RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate: Sales of $1 Million-Plus Homes Rose 8% in 2015

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Sales of $1 million-plus homes increased 8 percent in the metro Chicago area last year, but an ample inventory luxury units for sale helped send the median sales price down about 1 percent, according to a RE/MAX analysis of full-year 2015 sales data.

Sales of homes priced at $1 million or more in the metropolitan Chicago real estate market accelerated in 2015, while their median sales price declined slightly, according to the RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate. The report is a quarterly analysis by RE/MAX of $1 million-plus home sales in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. It is based on sales data compiled by MRED, the regional multiple listing service.

There were 2,353 luxury home sales in 2015, 8 percent more than in 2014. Their median sales price was $1,340,000, 1 percent less than in 2014. Time required for those luxury properties to find a buyer rose slightly to 135 days from 131 days in 2014.

“The luxury market is the one segment of the metro Chicago residential real estate market in which we are seeing a high level of inventory,” said Jim Merrion, regional director of the RE/MAX Northern Illinois real estate network. “That fact contributed to the slight decline in the median sales price of luxury homes even as sales activity increased.”

Chicago Luxury Home Sales

In Chicago there were clear distinctions to be drawn between the markets for detached and attached luxury homes. Detached luxury sales increased 19 percent in the city during 2015, reaching 617 units, though the median sales price dipped 3 percent to $1,420,000.

The detached market was buoyed by robust construction activity, including new homes and gut rehabs of older structures. Expanded inventory helped boost average market time from 88 days in 2014 to 107 days in 2015.

The number of luxury attached homes sold in 2015 totaled 503 units, 2 percent more than in 2014, while the median price slipped 2 percent to $1,375,000. Average market time was 116 days, down from 128 days in 2014.

The year-end inventory of all luxury properties for sale in Chicago was equal to about a seven month supply based on the pace of sales in 2015.

Seven city communities – Lake View, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Near North, North Center and West Town – accounted for 92 percent of all detached luxury sales. Sales increased in six communities. Attached luxury sales were concentrated in the Loop, Near North, Lincoln Park and Near South Side. Those four community areas had 93 percent of the city total.

Suburban Luxury Home Sales

Total luxury transactions in the Chicago suburbs increased 6 percent in 2015 to 1,233 units, while the median sales price declined 1 percent to $1,285,000. Average market time increased four days to 156 days. The inventory of luxury homes for sale totaled 1,820 at the end of 2015.

Among individual suburbs, Winnetka was the luxury home leader for the second consecutive year with 132 sales at a median price of $1,565,000, followed by Hinsdale, where 120 luxury homes sold in 2015 at a median price of $1,415,448. Wilmette placed third among suburban luxury markets in 2015 with 105 transactions at a median price of $1,300,000. Next on the list was Lake Forest, with 103 transactions at a median of $1,350,000, followed by Glenview, with 76 transactions at a median price of $1,265,000.

The next five suburban communities in terms of luxury home sales activity were Glencoe with 57 sales, Evanston with 53 sales, the Barrington area with 48 and then Highland Park and Northbrook, each with 40 sales.

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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