Market Conditions: Chicagoland Housing Inventory Has Risen YOY the Last 4 Months

5235 n ravenswood #2

2013 was famous for having near record low inventory in Chicago.

Lack of product and record low mortgage rates combined to push Chicago housing prices up sharply. In some neighborhoods, prices exceeded previous peaks.

But over the last few months, the Chicago housing market has been changing.

Housing inventories in the Chicagoland area have actually risen, year over year, over the last four months.

In September, according to the MLS, 62,316 homes were on the market, up 5.1% from 59,292 listings last year.

Buyer demand also appears to be slowing as months of inventory has risen three consecutive months to 4.8 months in September. That is, however, still a sellers market as anything under 6 months favors the sellers.

From Crain’s:

“In 2013 we just saw such an acceleration and there was no way that was going to be sustainable,” said Matt Farrell, immediate past president of the Chicago Association of Realtors and managing partner of Chicago-based Urban Real Estate. “In 2014, to me, it’s just kind of a return to normal.”

Inventory steadily fell through the market’s recovery, dipping to just 3.8 months of supply in August 2013 before starting to rise again, according to MRED. Realtors and other groups have cited tight supply as a major force holding back first-time homebuyers and other key cogs of the market competing against multiple bidders or cash buyers. Six months of supply is generally viewed as a balanced market.

“First-time buyers may have had some frustration trying to do something in the last year because they could never beat an all-cash offer, they could never close in 15 days,” Mr. Farrell said. “There are buyers who were discouraged, who were ending up with their third or fourth choice, or deciding to rent for another year.”

The rise in homes for sale has yet to significantly affect sellers, though. Prices are still rising, albeit more slowly than last year, and the average time it takes to sell a home fell to 84 days last month from 98 in September 2013. Distressed home sales have fallen 25 percent through the first eight months of the year, meaning less lender-driven competition and downward price pressure on homeowners.

All the agents are talking about a return to a “normal” market. Yet the Chicago market hasn’t been “normal” for over a decade.

What impact will having a “normal” housing market have going forward?

Is that the end of the dramatic price increases?

More choice for homebuyers as Chicago listings rise [Crain's Chicago Business, David Lee Matthews, October 30, 2014]

Market Conditions: September Sales Fall 8.7%; Median Price Rises Again

401 n wabash #1

The September home sales data is out. Sales fell again while the median price also rose again.

From the Illinois Association of Realtors:

The city of Chicago saw an 8.7 percent year-over-year decrease in home sales in September 2014 with 2,187 sales, down from 2,395 in September 2013. The median price rose to $250,000 versus $230,000 in September 2013, an annual increase of 8.7 percent.

September sales for the last 8 years:

  • 2007: 2172 sales
  • 2008: 1816 sales
  • 2009: 1918 sales
  • 2010: 1403 sales
  • 2011: 1498 sales
  • 2012: 1845 sales
  • 2013: 2395 sales
  • 2014: 2187 sales

Median prices for the last 8 years:

  • 2007: $267,750
  • 2008: $268,600
  • 2009: $225,000
  • 2010: $180,000
  • 2011: $190,000
  • 2012: $188,900
  • 2013: $230,000
  • 2014: $250,000

“Chicago’s fall housing market features bright spots for both buyers and sellers,” said Hugh Rider, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and co-president of Realty & Mortgage Co. “Buyers can be encouraged by a rise in the number of homes available for sale this fall to give them a broader selection. Sellers also continue to be in a strong position with median sales prices posting year-over-year gains and homes selling more quickly.”

“As the housing market enters a normally slow season, the trend of the last few months of declining sales on a month-to-month basis is expected to continue, but with gains on a year-over-year basis for the remainder of 2014,” noted Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois.  “However, prices are still forecast to increase and inventories are slowly expanding.”

The headline on the press release touted the median price increase as, statewide, sales also dropped.

But just because the median price is rising, that doesn’t mean home prices are rising. The median price only tells you the mix of what is selling. If it’s rising, that’s because more of the expensive homes are selling.

One bright spot was the average mortgage rate. It declined to an average of 4.1% from 4.5% in 2013 which should help make housing more affordable.

There was nothing surprising in this report given anecdotal information from buyers and sellers.

Will it simply be more of the same (i.e. declining sales) for October, November and December?

Illinois median home prices increase 4.5 percent in September; Statewide home sales down 4.4 percent [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, October 21, 2014]

Historic “Race House” Tries Again in Old Irving Park: 3945 N. Tripp

3945 n tripp #1 approved

This 5-bedroom Victorian Italianate single family home at 3945 N. Tripp in Old Irving Park came on the market in May 2014.

