quarter results indicate that the market for homes priced at a million dollars or more in the metro Chicago area continued on the course it established during the first half of 2015.

Third-quarter results indicate that the market for homes priced at a million dollars or more in the metro Chicago area continued on the course it established during the first half of 2015. According to the quarterly RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate, third-quarter luxury sales totaled 739 units, just topping the 737 sales recorded in the second quarter and the 736 units sold during the third quarter of 2014.

Luxury homes sold during the third quarter spent an average of 121 days on the market, compared to 123 days a year earlier. The median sales price for those homes was $1,309,478, 2 percent lower than during the same period last year. The RE/MAX report is a quarterly analysis of $1-million-plus home sales in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties from data compiled by Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED).

“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, regional director of the RE/MAX Northern Illinois network.

City of Chicago Luxury Sales

The growth of the luxury inventory was most evident when looking at detached homes in Chicago. Inventory at the end of the third quarter was 403 units, 57 percent higher than two years ago.

Despite the growth in inventory, Chicago’s luxury market continued to gain ground. Sales of detached homes totaled 202 for the quarter, 12 percent more than the same period last year and 30 percent above the 2013 level. The quarterly median sales price was $1,400,000, 4 percent lower than a year earlier.

The luxury detached market was especially active in Lincoln Park, where 64 luxury properties changed hands, up from 43 in the prior quarter and 49 a year earlier. The Lincoln Square area continued to emerge as a growing location for million-plus detached sales, with 11 properties sold during the quarter, which brought the 2015 total to 25 units, compared to 11 at the same point last year.

Attached sales in the city were constrained by a fairly stagnant inventory, with sales totaling 140 units for the quarter, unchanged from 2014. The median sales price, however, gained 2 percent to $1,392,500.

Sales of luxury attached homes in Chicago continue to be dominated by the Near North Side, which registered 85 transactions for the quarter, or 61 percent of the Chicago total. However, sales in the Loop enjoyed the strongest increase. The 26 sales closed there were 62.5 percent more than the quarterly total last year.

Suburban Luxury Sales

In the suburbs, where luxury sales nearly always involve detached homes, there were 5 percent fewer transactions at $1 million or more in the third quarter, but the median sales price was up 2 percent and the average market time fell 3 percent.

“That data makes the suburban luxury market look fairly stable, but it was very uneven in the quarter just ended,” said Merrion. “Sales increased in some communities and fell in others, with the median price often going in the opposite direction.”

He said that a representative snapshot of the conflicting currents in the luxury market could be seen by comparing sales in Glencoe and Naperville. Luxury sales in Naperville closed during the quarter declined 33 percent from a year ago, but the median price rose 13 percent and the average market time lengthened by 10 days.

In contrast, luxury sales rose 28 percent in Glencoe for the quarter while the median price dipped 20 percent and average market time fell from 213 days a year ago to 122 days this year.

“Those numbers underscore the fact that the suburban luxury market is anything but homogeneous,” Merrion said.

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 more than 2,250 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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