Property sales in Evanston dropped to their lowest level in three months in August with just 95 transactions reported.
A year ago 154 properties changed hands in August.
It marks the 15th month in a row of declining sales compared to year-earlier levels.
Looking just at the past 12 months, monthly sales levels have been somewhat more robust through the spring and summer, down in about a third, compared to the winter months when sales were off closer to 50 percent.
But the summer sales a year ago were already reflecting the beginnings of the sales slump.
Figures from the City Clerk’s office show that the average selling price last month was down about 5 percent from July when two office buildings in the Research Park area changed hands, but it was up nearly 8 percent from the average of the last several months.
The drop in property sales is creating a significant hole in the city’s budget. City officials had projected they’d raise $3.7 million from the real estate transfer tax when the adopted the budget in February, but tax collections through august have totalled $1.425 million — 23 percent short of the pace needed to reach that goal.
Two properties that have been in the news recently changed hands last month.
National Louis University closed on its $3.6 million purchase of an office building at 1620 Central St. after winning approval from the city for its plans to use the building as a dormitory for the PACE program that trains young adults with multiple disabilities for careers.
And the home at 1501 Forest Ave. was acquired for $1.125 million by new owners who are seeking to move the house and subdivide the lot.
Other transactions that topped the million dollar mark in August included the following single-family homes:
- 1415 Lincoln St. sold for $1.56 million.
- 1322 Judson Ave. sold for $1.335 million.
- 315 Davis St. sold for $1.3 million.
- 2635 Poplar Ave. sold for $1.037 million.
Property Sales Still in Doldrums
To put things in perspective a little, note that the house at 1415 Lincoln St. that sold for $1.56 million last month previously sold for $1.55 million in March of 2006. Houses on the North Shore are not appreciating at the frantic pace that they once were.
Sales volume vs. sales price
I see some good news in this report in that the average sales price seems to have held steady for the last few years. Many of our neighboring communities are seeing large drops in sales prices as well.
Appreciation of real estate is always nice, but in this market I think most people would be happy if their homes just maintained the current value.
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