But it may look familiar to many of you. It has been on and off the market since August 2007.

We last chattered about it in June 2011. You can see that chatter here.

Built for Stephen Race, one of the members of the founding family of Irving Park, the house was designated a Chicago landmark in 1988.

According to Wikipedia, the house originally cost $12,000 to build in 1873.

It has been fully renovated and now has a chef’s kitchen with double oven, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink and custom white cabinets.

It has also retained many of its original features including arched doorways, thick moldings, pocket doors, stained glass windows and 4 fireplaces.

There is a full english basement and a 3000 bottle wine cellar.

It has a large master bath with custom walk in shower.

There are also numerous skylights.

Built on a 50×75 lot, it has central air and 2-car parking on a side driveway.

3945 n tripp #2 approved

Back in 2011, it was pulled from the market while listed at $779,000.

But that was a completely different housing market.

It returned to the market in May 2014 at $839,000.

It has since been reduced to $799,000.

Old Irving Park is considered to be one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city. There is little on the market below $1 million (or above it, for that matter.)

Will the Race House finally sell in 2014?

Heather Lange at @Properties has the listing once again. See the pictures here.

3945 N. Tripp: 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, 2 half baths, 5800 square feet, 2 car parking

  • Sold in November 1997 for $285,000
  • Sold in January 2002 for $639,500
  • Originally listed in August 2007
  • Was listed in January 2009 for $1.199 million
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in October 2010 for $947,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in June 2011 at $799,000
  • Reduced to $779,000
  • Withdrawn in September 2011
  • Re-listed in May 2014 for $839,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $799,000
  • Taxes now $9371 (they were $3881 in June 2011)
  • Central Air
  • 4 fireplaces
  • Bedroom #1: 30×18 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 16×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 17×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 17×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 13×11 (second floor)
  • Library: 22×12 (main floor)

7.7% Price Reduction on Vintage 2-Bedroom in the Gold Coast: 1427 N. Dearborn

1427 n dearborn

This 2-bedroom in The Cordova at 1427 N. Dearborn in the Gold Coast came on the market in April 2014.

The Cordova is an 8-unit vintage building with an elevator.

If this unit seems familiar, that’s because it is. It has been on and off the market since July 2010.

We last chattered about it in July 2012. See our chatter here.

The third floor unit has 1700 square feet and some of its vintage features such as a wood burning fireplace.

The kitchen has cherry cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

The listing says there are “upgraded bathrooms.”

It has central air and a washer/dryer in the unit but no deeded parking. Parking is available next door for $275 a month.

It came back on the market this year at $649,000 and recently reduced $50,000, or 7.7%, to $599,000.

Back in 2012, it went as low as $485,000 before it was withdrawn from the market.

Will it finally sell in 2014?

Lauren Leonardi at @Properties has the listing again. See the pictures here.

Unit #3S: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1700 square feet

  • Sold in July 1999 for $390,000
  • Sold in April 2002 for $463,000
  • Sold in June 2005 for $617,500
  • Sold in June 2008 for $635,000
  • Originally listed in July 2010 for $659,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in June 2011 at $626,000
  • Withdrawn
  • Re-listed in April 2012 at $485,000
  • Withdrawn
  • Re-listed in April 2014 for $649,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $599,000
  • Assessments now $505 a month (they were $400 a month in 2012)
  • Taxes now $6012 (they were $8796 in 2012)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • No parking- rental available nearby for $275 a month
  • Bedroom #1: 14×12
  • Bedroom #2: 12×12
  • Office/den: 15×9

We Love Authentic Bucktown Lofts: A 2-Bedroom at 1670 N. Claremont

1670 n claremont

This 2-bedroom in the Ironwerks Lofts at 1670 N. Claremont in Bucktown came on the market in July 2014.

The building was converted into loft condos in 1999.

It has all the features loft lovers look for including 12-foot timber ceilings, exposed brick and hardwood floors throughout.

The master bedroom has full height walls so there’s some privacy.

The kitchen has maple cabinets, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.

The end unit also has a 23×17 interior courtyard terrace.

The loft has the other features buyers look for including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and garage parking.

First listed in July, it has been reduced $6,000 to $369,000.

Bucktown is still a hot neighborhood.

What will it take to sell this loft?

Kris Mork at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the listing here.

