CHICAGO, Feb. 2, 2017 – The number of luxury homes sold in the Chicago area rose modestly in 2016, but those properties, all selling for $1 million or more, spent noticeably longer on the market, according to the year-end edition of the RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate.
Luxury sales totaled 2,423 units in 2016, 3 percent more than during 2015. The average time required to find a buyer was 165 days, up from 135 days in 2015, a 22 percent increase. The median sales price for those properties was $1,325,000, compared to $1,340,000 in 2015, which translates to a 1 percent decline.
The luxury segment of the Chicago-area housing market was notably more sluggish than the metro housing market as a whole last year, noted Jack Kreider, executive vice president and regional director of RE/MAX Northern Illinois, which does 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).
“While total sales of luxury properties did increase, the longer market times reflect the ample inventory of homes from which luxury buyers can choose, and that is especially the case in Chicago,” Kreider explained. “The inventory of luxury homes for sale in Chicago at the end of 2016 was 23 percent larger than 12 months earlier. We’re seeing that most clearly in the market for attached homes. Year-end inventory in that category was up 34 percent.
“The large array of luxury properties for sale also helped restrain price appreciation, so with wider choice and stable prices, the luxury market is quite welcoming to buyers right now,” he said.
City Luxury Market
There were 1,129 luxury home sales in Chicago during 2016 accounting for 46.6 percent of all $1 million-plus residential transactions in the metro area. Those city sales consisted of 642 single-family homes and 487 attached homes, which include condominium apartments, townhouses and cooperatives.
Sales of luxury single-family homes were 4 percent higher in 2016 than during the prior year but took an average of 139 days to find a buyer compared to 107 days in 2015. The median sales price in that category was $1,387,000, compared to $1,420,000 a year earlier.
Lincoln Park was once again the leader in luxury single-family activity among city neighborhoods with 165 sales. Its closest competitors were North Center with 120 sales and Lake View with 106. Those three areas, along with Near North, Lincoln Square, Logan Square and West Town have dominated Chicago luxury single-family sales in recent years, but this year a new area joined that list. Edgewater recorded 27 $1 million-plus sales in 2016, after registering a total of just 21 such sales over the four preceding years combined.
The median sales price for luxury single-family homes rose in Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Logan Square and North Center, but average market time increased in all eight of the leading luxury communities.
In the attached segment of the city luxury market, 2016 sales activity totaled 487 units, compared to 503 in 2015. The median sales price was $1,350,000, down 2 percent from the prior year, and average market time rose by 9 days to 125 days.
The Near North area continued to dominate the luxury attached market in Chicago, accounting for 274 sales at a median price of $1,500,000. That compares to 298 sales at a median price of $1,400,000 in 2015.
The three other leading neighborhoods for attached luxury transactions were Lincoln Park with 73 sales at a median of $1,200,000; the Loop with 58 sales at a median of $1,247,500 and Near South with 32 sales at a median of $1,187,877.
Suburban Luxury Sales
Like the city, luxury homes in the suburbs saw an increase in average market time in 2016, but in other respects the suburban market turned in slightly stronger results than its city cousin. Sales activity in the suburbs totaled 1,294 units last year, 5 percent more than in 2015, and the median sales price held steady at $1,285,000. Average market time increased 24 percent to 193 days.
As they did in 2015, seven suburban communities recorded at least 50 luxury sales last year, with Hinsdale and Winnetka tied for the lead at 144 sales each. Others in the 50+ category for 2016 were Wilmette with 120 sales, Lake Forest with 97, Glenview with 82, Glencoe with 59 and Evanston with 58. Just behind the top seven was Elmhurst, which has seen a substantial growth in $1-million-plus home sales in recent years. It recorded 48 luxury sales in 2016, up from 35 in 2015 and 14 in 2014.