The luxury housing market in the suburbs is off to a strong start, the same trend seen in the city, setting the stage for another record year.
A 7,700-square-foot house with 100 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline sold for $4.5 million on Tuesday, the same day an 8,800-square-foot home in Winnetka changed hands for $4.3 million, bringing the total of $4 million-plus homes sold in the suburbs to five, according to Crain’s. Three houses in the same price range sold last year, one in 2020 and none in 2019.
If there was more inventory to meet demand, the figure might be higher, said Jena Radnay, an @properties agent who represented both the buyers and sellers in this week’s Winnetka sale.
“People are buying quickly if they can,” Radnay said.
A Sheridan Road home asking just under $6 million went under contract 10 days after it hit the market last month. The price is undisclosed as the sale hasn’t closed yet.
As more office employees worked from home during the pandemic, they sought more space and privacy in the suburbs. Luxury home sales also got a boost from stock market gains and low mortgage rates, and sales often led to bidding wars. About a third of the total 101 homes sold for $4 million and more last year came from the suburbs.
The affordability of waterfront homes on the North Shore compared with other major cities is what is attracting buyers, said Ted Pickus, the @properties agent who represented sellers of the Highland Park house. Buyers “realize they’re getting a great value moving out to the suburbs in these big homes,” he said.
The Highland Park home had an indoor pool, basketball court, a movie theater, and a backyard overlooking the lake, amenities that appealed to the buyers in the pandemic, Pickus added.
In the city, 13 homes sold for $4 million or more as of mid-February, more than three-fold of the four houses sold in Chicago at the same time last year.
Most recently, a six-bedroom, 8,400-square-foot mansion in Lincoln Park sold for $8.7 million this month. The home that had an outdoor living room, sports court area, and two terraces, went under contract before it hit the market.
[Crain’s] – Connie Kim