CHICAGO – Luxury home sales in the metropolitan Chicago area are off to a strong start in 2017, with first-quarter activity up 31.1 percent from the same quarter of 2016, according to the RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate. It represents the highest level of first-quarter $1-million-plus sales in the Chicago market since RE/MAX began tracking that activity in 2011.
Sales for the quarter totaled 455 units, and the median price was $1,280,000, down 6.4 percent from same quarter last year. Average market time rose to 189 days, five days more than last year, and the inventory of luxury homes for sale was 2,905 units, an 8.9 percent increase.
“The ample supply of luxury properties on the market clearly had an impact on prices, but at the same time, lower prices are helping boost sales activity and should bring supply into better balance with demand over the course of this year,” said Jack Kreider, executive vice president and regional director of RE/MAX Northern Illinois. “If the second quarter continues this trend, I think we’ll see luxury-home prices stabilize after a couple of years when the overall trend has been slightly down.”
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).
City of Chicago Luxury Sales
Sales of luxury homes in Chicago rose 33 percent in the quarter to 242 units, up from 182 units in the same period last year, while the median sales price was $1,305,000, down 5.6 percent. The luxury inventory in the city expanded by 37.7 percent to 1,030 units, much of it representing new construction.
Sales activity was especially strong in the attached-home market segment, which includes condominium apartments, townhouses and cooperative units. Compared to the January-March quarter of last year, sales were up 69 percent to 120 units, while the median sales price was down 7.4 percent to $1,227,500. Average market time fell sharply from 178 days last year to 136 days this year.
All four of the community areas that dominate Chicago’s luxury attached market registered strong sales-activity increases, led by Lincoln Park with a gain of 200 percent to 21 units and Near South with a gain of 150 percent to 10 units. The Near North area, which has by far the heaviest concentration of luxury attached homes, had a sales gain of 32 percent to 62 units.
The detached segment of the city luxury market experienced a more modest increase in activity. Sales totaled 122 units, up 10 percent from the first quarter of 2016, and the median price fell 2.9 percent to $1,345,000. Average market time rose to 173 days from 155 days a year earlier.
North Center saw the largest number of luxury sales in the quarter, with 25 units selling at a median price of $1,270,000. Those results represented a 47 percent increase in sales and a 2.8 percent gain in the median price.
The number of luxury detached sales also rose in Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Lake View and West Town but fell in Lincoln Park, Edgewater and Near North.
The Lincoln Park detached-home market was notably soft, with sales down 25.8 percent to 23 units and the median sales price falling 40 percent to $1,501,000.
Suburban Luxury Sales
Suburban luxury sales were 29.1 percent higher in the quarter at 213 units, and the median sales price fell 5.9 percent to $1,270,000, while average market time rose to 228 days from 206 days a year earlier. The suburban inventory of 1,875 units was 2.3 percent lower than a year ago, but still represented a two-year supply based on the sales pace in the first quarter.
Many of the suburban towns where luxury homes are most common saw notable gains in sales activity during the first quarter, led by Winnetka, which was number one in sales for the quarter. Sales there totaled 28 units, up 47.4 percent. The median sales price was $1,487,500, off 1.3 percent from the same quarter of 2016.
Other communities seeing more luxury sales in the quarter include Wilmette, Glenview, Glencoe, Evanston, Highland Park, the Barrington area, Northbrook and Naperville. In each case, with the exception of Northbrook and Naperville, the median sales price declined.
The major exception to those trends was Hinsdale, one of the leading luxury markets. Quarterly results there showed sales down 14 percent to 25 units but the median sales price up 12.6 percent to $1,575,000.