Sales volume and the selling prices of properies in Evanston both dropped in September, but a big commercial property sale will dramatically improve October’s report.

The city clerk’s office reports the average selling price in September was $411,414, down from $456,011 in August. For the first seven months of the city’s fiscal year, the average selling price of homes and other property covered by the real estate transfer tax is up 2.2 percent from the same period in 2005-06, and up 18.4 percent from the same period in 2004-05.

For the full fiscal year that ended in February, average selling prices were up 13 percent from the previous year.

The transfer tax is charged at a rate of $5 per $1,000 of selling price. The city expects to raise $4,000,000 from the transfer tax this year, a level it just barely reached last year. After a slow start, tax receipts are now running 16 percent ahead of that target.

Total transactions in September were 126, down dramatically from the 216 recorded in August and also down from the 155 recorded in September a year ago.

In the largest property transfers of the month, an apartment building at 2157 Ridge Ave. sold for $1.5 million and a single family home at 324 Hamilton St. changed hands for $1.01 million.

Next month’s numbers will show a dramatic upswing, when the sale of Evanston’s tallest skyscraper is reported. The 1603 Orrington Ave. complex has been sold for a total of $54.5 million.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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