For the first time in well over a year, more properties changed hands in Evanston last month than sold in the same month the previous year.

Of course, with the housing sales slump over a year old, that at best only means the market may have found a bottom from which to try to stage a recovery.

A total of 92 properties changed hands last month, compared to 87 in the same month a year ago. But September 2006 saw 126 properties change hands and the total was 155 in September 2005.

And September sales this year were down slightly from the 95 recorded in August.

Figures from the City Clerk’s office show that the average selling price last month — $479,793 — was down about 3 percent from the average of the last several months.

Because commercial buildings are included in the real estate transfer tax data, it doesn’t provide a direct measure of the average value of single family homes sold.

The city forecast that it would raise $3.7 million from the real estate transfer tax in the current fiscal year, but if sales continue at the pace they have so far, the total for the year is likely to be nearly $1 million short of the goal.

Five properties that changed hands last month reached or topped the $1 million mark.

  • A strip shopping center at 845 Dodge Ave. sold for $2.6 million.
  • A three story mixed use building at 2116-2118 Central St. sold for $2.05 million.
  • A single-family home at 1118 Sheridan Road sold for $1.7 million.
  • A courtyard apartment building at 616-626 Hull Terrace sold for $1.415 million.
  • A single family home at 1419 Judson Ave.sold for $1 million.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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