Wednesday, August 3, 2016

RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate: High-End Home Sales Rebounded Sharply in Second Quarter of 2016

CHICAGO, Aug. 3, 2016 – The metro Chicago luxury home market shook off a lackluster start to 2016 and enjoyed a substantial second-quarter rebound in terms of sales activity. According to the quarterly RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate, 832 properties sold for at least $1 million during the quarter, compared to 741 sales in the same quarter last year, a 12 percent increase.

For the first half of 2016, luxury sales totaled 1,179 units, up from 1,122 sales during the first six months of last year.

“The luxury market is still under pressure from a large inventory of available properties, especially in the suburbs, and that helps keep prices down,” noted Jack Kreider, executive vice president and regional director of RE/MAX Northern Illinois. “There were 3,104 luxury homes on the market at the end of June, about a 15 month supply based on the pace of sales over the first half of this 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).

Kreider also pointed out that while quarterly sales activity increased, the second quarter median sales price of luxury residences in the seven-county area fell from $1,350,000 last year to $1,309,000 this year, a 3 percent decline. Average market time for the second quarter increased to 164 days from 132 days a year earlier.

City of Chicago Luxury Sales
Luxury home sales activity in Chicago was up 18 percent to 398 units, accounting for 48 percent of all luxury sales in the metro area during the quarter. For the entire first half of 2016, city luxury sales totaled 580 units, 6 percent more than the same period last year.

The Chicago total for the second quarter included 232 detached homes and 166 attached homes. The latter category includes condominium and cooperative apartments, as well as many townhouses.
Sales of luxury detached homes rose 25 percent when compared to sales during the second quarter of 2015. Their median sales price was $1,381,250, 5 percent less than a year ago. Average market time for these homes was 150 days, up from 106 days last year.

Sales activity for the quarter increased in all but one of the seven city communities where luxury detached homes tend to be concentrated, but Lincoln Park was clearly the leader. Sales there rose to 64 units from 43 a year earlier. Smaller gains were recorded in Lake View, Logan Square, Near North, North Center and West Town. The only decrease in sales occurred in Lincoln Square, and that amounted to just a single unit.

Sales of attached luxury homes in the city also were up for the quarter, rising 8 percent compared to the same period in 2015. The median sales price dipped 6 percent to $1,325,000, while average market time fell to 92 days from 111 days. Attached luxury sales in Lincoln Park surged 56 percent to 28 units.

Suburban Luxury Sales
In the Chicago suburbs, luxury sales for the second quarter totaled 434 units, 7 percent more than the same period in 2015. However, the median sales price of a luxury suburban home dipped to $1,260,000, down 1.6 percent, and the average market time rose to 198 days from 152 days a year earlier.

There were 599 luxury sales in the suburbs over the first half of 2016, 4 percent more than for the same six-month period last year.

Glencoe, Highland Park, Northbrook and Wilmette were the suburbs with the largest percentage increase in luxury transactions during the second quarter. Sales in Glencoe totaled 31 units, representing a 107 percent increase over the same quarter in 2015. Highland Park had 20 sales, up 122 percent. Northbrook sales climbed 72 percent to 19 units, while in Wilmette, sales rose 47 percent to 50 units.

Other suburbs where luxury activity was on the upswing included Naperville, the Barrington area and Evanston. Hinsdale, one of the largest luxury markets in the suburbs, had a one-unit increase in sales, while three of the major suburban luxury markets saw sales activity decline. Sales were down 10 percent in Winnetka, 29 percent in Lake Forest and 11 percent in Glenview.

RE/MAX agents consistently rank among the most productive in the industry. In 2015, RE/MAX Northern Illinois agents averaged 18 transaction sides. 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 2,300 sales associates and 106 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 www.illinoisproperty.com, 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 104,000+ sales associates in 90+ nations.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Open Houses Offer Home Shoppers Insights into Their Own Priorities and the Local Housing Market, Say RE/MAX Brokers

CHICAGO, Aug. 1, 2016 – When it comes to helping sell homes, some brokers love open houses. Others avoid them if possible. There is agreement, however, that open houses offer lots of useful information to homebuyers.

Visiting several open houses is an ideal way for buyers to dip their toes into the local housing market, contends Paul Booth of RE/MAX 10 in Palos Park, Ill.

“When folks start house hunting, what they want often isn’t clear to them, and open houses can help clarify their thinking. That’s especially true with couples because while both may agree it’s time to move, they may not have a shared vision of their new home. Buyers need to vocalize what they want to each other and to their Realtor, and visiting open houses helps that happen,” Booth said.

Going to open houses is a good way to learn the lingo of real estate and helps buyers understand which features they prefer in a home, while offering a chance to see and learn about different geographic areas, he noted.

“Buyers also should understand that for the broker who holds an open house, there are two objectives,” explained Donna Glazer of RE/MAX Enterprises in Downers Grove, Ill. “The first is to expose the property to possible buyers. The second is to meet potential clients. So, if you are looking for a broker to help with your home search, going to open houses can be a good way to check out some candidates.”

While everyone is welcome at an open house, there is correct etiquette for attending an open house. Here’s a brief list of open house tips from Matt Pittman of RE/MAX Achievers, Lombard, Ill.

1. Don’t just walk in unless the home is clearly marked as an open house. Knock or ring the bell if you don’t see an Open House sign.

2. Once inside, if no one greets you immediately, walk through the house toward the kitchen and look for the broker who is hosting the event.

3. If you don’t find the broker, look for a sign-in sheet, and use it. If you’re working with a broker who isn’t with you, include that information on the sign-in she

4. Ask the hosting broker if it is OK for you to walk through the home on your own. That is usually the case, but occasionally, a homeowner will insist that all visitors be escorted.