Unit #104: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in July 2000 for $210,000
  • Sold in October 2002 for $280,000
  • Sold in September 2005 for $352,000
  • Originally listed in July 2014 for $375,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $369,000
  • Assessments of $249 a month (includes cable)
  • Taxes of $3886
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 14×12
  • Bedroom #2: 14×10

Want a Piece of Wicker Park History? A 3-Bedroom Rowhouse at 1959 W. Schiller

1959 w schiller

This 3-bedroom Victorian rowhouse at 1959 W. Schiller in Wicker Park came on the market in July 2014.

Built in 1879 on an extra long 25×162 lot, it sits directly across the street from Wicker Park.

The listing calls it a single family home- but I don’t see any separation with the home next to it in the picture (the construction above is on the property next to it) so it appears to be a rowhouse. (???)

It has many of its original features including 11-foot ceilings, crown molding and ceiling medallions.

There are 4 wood burning fireplaces.

The house has a finished basement.

It also has an enclosed backyard and a 2-car garage.

The listing says “Bring your design” and if you look at the interior pictures you’ll know what it means.

Originally listed for $1.35 million, it has been reduced $351,000 to $999,000.

This house last sold 19 years ago so it seems it is rarely available for purchase.

Do you have the vision to restore this house to its original grandeur?

Art Collazo at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

1959 W. Schiller: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 3400 square feet, 2 car garage

  • Sold in June 1995 for $325,000
  • Originally listed in July 2014 for $1.35 million
  • Reduced several times
  • Pending once
  • Currently listed for $999,000
  • Taxes of $12,337
  • Central Air
  • 4 wood burning fireplaces
  • Bedroom #1: 16×33 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×18 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 11×15 (second floor)
  • Family room: 19×36 (basement)

Deal of the Year in Lincoln Park? A 2/2 Townhouse for $350,000: 1801 W. Diversey

1801 w diversey

This 2-bedroom townhouse at 1801 W. Diversey in Lincoln Park has been on the market since June 2014.

Built in 1995 it is an end unit with a 2-car attached garage.

It has three stories with the living/dining/kitchen on the main floor, the two bedrooms on the second floor and a den/family room on the third floor with skylights.

It has two outdoor spaces including a private patio off the main level and a deck.

The kitchen has maple cabinets, granite counter tops and black appliances.

There is also a master suite with cathedral ceilings.

This townhouse was bank owned in 2009 and was bought from the bank for $360,000.

It came back on the market at $389,900 but has now been reduced to $350,000.

That is $1,000 under the 2001 purchase price.

Is this the deal of the year in Lincoln Park?

1801 w diversey #2

Stephanie Cutter at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2100 square feet, 2 car attached garage

  • Sold in October 1995 for $200,000
  • Sold in July 2001 for $351,000
  • Sold in October 2005 for $420,000
  • Bank owned in March 2009
  • Sold in June 2009 for $360,000
  • Originally listed in June 2014 for $389,900
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $350,000
  • Assessments of $349 a month (includes snow removal)
  • Taxes of $7337
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 15×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 18×14 (second floor)
  • Living room: 15×14 (main floor)
  • Den: 15×14 (third floor)

Has the Market Changed in East Lincoln Park in Just 3 Months? 562 W. Arlington

562 w arlington #1 approved

This third floor unit in the 4-unit vintage greystone at 562 W. Arlington in East Lincoln Park came on the market in August 2014.

We’ve chattered about this building numerous times over the years including in May 2014 when the top floor unit, #4, was on the market.

See that chatter here.

Unit #4, which is the same square footage and has similar finishes as Unit #3, sold in August and has this sales history:

Unit #4: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1700 square feet

  • Sold in July 2005 for $610,000
  • Sold in July 2007 for $715,000
  • Was listed in May 2009 for $699,000
  • Reduced
  • Withdrawn in 2011
  • Was listed in May 2014 at $679,000
  • Reduced to $659,000- wherein it went under contract
  • Sold in August 2014 for $635,000

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Unit #3 came on the market at $659,000.

This unit has 2 outdoor spaces, including a front stone balcony.

It has some of its vintage features still intact, including 2 fireplaces and coved moldings.

The kitchen has white cabinets, granite counter tops and luxury Viking and Subzero appliances.

The unit has all the features buyers look for, including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and a gated parking space.

Will a buyer of Unit #3 get a deal compared to #4 thanks to a changing market?

