Wednesday, October 29, 2014

RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate: Market for $1 Million-Plus Homes Delivered Robust Results over First Nine Months of 2014


CHICAGO, Oct. 29, 2014 – Home sales in the $1 million-plus segment of the metropolitan Chicago real estate market have continued to show upward momentum through the first nine months of 2014, and sales activity was especially strong in the third quarter, according to the RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate, which provides regular analysis of home sales at $1 million plus.  

For the January-September period, luxury sales in the seven-county metro Chicago market area were up 8 percent to 1,675 units, and the median sales price was $1,350,000, up 3 percent compared to the same period in 2013.  During the third quarter alone, sales of luxury homes totaled 736 units, a 13 percent increase over the same quarter of last year.  The median sales price for luxury properties rose 3 percent to $1,340,000.  

The average time on the market for luxury properties sold during the first nine months of this year in the seven-county Chicago metropolitan area was 130 days.  That compares to an average of 166 days last year.  Average market time during the July-September quarter was 123 days, down from 132 days in 2013. 

City Sales

Luxury sales in the City of Chicago were up 13 percent to 763 units through the first nine months of 2014, while the median sales price for the period was $1,400,000, up 2 percent.  During the third quarter, city sales of $1 million or more totaled 320 units, up from 270 a year earlier.  That translates to a 19 percent gain.  The median sales price for the third quarter was $1,425,000, up 6 percent from the same quarter of 2013.

There were 369 sales of attached homes (condominiums, townhouses and co-ops) in Chicago priced at or above $1 million during the January-September period this year.  That is 23 percent more than the comparable period of 2013.  The median sales price was $1,376,000, and the average market time was 129 days. 

Attached sales increased 22 percent in the third quarter to 140 units, and the median sales price came in at $1,356,562, compared to $1,390,000 a year earlier.  Average market time for the quarter rose to 124 days from 95 days last year.  

Sales activity in the first nine months of 2014 increased in each of the three neighborhoods that dominate the luxury-attached market.  The Loop saw sales rise to 51 units from 44 the prior year.  In Lincoln Park, sales rose to 60 units from 33, and the Near North Side had 219 sales, up from 199.  The median sales price was $1.25 million in Lincoln Park and $1.4 million in both the Loop and Near North Side.

Third quarter attached sales activity was unchanged in the Loop at 16 units but rose in Lincoln Park to 21 units and in the Near North Side to 83 units.  The median sales price in the Loop climbed to $1,535,500 and in Lincoln Park to $1,305,000.  The Near North Side saw a modest decline to $1,365,000.

Sales of single-family (detached) homes in Chicago totaled 394 units from January through September, compared to 372 units a year earlier.  The median home sales price of $1,427,500 was up 6 percent from last year.  Third quarter sales rose 16 percent to 180 units, and the median sales price climbed to $1,463,250, up 9 percent.  Average market time in the third quarter was 77 days, down from 83 days a year earlier.

Six community areas in Chicago accounted for 88 percent of all luxury detached sales in the nine-month period.  They are Lake View, Lincoln Park, Logan Square, Near North Side, North Center and West Town, but despite their proximity, the market dynamics varied.  Sales activity has been constrained for much of the year in several areas by a shortage of listings, leading to strong competition for luxury properties.  As a result, the average market time for the first nine months of this year was only 48 days in North Center and West Town and 56 days in Lake View.  In contrast, the average market time was 103 days in Lincoln Park, reflecting a better balance between supply and demand.

Suburban Sales

Luxury sales across Chicago’s suburbs totaled 913 units for the January-September period, up 3 percent from last year.  The median sales price also gained 3 percent to $1,300,000, and average market time shortened by 16 percent to 150 days. 

The most active suburban luxury market for the first nine months of 2014 was Winnetka, where 121 homes sold for at least $1 million, 15 percent more than in the same period last year.  The median sales price was $1,440,000.  Among the other most active markets, Wilmette was the second busiest, with 94 sales and a median price of $1,307,500.  Hinsdale had 93 sales and a median price of $1,505,000. 

