CHICAGO, April 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Luxury homes sold at a faster pace during the first quarter of 2015, January through March, than they did a year earlier in the seven-county metropolitan Chicago real estate market. Transaction activity was 16 percent higher for the period, with luxury home sales totaling 378 units. Luxury properties sold during the quarter were also finding buyers more quickly, requiring an average of just 144 days, compared to 158 days during the same period last year, according to the RE/MAX Luxury Report on Metro Chicago Real Estate.
The RE/MAX report is a quarterly analysis of $1-million-plus home sales in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.
The median sales price for those homes was $1,350,000 during the first quarter, down from $1,372,500 a year earlier.
"We saw a slight decline in median sales prices in the luxury category during the first quarter, but in our view that isn't a negative," said Jim Merrion, regional director of the RE/MAX Northern Illinois real estate network. "Instead, it indicates that sales accelerated most rapidly in the $1 million to $1.5 million segment of the luxury market, which is what you would expect to see as consumer confidence rises."
Over the course of the last two years, luxury home sales in metro Chicago during the first quarter of the year have grown by 37 percent, and the lion's share of that growth has been in Chicago, rather than in the suburbs. First-quarter city luxury sales rose 54 percent over that period, while suburban luxury sales gained 21 percent.
Chicago Luxury Home Sales
The luxury housing market in Chicago enjoyed a strong first quarter. Transaction volume was 18 percent higher than in the same period of 2014, with 209 properties changing hands. The median sales price was $1,373,750, 2 percent less than a year ago. Average market time fell by 10 days to 115 days.
Sales of detached homes for $1 million or more increased to 105 units, 30 percent more sales than in the first quarter of 2014. Those homes had a median sales price of $1,411,000 compared to $1,425,000 a year earlier.
Three city communities showed particularly sharp gains in luxury detached home sales. In Lake View, 20 luxury properties were sold, an increase of 82 percent from the prior year. West Town recorded 13 luxury sales, up 86 percent, while sales in North Center were up 69 percent to 22 properties. North Center was one submarket where the median price moved higher, gaining 10 percent to $1,387,000.
A similar scenario played out in the city market for attached homes. There, sales for the quarter rose 8 percent to 104 units, while the median sales price slipped 2 percent to $1,342,500. Market times shortened considerably, falling 28 days to an average of 112 days.
Suburban Luxury Home Sales
Across the suburbs of the metro Chicago area, luxury home sales increased 13 percent during the first quarter of 2015, with 169 sales completed compared to 149 sales a year earlier. The median sales price dipped 3 percent to $1,300,000, and average market time for those homes was 179 days, down from 196 days during the first three months of 2014.
The top suburbs for luxury sales during the first quarter were Winnetka with 24 transactions, Hinsdale with 19 and a third-place tie between Wilmette and Lake Forest, each with 13 transactions. Winnetka also ranked first in terms of median sales price at $1,700,000.
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 2,200+ sales associates and 105 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 100,000+ sales associates in 90+ nations.
SOURCE RE/MAX Northern Illinois