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Metro Chicago Real Estate: $1 Million-Plus Home Sales Start Strong in 2014

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Regional Spotlight—Winter winds and frigid thermometer readings couldn’t cool the activity level in the luxury home segment of the metropolitan Chicago real estate market during the first two months of 2014. Compared to the same period in 2013, the number of $1 million-plus homes sold in the seven-county area rose 40 percent to 206 units, and the median sales price in that segment rose 6 percent to $1,379,000, according to the bi-monthly RE/MAX Luxury Report on Chicago Real Estate.

The RE/MAX Luxury Report looks at home sales of $1 million or more in the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will, and is based on transaction information from Midwest Real Estate Data LLC, the regional multiple listing service.

The average time it took for those $1 million-plus homes sold in January and February to go under contract was 163 days, a major decline from the average of 274 days in the same period last year.

Chicago Luxury Home Sales

The number of Jan.-Feb. luxury sales in Chicago soared 59 percent from the comparable 2013 level. Average market time was 128 days, twice as fast as the 254-day average recorded a year ago, and the median sales price for all homes – attached and detached – rose a modest 4 percent to $1,445,000.

Attached units, primarily condo apartments and townhouses, recaptured dominance in the city, accounting for 57 percent of all luxury sales. Attached-home sales activity in Chicago climbed 82 percent to 62 properties. The median sales price was $1,420,000, up 1 percent from the same period in 2013. The Jan.-Feb. average market time for attached homes fell sharply from 319 days a year ago to 146 days.

The Near North Side remained the epicenter of Chicago’s attached luxury home market, with 37 sales during the two-month period yielding a median sales price of $1,750,000. In Lincoln Park, sales activity rose to 10 units from only one unit a year ago and six units in the Nov.-Dec. period. There were 11 sales in the Loop area, up from 7 sales a year ago.

Sales of detached luxury homes in Chicago increased 35 percent to 46 properties, and the median sales price gained 15 percent to $1,540,000. Average market time shortened to 104 days from 188 days a year earlier.

The most active luxury detached market was in Lincoln Park, with 14 sales in Jan.-Feb., compared to 10 sales a year ago. The Lincoln Park median sales price was $1,791,250, a 5 percent gain. The next five communities in terms of luxury detached sales activity were Lake View, Near North Side, North Center and West Town.

Suburban Luxury Home Sales

In the portion of the seven-county metro Chicago area that lies outside Chicago, 98 homes were sold for $1 million or more in the Jan.-Feb. of this year, up from 79 units a year ago, a gain of 24 percent.

At $1,315,500, the median sales price advanced 8 percent. Average market time dipped to 202 days, 90 days less than in Jan.-Feb., 2013.

Lake Forest was the most active suburban luxury market during the first two months of this year, recording 15 sales at a median price of $1,550,000. Other suburban communities with five or more luxury sales during the Jan.-Feb. period were Hinsdale, Winnetka, Glencoe, Glenview and Clarendon Hills.

For more information, visit www.illinoisproperty.com.

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