Johnnye Paige at DreamTown has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1700 square feet

  • Sold in August 2005 for $625,000
  • Sold in May 2011 for $573,000
  • Originally listed in August 2014 for $659,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $619,000
  • Assessments of $205 a month (includes water and snow removal)
  • Taxes of $8739
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • 1 car gated parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 15×12
  • Bedroom #2: 13×12
  • Dining room: 12×12

6 Years Later, Do We Still Love This Rooftop Deck? 1647 N. Sedgwick in Old Town

1647 n Sedgwick

This vintage 2-bedroom at 1647 N. Sedgwick in Old Town just came on the market in September 2014.

If it looks familiar to some of you old timers, that’s because it is. We last chattered about it back in the “innocent” times, in June 2008.

See our very interesting prior chatter here.

At the beginning of the summer of 2008, the financial markets had not experienced the collapse of Lehman Brothers or of the stock market.

And the housing market was still pretty “hot.”

Some of you called this unit your “dream” home in 2008.

This top floor unit in a 3-unit vintage building has tall ceilings and original wood moldings along with a wood burning fireplace in the living room.

If you look at the pictures in the 2008 chatter, you can see that the kitchen cabinets have been painted white and there are now quartz counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

I can’t tell exactly what they did in the bathroom but that’s at least a new vanity and lighting.

This unit has two outdoor spaces, a deck off the back and a private rooftop deck with city views.

It has all the other features that buyers look for, including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and rare (at least for Old Town) garage parking.

People who went to the open house for this unit in 2008 reported that it was swarming with people.

The agent at that time posted this comment:

“I was the listing agent for this property. We received 5 offers within the first week, accepted the best. However, the buyer got cold feet and walked. We reactivated the listing on the MLS, but immediately returned to the other 4 offers and accepted one within a few days. The property sold for near the asking price with five offers on the table. It was without a doubt, a fantastic property and it was a joy to represent.”

There was also a spirited discussion in the old chatter about who could afford this $420,000 unit (i.e. who even had a down payment).

Inventory levels in Lincoln Park were discussed – with Steve Heitman actually saying :

“Let’s not forget that 95% financing is still available. My guess is that the credit markets will loosen in the next 6 months.”

Homedelete wagered that this unit would again sell at the 1999 price (which was $300,000).

G said inventory wasn’t dropping due to sales saying:

“This is the typical bubble after-effect where the sellers insist on chasing the market down, thus making it somewhat sticky.”

Ah…memories.

Having sold in a week in a bidding war in 2008, this unit has returned 6 years later priced just $13,000 above the 2008 purchase price, at $425,000.

It’s currently been on the market for 11 days.

30-year fixed mortgage rate when it went under contract in June 2008 = 6.3%

30-year fixed mortgage rate right now = 4.1%

What will happen with this unit this go around?

Gregory Desmond at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff now has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, no square footage listed

  • Sold in October 1997 for $252,000
  • Sold in November 1999 for $300,000
  • Sold in July 2008 after a bidding war for $412,000
  • Listed in September 2014 for $425,000
  • Currently still listed for $425,000
  • Assessments now $173 a month (they were $150 a month in 2008)
  • Taxes now $5996 (they were $3916 in 2008)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Garage parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 14×9
  • Bedroom #2: 12×9
  • Private rooftop deck: 27×16

 

 

Trying to Sell a 3-Bedroom Penthouse One Year Later in Southport: 1550 W. Cornelia

1550 w cornelia

This 3-bedroom penthouse at 1550 W. Cornelia in the Southport neighborhood of Lakeview came on the market in early September 2014.

If it looks familiar, that’s because the unit was last on the market in the summer of 2013 and actually just sold a year ago, in September 2013.

This building was built in 2007.

It has 22-units and an elevator.

This unit is a true penthouse, complete with a private roof-top deck with a custom pergola and city views.

The kitchen has dark cabinets and Wolfe and Subzero stainless steel appliances.

It has a master bedroom suite with its own private bathroom.

This is a rare 3-bedroom that also has 3 baths.

The unit also comes with 2-heated garage parking spaces.

It sold for $730,000 last September.

This year, it came on the market at $755,000 but has now reduced to $719,000.

How much has the market slowed in the last year?

Lynn Clary at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

You can also see it at the Open House, Sunday, October 5: 11:00 am – 1 pm.

Unit #501: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in April 2008 for $721,500
  • Sold in August 2009 for $710,000
  • Sold in September 2013 for $730,000
  • Originally listed in September 2014 for $755,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $719,000
  • Assessments of $443 a month (includes water, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $7761
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • 2 car parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 12×15
  • Bedroom #2: 14×12
  • Bedroom #3: 15×13