LINCOLN PARK — The Lincoln Park community was the city’s top area for luxury detached home sales in 2013, with 166 properties changing hands, according to a new report.
Total sales of detached luxury properties were up 24 percent from 2012, the RE/MAX Luxury Report on Chicago Real Estate said.
The median sale price in Lincoln Park for detached luxury homes — defined as properties carrying a price tag of $1 million or more — was $1,530,313, the report said. That was down about 5 percent from $1,607,000 in 2012.
The drop may indicate that more people are buying homes on the lower end of the Lincoln Park luxury market, said a representative for RE/MAX Northern Illinois.
"There aren’t a lot of people buying $5 million homes, and they do it no matter what the market is," the representative said. "For people buying $1.2 million homes, as the economy picks up, that part of the market starts to pick up a bit more, so that may explain the market this year."
Sales of luxury attached homes were down 21 percent in Lincoln Park, to 42 units.
Citywide, the sale of luxury properties, both attached and detached, saw healthy growth. In 2013, luxury home sales of both types were up 26 percent in 2013, as 900 units were sold last year.
The median sale price of attached and detached luxury homes in Chicago inched up 0.4 percent to $1.37 million.
The median price in the city for a detached luxury home was up 1 percent, to $1.35 million; for attached luxury homes, the median price was down 1 percent from the previous year, to $1.39 million citywide.
Luxury homes of both kinds also sold quicker in the city last year: The average time on the market for $1 million-plus homes was 160 days in 2013 compared with 233 days in 2012, the report said.
The report also noted increases in the number of luxury detached homes in West Town and North Center.
In the seven-county metro area, sales of luxury homes were up 33 percent, to 2,038. The median price "held steady" at $1.325 million, the report said.
The suburban towns with the most luxury home sales were: Hinsdale with 142 sales and a median sale price of $1.43 million; Winnetka with 133 sales and a median price of $1.5 million; and Lake Forest with 104 sales and a median price of $1.29 million.
Nationwide, "luxury price points drove the 2013 housing market," according to mortgagereports.com.
The reasons are twofold: The overall housing market is benefiting from a federal homebuyer tax credit, which not only helped first-time buyers get into the market but also "freed existing homeowners to move up," writes Dan Green of mortgagereports.com.
Lower jumbo mortgage rates also are helping.
"This summer, jumbo loans bucked the broader mortgage rate trend. Jumbo rates fell through August and September, even as conventional mortgage rates climbed," Green wrote.
The prediction is that in 2014 homes costing more than $500,000 should "continue to outperform the general market."