Other top suburban luxury markets in terms of closed sales were Lake Forest with 73 at a median of $1,350,000, Glenview with 58 sales at a median of $1,184,000, Glencoe with 51 sales at a median of $1,475,000, the Barrington area with 35 sales at a median of $1,370,000, Highland Park with 29 sales at a median of $1,210,000 and Naperville with 28 sales at a median of $1,188,500. 

RE/MAX has been the leader in the northern Illinois real estate market since 1989.  The RE/MAX Northern Illinois network, with headquarters in Elgin, Ill., consists of 2,000 sales associates and 100 individually owned and operated RE/MAX offices that provide a full range of residential and commercial brokerage services.  Its mobile real estate app and www.illinoisproperty.com provide comprehensive information about residential and commercial property for sale in the region.  The northern Illinois network is part of RE/MAX, LLC, a global real estate organization with 90,000+ sales associates in 90+ nations. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Festivities Mark Grand Opening at RE/MAX Elite Homes in Moline




CHICAGO, Oct. 23, 2014 – RE/MAX Elite Homes held an exuberant grand opening celebration on Oct. 10 at its newly opened office, located at 1485 41st St., Moline, Ill.  Broker/owner Rich Bassford and his team welcomed nearly 200 guests, including representatives of the City of Moline and the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce.

The festivities were multifaceted and included a ceremonial ribbon cutting.  Also on the program were games and a bounce house for the younger set, while adults enjoyed entertainment by the Funktastic Five, hors d’oeuvres and a selection of local brews from Bent River Brewery, along with hourly prize drawings.  The famous RE/MAX Hot Air Balloon was also on hand, offering tethered balloon rides to the guests.

“It was a wonderful party and a great way to mark our arrival in Moline,” said Bassford, an experienced and highly successful Quad Cities real estate professional who had long dreamt of opening his own brokerage.

RE/MAX Elite Homes welcomed guests to its all-new 2,500 square-foot facility that includes seven private offices, five work cubicles, a reception area and a cafĂ© room that includes meeting space, large screen TVs and computers.  It will serve as a multipurpose area where brokers can work and meet with clients.

“This is an existing building that we effectively put through a gut remodeling,” Bassford explained.  “Our goal was to create an office space that reflects our name – RE/MAX Elite Homes.  So we’ve crafted an elegant interior, using top-level finishes, such as granite countertops and solid cherry woodwork throughout.”

An artistic highlight of the office is the 9-by-8-foot copper waterfall with the company name that Bassford built by hand.  Another special feature is a window created by a local craftsperson that spells out RE/MAX Elite Homes.

The new office is now home to four brokers and a three-person support staff, and Bassford expects the number of brokers affiliated with RE/MAX Elite Homes to grow rapidly.

“Our timing is excellent in terms of the local housing market,” he noted.  “We’re seeing solid employment growth in the Quad Cities area, which is the key to a thriving residential real estate market.  Both home prices and home sales activity have been on the upswing, and the increase in home values has been especially notable.

“What has impressed me,” Bassford added, “is that 2014 has personally been my best year ever in terms of sales activity, with more than 100 sales closed so far, even while handling all the work involved with opening this new office.  That says a lot about the strength of the market.”

RE/MAX has been the leader in the northern Illinois real estate market since 1989.  The RE/MAX Northern Illinois network, with headquarters in Elgin, Ill., consists of 2,000 sales associates and 100 individually owned and operated RE/MAX offices that provide a full range of residential and commercial brokerage services.  Its mobile real estate app and www.illinoisproperty.com provide comprehensive information about residential and commercial property for sale in the region.  The northern Illinois network is part of RE/MAX, LLC, a global real estate organization with 90,000+ sales associates in 90+ nations.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Leading Hinsdale Brokerage Leaves ERA to Join RE/MAX Network


CHICAGO, Oct. 22, 2014 – A prominent real estate brokerage in affluent Hinsdale, Ill., has joined the RE/MAX Northern Illinois real estate network and parted ways with ERA.  Now known as RE/MAX Signature Homes and located at 22 N. Lincoln St., the brokerage, formerly ERA Team Feinstein, was the most successful ERA office, not only in the Hinsdale market, but in the metro
Chicago area.  It has a staff of approximately 54 affiliated brokers, a support staff of five and 2013 closed sales volume of  $217 million.

