Market Conditions: Chicago New Construction Market Is Dead As A Door Nail

Tracy Cross & Associates is out with a report on new home sales in Chicago and the Chicagoland area in the third quarter.

While sales appear to be recovering in the suburbs, the city actually saw sales fall 42.5% from last year.

Without annualizing sales and adjusting for seasonality, developers sold 740 homes in the third quarter, up 8.2 percent from 684 sales a year earlier. Only 84 of those sales were in the city, where new-home sales dropped 42.5 percent from the same period last year.

Such an annual gain would be the first since 2005, but the recovery isn’t being felt everywhere. The housing bust all but stopped condominium development downtown, where many urbanites are choosing to rent instead of buy in a city with shiny new apartment towers and a still uncertain condo market.

“The former buyer now becomes the renter in the city,” said Mr. Cross, president of his Schaumburg-based consultancy.

Yet single-family sales have jumped 36 percent on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis over last year in the suburbs, where builders face less competition from the rental market. Sales of suburban condos and townhouses also rose 6 percent in the third quarter.

“People are tired of waiting around, whether buying a new home or downsizing, the buyers we’re serving are ready to move on with their lives,” said Brian Brunhofer, president of Deerfield-based Meritus Homes, which has sold five homes in northwest suburban Long Grove after opening a 20-home development there 90 days ago.

2012 is on track to see 3,221 new home sales, a 11.1% gain from 2011.

While that may sound great, developers sold 33,287 at the peak of the boom in 2005.

We’ve been chattering about the new construction rental high rises all year long.

Is this another sign of a change in how city dwellers view home ownership or would people be buying if there were new townhouses and single family homes actually for sale in the city?

Nearly every development I’ve seen in the city has been condos.

New home sales jump in burbs, sink in city [Crain’s Chicago Business, David Lee Matthews, October 30, 212]

Looking For A Top Floor 3-Bedroom With Parking? 2849 N. Burling In Lakeview

The 3-bedroom condo unit has become quite the commodity as buyers look for larger units they can grow into.

This 3-bedroom unit at 2849 N. Burling in Lakeview has the features buyers look for.

It last sold in 2006 and looks to be an addition on top of an existing vintage 2-flat. I say this because it seems to have extra tall ceilings you would only find in newer construction.

The unit also has a “chef’s kitchen” with stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and marble baths.

It has the amenities buyers seek out such as central air, washer/dryer in the unit and outdoor deeded parking.

Originally listed in August 2012, it has been reduced $21,000.

It is now listed $44,000 under the 2006 price at $499,000.

Will this 3-bedroom command nearly $500,000?

Millie Rosenbloom at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1555 square feet

  • Sold in May 2006 for $543,000
  • Originally listed in August 2012 for $520,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $499,000
  • Assessments of $275 a month
  • Taxes of $7960
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Outdoor parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 14×12
  • Bedroom #2: 11×10
  • Bedroom #3: 9×11


A Renovated 4-Bedroom Arts & Crafts Beauty In Sauganash: 6030 N. Kilbourn

This 4-bedroom arts & crafts vintage bungalow at 6030 N. Kilbourn in the Sauganash neighborhood of Forest Glen came on the market in September 2012.

It has been renovated with all new windows and skylights yet retains many of its vintage features such as stained glass palladian windows.

Built in 1920 on an oversized 40×137 lot, it has a 2 car garage and landscaped yard with paver patio.

The house has a massive 25×23 renovated kitchen with a large island and stainless steel appliances.

3 out of 4 bedrooms are on the second floor with the fourth on the main floor.

There’s also a large family room in the lower level.

It has space pak cooling.

The house is listed at almost double its 2000 price at $949,900.

Who’s the target buyer for this house at this price point?

Patty Cerny at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

6030 N. Kilbourn: 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, no square footage listed, 2 car garage

  • Sold in June 1989 for $230,000
  • Sold in July 1997 for $325,000
  • Sold in November 2000 for $435,000
  • Originally listed in September 2012 for $949,900
  • Currently still listed at $949,900
  • Taxes of $6196
  • Space pak cooling
  • Bedroom #1: 19×18 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 18×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 16×15 (main floor)
  • Family room: 28×25 (lower level)
  • Kitchen: 25×23

Trying To Sell The 3-Bedroom Duplex Down Less Than 2 Years Later: 1915 W. Crystal In Wicker Park

This 3-bedroom duplex down at 1915 W. Crystal in Wicker Park has changed hands two times since 2007 and is now on the market for the third time.

It has the layout we’ve seen in many of these units with one bedroom on the main level and two bedrooms and a family room on the lower level.

It has a “chef’s kitchen” with SubZero and Wolf appliances, granite counter tops and cherry cabinets.

The unit has cherry hardwood floors throughout and 2 outdoor spaces.

