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Houses sell for lower prices

The average selling price of properties in Evanston fell 14 percent last month from year ago levels, while the number of sales was up just over 1 percent.

Average price

Figures from the city clerk’s office show an average selling price of $439,582 last month, compared to $513,987 a year earlier. In May 2005 the average selling price was a shade higher than last month at $441,071.

Last month 141 properties changed hands compared to 139 in May last year and 156 two years ago.

The monthly transfer tax figures include commercial as well as residential properties, although there were no unusually large commercial sales last month.

Transactions

For the past 12 months, sales value is down 2.3 percent from the year earlier period. The average selling price over the last 12 months is up 15.7 percent from the year-earlier period, but that includes two major commercial property transactions that substantially raised the average.

Five properties sold for $1 million or more last month.

In two instances the sellers were churches. Ebenezer AME Church sold the mixed-use retail and apartment building at 1932-1936 Maple Ave. to Maple Avenue Properties LLC for $1.265 million, and the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago sold a single-family home on a large corner lot at 709 Foster St. to Kihm Residential, Inc. for $1.1 million.

Other transactions involved an apartment building at 714-716 Foster that sold for $2.27 million, a two-family home at 1232 Maple Ave. that sold for $1.75 million and a single family home at 935 Sheridan Rd. that sold for $1.417 million.

The city anticipates raising $4.06 million from the Real Estate Transfer tax in the fiscal year that started in March. For the year so far, collections from the 0.5 percent tax on property sales are $953,600 — 9 percent below the level needed to reach the budget target.

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