Broker/owner Linda Feinstein said that her decision to join RE/MAX was based on the organization’s progressive approach to all facets of the real estate business.

“I was especially impressed with the technology that RE/MAX provides,” said Feinstein.  “It is light-years ahead of the competition.  I see this as an opportunity to grow my own business, but more importantly as a way to grow the business of every broker in our office.”

Feinstein began working in real estate 27 years ago and has been among the top brokers in Hinsdale for much of that time.  Moreover, she ranks among the nation’s top 120 brokers in terms of annual sales.  Feinstein and her husband, who is a physician, raised their seven children in Hinsdale, and two of their daughters now work at the brokerage.

“I decided to get my real estate license when our sixth child entered pre-school.  It was just going to be a part-time thing,” Feinstein recalled.  “But I loved it from the start and still do.  I enjoy all the aspects of the business, including some that most brokers dislike, the pressure in closing sales and even the rejection that we all experience at times.“

After achieving success as an agent, where her clients over the years have included entertainment and sports celebrities and international clientele, as well as hundreds of more typical families, Feinstein opened her own office with a partner in 1999 as an ERA franchise, and she became the sole owner in 2009. 

“Linda has all the characteristics of a strong and successful RE/MAX Broker/Owner,” said Brian Reagan, president of RE/MAX Northern Illinois.  “We had no doubt that the conversion would be most advantageous to her and her sales associates.  Given the stability and long-term outlook for the continued success of RE/MAX in all regions across the globe, we saw the conversion as the ultimate vehicle for maximizing her business potential.  We look forward to a long and productive partnership with her in the Hinsdale market.”

Reagan’s personal involvement in the negotiations played a key role, according to Feinstein.

“Talking to Brian was inspiring in helping me make the decision to join RE/MAX.  I could sense that they really have a vision for the future of our business,” she said.

The RE/MAX Signature Homes office is located in a vintage home, giving it a distinctive look and feel highlighted by such features as a conference room fireplace.

“The setting is traditional, but our approach is extremely contemporary,” noted Feinstein, who serves as managing broker and is ably supported by Gail Jensen, the administrative manager.  “Modern wireless communications have revolutionized the real estate business over the last decade, radically changing the way brokers work, and our office is in tune with that change.”
The office is also in tune with its community.  On Oct. 23, RE/MAX Signature Homes is holding a pumpkin pickup at the office, with hundreds of pumpkins available free of charge, one per family.

Feinstein personally hosts a series of special fund raising events each year for different charities, such as the local animal shelter or food pantry, as well as causes with a broader scope, such as breast cancer awareness.

“I encourage all our brokers to play an active role in their community,” Feinstein said.  “For me, that meant playing an active role in the Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce for many years and making contributions elsewhere.  We know that RE/MAX has long been a major supporter of Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, and we welcome the opportunity to be part of that effort.”

RE/MAX has been the leader in the northern Illinois real estate market since 1989.  The RE/MAX Northern Illinois network, with headquarters in Elgin, Ill., consists of 2,000 sales associates and 100 individually owned and operated RE/MAX offices that provide a full range of residential and commercial brokerage services.  Its mobile real estate app and www.illinoisproperty.com provide comprehensive information about residential and commercial property for sale in the region.  The northern Illinois network is part of RE/MAX, LLC, a global real estate organization with 90,000+ sales associates in 90+ nations.