It also has one car garage parking, central air and in-unit washer/dryer.

It last sold just 20 months ago for $575,000.

It is now listed $45,000 above the 2011 purchase price.

Is Wicker Park hot enough, and the inventory low enough, that this property can command a premium?

Christine Sato at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2300 square feet, 1 car parking

  • Sold in August 2007 for $595,000
  • Sold in February 2011 for $575,000
  • Originally listed in August 2012 for $620,000
  • Still listed at $620,000
  • Assessments of $135 a month
  • Taxes of $7612
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 15×13 (main level)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×11 (lower level)
  • Bedroom #3: 15×10 (lower leve)
  • Farmily room: 22×16 (lower level)


Will This 3-Bedroom Eddystone Duplex Ever Sell? 421 W. Melrose in Lakeview

We’ve chattered about this vintage 3-bedroom duplex unit in The Eddystone at 421 W. Melrose in East Lakeview several times over the last few years.

See our March 2012 chatter here.

It was recently re-listed with a new agent and a new price.

However, a lis pendens was also recently filed against the unit.

If you recall, the unit has amazing vintage details from wood paneled walls, plaster ceilings, leaded and stained glass, and original moldings.

There is a limestone fireplace and paneled first floor study. The new listing is calling the study a bedroom but a study is a study so I’m calling it a study.

Remember, the kitchen was also recently remodeled. It has maple cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. In previous chatters, most of you felt the kitchen didn’t do the unit justice.

This unit does not have central air and does not have parking (but that is available for lease next door.)

The unit DOES have an in-unit washer/dryer and pets are allowed.

Will this property sell in 2012?

Or will we still be chattering about it a year or two from now?

There are a lot of these types of properties on the market: those that have been on the market seemingly for years.

Just a reminder: This is a condo (not a co-op) so taxes are NOT included in the assessment.

Timothy Salm at Jameson Sotheby’s now has the listing. See the pictures again here.

Unit #14-15C: 3 bedrooms, 4 baths, the new listing says 4,000 square feet, duplex

  • Sold in February 1999 for $450,000
  • Was listed in November 2008 for $1.89 million
  • Reduced
  • Withdrawn
  • Re-listed in July 2010 for $1.1 million
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in August 2010 at $999,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in March 2012 at $699,000
  • Raised
  • Was listed in October 2012 at $729,000
  • Lis pendens filed on October 11, 2012
  • Taxes now #12,732 (they were $12201 in March 2012)
  • Assessments still $2,878 a month (includes heat, electric, gas, doorman, cable)
  • No central air- window units only
  • Parking is leased next door for $200 a month
  • Washer/Dryer now in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 18×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 16×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 16×13 (main floor)
  • Library: 15×13 (second floor)
  • Laundry room: 5×5 (second floor)


Short Sales Continue All Across Chicago: A 2-Bedroom In Trump Tower At 401 N. Wabash In River North

There hasn’t been any building “safe” from short sales or foreclosures during the last five years.

This 2-bedroom in Trump Tower at 401 N. Wabash in River North came on the market in September 2012.

It is a short sale listed about 25% under the 2008 purchase price.

At 1562 square feet, it has north and city views.

The kitchen has Miele, Wolf and Subzero appliances.

There are 2 vanities in the master bathroom.

It has central air and washer/dryer in the unit. Parking is rental in the building.

This is the cheapest 2/2.5 currently on the market in the building.

Is this unit a deal (if you can get the bank to agree on this price)?

Jennifer Ames at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #29C: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1562 square feet

  • Sold in August 2008 for $1.102 million
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in August 2012
  • Listed in September 2012 as a “short sale” for $825,000
  • Currently still listed at $825,000
  • Assessments of $754 a month (includes cable, doorman)
  • Taxes are $10,990
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Parking is rental in the building
  • Bedroom #1: 16×12
  • Bedroom #2: 18×11

How “Good” Is The 2012 Market? A 2-Bedroom With Parking At 511 W. Aldine In Lakeview

This top floor 2-bedroom vintage unit in the courtyard building at 511 W. Aldine in East Lakeview just came on the market.

If the building looks familiar, that’s because it is. We last chattered about a different 2-bedroom in the same building in April 2011.

That unit took 3 years to sell and ultimately became a bank owned unit.

See our final chatter with the unit’s price history here.

Originally listed for $410,000 including the parking, it finally sold for $255,000.

It was also a 2/2 with a dining room and the parking space was included.

It also had in-unit washer/dryer and an upgraded kitchen.

This latest unit has white cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances in its kitchen.

It doesn’t have central air, but window units only.

It has a wood burning fireplace.

The listing says it is “designer owned and decorated” but as we know- the furniture isn’t going to be there when you move in.

The unit has come on the market priced at $389,000 or just $5,000 under the 2008 price.

