Property sales in Evanston rose in February from record low levels in January, but remained well below the pace of recent years.

Thirty-three properties changed hands in February, compared to 22 in January. But that was down from 50 sales in February 2008, and from an average of more than 90 sales in each of prior three years.

The average price of a property sold in Evanston fell in February to $327,158 from $385,527 in January.

The average price a year ago was $413,052. The drop was caused at least in part by a dearth of sales of properties priced at $1 million or more. Only one such sale — of a home at 2405 Colfax St. that changed hands for $1.387 million — was recorded in February. In a typical month the city sees about a half-dozen sales topping the million-dollar mark.

The sales drop means the city collected just over $2 million in real estate transfer tax revenue for the 2008-09 fiscal year that ended in February. That’s only 56 percent of the $3.7 million the transfer tax had been expected to generate when the budget was adopted a year ago. 

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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