September 12, 2013 // Franchising.com // CHICAGO – According to results of the fifth annual Metra Communities Study by RE/MAX, the median sales price of homes in towns that Metra commuter trains serve rose twice as fast as the median price in suburban communities without Metra service in the seven-county Chicago real estate market. The study relies on sales data gathered by MRED, LLC, the regional multiple listing service.
The study compared home sales in the first half of this year to similar periods last year and in 2008, which is when the real estate market was still near its peak. The results show that in the 116 communities that have Metra train service, the median sales price increased 5.6 percent to $170,000 compared to the same time period in 2012. The median sales price rose 2.3 percent to $148,000 in suburbs without Metra service.
Suburbs without Metra service matched the Metra-served communities in the average number of days a home was listed prior to going under contract. Average market time for the Metra communities in 2013 was 131 days, 40 days less than last year. Suburbs without Metra service had identical results, with the average market time falling to 131 days this year from 171 days in 2012.
The RE/MAX study also found that the growth in home sales activity was similar in both the Metra-served communities and suburbs without Metra service. Home sales during the first half of this year were 29 percent higher in the Metra communities and increased 28 percent in suburbs without Metra service. The 2013-to-2008 comparison was similarly close, with the Metra communities seeing a 66 percent increase and suburbs without Metra service gaining 67 percent.
The rate of change in sales activity and median prices was fairly consistent across all 11 Metra lines, with a few exceptions. Comparing 2013 to 2012, 10 of the 11 lines saw sales activity increase between 24 and 37 percent and the median price gain between 5 and 9 percent. The exceptions were the Heritage Corridor, where sales increased 16 percent, and the Metra Electric line, where the median price rose 48 percent.
Regarding sales activity concentration, communities along the Union Pacific Northwest Line and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Line have consistently accounted for a combined total of about one third of all home sales in the Metra communities, which was true again in 2013. During the first six months of this year, the two lines had a combined total of 8,156 sales out of 24,556 total sales in the Metra-served communities.
RE/MAX has been the leader in the northern Illinois real estate market since 1989. The RE/MAX Northern Illinois network, with headquarters in Elgin, Ill., consists of 2,000 sales associates and 100 individually owned and operated RE/MAX offices that provide a full range of residential and commercial brokerage services. Its www.illinoisproperty.com and www.remax.com websites are leaders in consumer visits among real estate franchise brands. The www.global.remax.com website allows consumers to search properties around the globe; www.theremaxcollection.com is a specialized portal of luxury properties across the U.S., and www.remaxcommercial.com displays commercial properties available nationwide and abroad. The northern Illinois network is part of RE/MAX LLC, a global real estate organization with 91,000 sales associates in 90+ nations. The RE/MAX organization has been recognized for numerous industry honors for excellence, and its Associates continue to lead the industry in professional designations, experience and production. Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX. RE/MAX is the official real estate partner of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the national sponsor of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.