Has the 2012 market changed enough that this seller will be able to get this price?

Shiela Dietz of @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3E: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in March 1995 for $160,000
  • Sold in June 1999 for $249,000
  • Sold in January 2002 for $310,000
  • Sold in August 2008 for $394,000
  • Currently listed for $389,000 (parking space included)
  • Assessments of $355 a month
  • Taxes of $1568
  • No central air- window units only
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 17×12
  • Bedroom #2: 12×10
  • Dining room: 12×12

This 2/2 Has All The Bells And Whistles And Views Too For Just $275K: 828 W. Grace In Lakeview

This 2-bedroom at the high rise at 828 W. Grace in Lakeview has been on the market since September 2012.

Built in 2007, the building has 140 units and a parking garage.

This unit faces south with a 15×6 covered terrace that has city views, including Wrigley Field.

Various upgrade packages were available when these were originally sold. According to the Redfin agent’s notes, this unit has the basic finishes.

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

There are hardwood floors in the living room.

There’s central air and a side by side washer/dryer in the closet in the second bedroom.

Parking is now included.

Is this a deal for a 2/2 with views in this neighborhood?

Andrea Farley at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #802: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in June 2007 for $329,000 (parking included)
  • Originally listed in September 2012 for $299,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $275,000 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $372 a month (includes heat and doorman)
  • Taxes of $4873
  • Central Air
  • Side by side washer/dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 14×11
  • Bedroom #2: 14×10

Get A Secret Streeterville Hideaway With A Private Brick Walled Terrace For Under $280K: 211 E. Ohio

This 1-bedroom in the Grand Ohio at 211 E. Ohio in Streeterville has been on the market since September 2012 but it has also been on and off the market in the prior few years without a sale.

At 700 square feet, it has south facing windows and hardwood floors.

However, several features about this unit make it unique in the building and the neighborhood.

The units on this fifth floor facing south all have brick walled in private terraces. The one for this unit is 400 square feet. That’s enough space to have quite the dinner party.

The units on this floor are also the few in the building that actually have in-unit washer/dryer.

The kitchen has white cabinets and white appliances. Same with the bath- all white.

The bedroom currently has a Murphy Bed which means you can also use it as an office.

There is no central air- but there are wall units.

Parking is available for $30,000 extra in the building.

Would this unit make an ideal pied-a- terre?

Brigette Taylor at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #517: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 700 square feet

  • Sold in June 1999 for $152,000
  • Sold in May 2001 for $245,000 (doesn’t look like it included any parking)
  • Originally listed in September 2012 for $257,000 (parking $30k extra)
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $247,000 (parking $30k extra)
  • Assessments of $455 a month (includes doorman, cable, pool, exercise rooms)
  • Taxes of $2261
  • No central air- wall units only
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom: 11×15
  • Livingroom: 15×16
  • Kitchen: 7×10

Market Conditions: Zillow Now Lists “Pre-Market” Foreclosure Properties: Good Idea Or Bad?

I know all of you Crib Chatterers are savvy real estate watchers who know where to go to get information in Cook County on properties in distress.

But even for the savvy, finding out information about a property usually means figuring out the PIN number and visiting various different websites until the full story of the property unfolds. There are usually several different steps needed to piece everything together.

But apparently Zillow is fixing all of that.

Two days ago, the real estate web site launched a new feature which will show properties that are in distress but have not yet come onto the market.

They are called “pre-market” foreclosures.

These could be properties that have a lis pendens filed against it or properties where the bank has actually already taken back the deed but has not re-listed it for sale.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Anyone who logs in with a free account will have access to the information, which will also include completed foreclosures that have not been listed for sale.

The homes listed in ‘pre-market’ inventory will be properties where a foreclosure has been filed against the borrower but the action is not resolved. Among the details available for each property will be the address, the date and amount of the original mortgage, the unpaid balance and the dollar amount past due. It also will show the party that initiated the foreclosure action, an estimate of what the foreclosure sales price might be, based on the sales prices of nearby foreclosures, and details of where it is in the process. If the home was previously listed on Zillow as a for-sale home, that picture will be used. Otherwise, there will be a satellite view of the neighborhood.

The borrower’s names will not be listed.

When the additional information was added to the site late Wednesday night, it included 11,000 pre-market single-family homes and condominiums just within the city of Chicago.

It’s one stop shopping for all the properties that are under distress.

Will you be signing onto Zillow just to use this service – at the least, to see how stable a neighborhood or building is where you might be buying? (not to mention looking for future foreclosures that may be coming on the market)

Or will it be an easy way to invade your neighbors privacy? (and don’t tell me you aren’t going to look up your own block to see what is going on there)

Zillow to show homes in foreclosure, before they are listed [Chicago Tribune, Mary Ellen Podmolik, Oct 25, 2012]