5. Unless indicated otherwise, feel free to go into every room in the house, turn on lights and even open the closets to assess storage capacity. However, respect the privacy of the homeowner. Don’t open drawers or inspect personal possessions.

6. If you want to see how a fixture operates, such as the furnace, shower or hot tub, ask permission first. However, it’s OK to turn on a sink faucet if you want to check the water pressure.
et.

When going to an open house, keep in mind that the broker can be a great source of information, noted Gail Bergstrom of RE/MAX At Home in Rolling Meadows, Ill.

“The broker can answer not only your questions about the home, but also about recent sales in the area, local schools, and a variety of other valuable details for a buyer new to the area,” she said.
Bergstrom also offers two other etiquette tips. She urges visitors not to take food or drink into an open house and to think twice about bringing small children.

Viewing a home without distractions created by children is the better choice. However, if bringing the kids is unavoidable, parents should always accompany them during the visit.

“At one open house I held, someone even insisted on bringing their dog,” she recalled. “They told me they couldn’t buy a home without the dog’s approval, so I let the dog have a look.”

RE/MAX agents consistently rank among the most productive in the industry. In 2015, RE/MAX Northern Illinois agents averaged 18 transaction sides. 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 106 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 www.illinoisproperty.com, 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 104,000+ sales associates in 90+ nations.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Metro Chicago Home Sales Registered Noteworthy Gains in First Half of 2016 Despite Shrinking Inventory, RE/MAX Reports


CHICAGO, July 25, 2016 – Home sales activity in the seven-county metropolitan Chicago real estate market registered noteworthy year-over-year gains during the first half of 2016 despite headwinds created by a limited supply of homes for sale, according to an analysis by RE/MAX. Metro-area home sales totaled 55,996 during that period, 7 percent more than the same period a year ago and the most for the first half of any year since 2006 when 60,285 homes were sold.

There was also good news on the home value front. The median sales price of a home in metro Chicago during the first half of 2016 was $225,000, 7 percent more than the comparable period last year and the highest first-half median price since 2008.

The inventory of homes for sale at the end of June was 37,457 units, 10 percent fewer than at the same point last year and equal to a four-month supply based on average monthly sales so far this year. The relative shortage of homes for sale was also reflected in the number of days a home spent on the market before going under contract. In June, average market time for homes sold in the metro area had fallen to 78 days.

“We are in an excellent environment for sellers, with prices trending upward and market times shortening,” said Jack Kreider, executive vice president and regional director of RE/MAX Northern Illinois. “We hope the second half of this year will see a noticeable growth in inventory, especially of moderately priced homes, which is the segment of the market in which the supply is the tightest right now.”

One positive factor contributing to the shrinking inventory, explained Kreider, is the decline in the number of distressed properties for sale. Distressed homes, which include foreclosures and short sales, accounted for 17 percent of first-half sales in the metro area this year, down from 25 percent last year and 32 percent two years ago.

The home sales data used for the RE/MAX analysis is collected by MRED, the regional multiple listing service. It covers detached and attached homes in the Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will. Detached homes are typically stand-alone single-family dwellings. Attached homes include condominium and cooperative apartments along with townhouses.


METRO CHICAGO REAL ESTATE MARKET HOME SALES
JAN.-JUNE 2016 VS. JAN.-JUNE 2015










2016

2016

2016



Total
%
Detached
%
Attached
%


Sales
Change
Sales
Change
Sales
Change








Metro

55,996
+7%
35,496
+7%
20,500
+7%
Cook

30,876
+6%
16,645
+6%
14,231
+5%
DuPage

7,078
+9%
4,674
   +9%
2,404
+10%
Kane

3,735
+7%
2,880
+3%
855
+24%
Kendall

1,278
+18%
957
+15%
321
+26%
Lake

5,205
+8%
4,060
+9%
1,145
+8%
McHenry

2,671
+11%
2,202
+12%
469
+6%
Will

5,160
+3%
4,080
+3%
1,080
+5%
Chicago

14,231
+5%
5,398
+5%
8,833
+4%










Sales gains varied considerably by county, ranging from a high of 18 percent in Kendall to a low of 3 percent in Will. On the other hand, increases in the median sales price were fairly consistent, ranging from 8 percent in Kane to 2 percent in Lake. As for the City of Chicago, sales activity rose 5 percent, and the median sales price climbed 3 percent.

Detached Homes

Detached home sales for the first half of 2016 totaled 35,496 units in the metro area, with a median sales price of $239,900. Both results were a 7 percent increase over the same period last year.

Sales activity and the median sales price increased in all seven counties and Chicago. The average market time for detached homes was 105 days, five days less than in 2015. Kendall County saw the largest increase in sales activity, gaining 15 percent, while the median price rose most sharply in Chicago, rising 14 percent to $210,000.

Attached Homes

Sales of attached homes were up 7 percent to 20,500 units in the metro area, and the median sales price gained 4 percent to $190,000. However, county results showed considerable divergence. Sales activity rose 26 percent in Kendall and 24 percent in Kane, but gained just 5 percent in Cook, which accounted for 69 percent of all attached sales.

Median prices followed a similar pattern, with the collar counties seeing solid gains: 11 percent in Kane, 10 percent in Kendall and Will and 8 percent in McHenry. But the median price rose just 3 percent in Cook and declined 0.3 percent in Chicago.  

RE/MAX agents consistently rank among the most productive in the industry. In 2015, RE/MAX Northern Illinois agents averaged 18 transaction sides. 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 2,300 sales associates and 106 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 www.illinoisproperty.com, 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 104,000+ sales associates in 90+ nations.