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Property sales in deep freeze

Property transfers in Evanston dropped to their lowest level in at least five years last month.

The City Clerk’s office recorded Only 22 sales — compared to 51 in January last year and an average of about 100 January sales the previous four years.

The drop was even more dramatic than in December, when just 44 sales were recorded, compared to 50 in December 2007 and an average of well over 100 December sales in the three preceding years.

The average price of a property sold in Evanston also fell in January to $385,527 from $447,777 in December.

That drop was caused at least in part by the lack of any sales of properties priced at $1 million or more. In a typical month the city sees about a half-dozen sales topping the million-dollar mark.

The sales drop meant the city collected just $42,408 in real estate transfer taxes in January — far below the more than $300,000 it needs to average each month to meet its budget forecast.

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