Market Conditions: Will Demographics Doom the Suburban Housing Markets?

606 trail on Bloomingdale in Bucktown August 2015

Inventory  at 9-year lows in the city of Chicago, and prices are soaring in many neighborhoods, but not so in the Chicago suburbs, including some of the “prestige” suburbs like Burr Ridge, Lake Forest and Glencoe.

From the Chicago Tribune:

On Chicago’s Near North Side, Dr. Richard Green, a veterinarian, and his wife, Willie, a seventh-grade teacher, sold their longtime home in Glencoe last year and bought a condo off North Lake Shore Drive.

The empty nesters wanted to move downtown to be closer to their first grandchild, and looked at more than 15 properties.

The condo they decided on had been on the market for only a day or two when they saw it, and within days, they bought it, said Stacy Karel, the couple’s @properties agent.

Richard Green said it took them two to three months to sell the Glencoe house, where he lived for 35 years and “we settled on a price which I was not happy about.”

Indeed, the Glencoe housing market slipped last year.

The median price of a Glencoe home last year fell by 0.1 percent to $894,000. The typical home in that north Cook County suburb was on the market for 134 days, up from 124 days in 2014. Glencoe sellers typically received 90 percent of their asking price, down from 91.3 percent in 2014.

Where is everyone moving to?

Apparently, buyers are looking in Chicago and pushing west. Those priced out of North Center are going to Irving Park. If you can’t afford Bucktown, you move to Logan Square. And those who can’t afford the hottest neighborhood in the country, Ukrainian Village, are heading to Humboldt Park.

The 606 is becoming an attractive selling point as well.

It has been eight months since the opening of The 606, and the $95 million urban park with its 2.7-mile trail appears to be giving a jolt to Humboldt Park’s real estate market.

Median prices for the Chicago neighborhood’s single-family homes and condominiums last year increased 62 percent and 184 percent, respectively, according to data from the Chicago Association of Realtors.

It’s hardly the only city neighborhood or suburban housing market that turned in a sparkling 2015 performance. In fact, there were pockets of good news to the north, west and southwest, but Humboldt Park stood out.

Take a home in the 1300 block of North Maplewood Avenue in Humboldt Park, one of four neighborhoods, along with Wicker Park, Logan Square and Bucktown, that host The 606.

Mario Greco, an agent at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group, said the property’s original list price on March 1 was $799,000. It was under contract by March 17 and sold for $800,000.

“It had tons of activity, way more than a similar property would have had in the past,” when it might have taken more than 100 days to sell, Greco said.

“Bucktown was already a desirable neighborhood, so The 606 has had a minimal positive effect on it — in fact, maybe potentially negative for properties right up against it, now that people are peering into their windows or looking down into their yards,” Greco said. But “as you get west of Western Avenue, the positive effect on property values and neighborhood desirability goes up because of The 606.”

Is the slowdown in the housing markets in the older, baby boomer suburbs just a temporary phenomena or are we seeing a sea change like that of the 1960s, when city dwellers packed up and moved to the suburbs for a better life, only now it’s reversed?

Or is it simply demographics? Too many baby boomers retiring and wanting out of aging, large homes, only there aren’t enough buyers for them all.

Hot Neighborhoods: Humboldt Park and West Pullman among areas showing gains [Chicago Tribune, Becky Yerak, February 5, 2016]

The Penthouse at 444 W. Belmont in East Lakeview is Back for Double the Price

444 w belmont approved

The 2-bedroom penthouse unit at 444 W. Belmont in East Lakeview just came on the market.

I love it when “old” properties return to Crib Chatter. We have chattered about this penthouse unit 4 times before.

It first appeared on Crib Chatter in August 2008 when it was listed for $825,000.

Here are the pictures of the kitchen and terrace from that listing.



August 2008 was before Lehman blew up so the housing bubble hadn’t yet busted.

You can see that chatter here.

It never sold.

By 2010, the unit was bank owned and we chattered about it again.

The kitchen and baths are intact but as you can see in this picture, compared with the August 2008 listing, the shiny Viking stove has been replaced with a white model. There is a family room attached to the kitchen.

I’ve been informed that there are some light fixtures missing and some cosmetic touchups to a wall will need to be done due to recent tuck pointing. The roof was also, apparently, checked recently.

I’ve also been informed by the agent that all assessments are paid and there are no back taxes, liens or assessments outstanding. Unlike a short sale, the closing can be done quickly- like a “normal” closing.

Here are some pictures from that listing:

444-w-belmont-_7b-kitchen-approved #2

444-w-belmont-_7b-deck-approved #2

It finally sold in 2011 for $311,000 with homedelete taking home the honors for saying it would ultimately sell for less than the 2000 purchase price of $383,000.

Now, 5 years later, the unit has come back on the market for more than double what it last sold for. It is listed at $675,000.

It is also $225,000 more than #6B which is listed at $450,000 and has already gone under contract. They have the same square footage.

It looks like this unit still has the same cherry kitchen as the 2011 listing.

The rooftop deck is shared with #7A but there’s a fence that goes down the center of the deck so it IS “private.”

Just a reminder, the unit has central air and washer/dryer in the unit but there’s no parking.

The fireplace  is also decorative.

Have we come full circle on this unit since the 2008 listing of $825,000?

And will this sell anywhere near this price?

Robert Nelson at Access Chicago Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #7B: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1800 square feet

  • Sold in July 2000 for $383,000
  • Was listed in August 2008 for $825,000 (leased parking nearby)
  • Reduced several times
  • Delisted in April 2009
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in June 2009
  • Was bank owned in November 2010 and listed for $369,000
  • Sold in January 2011 for $311,000
  • Currently listed for $675,000
  • Assessments now $534 a month (they were $509 a month in 2011)- includes exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger and snow removal
  • Taxes now $8512 (they were $6,378 in 2011)
  • Central air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • No parking
  • Deck: 23×29
  • Built-in grill on the deck
  • Bedroom #1: 11×19
  • Bedroom #2: 16×12




A Vintage East Lakeview 2/2 With Rare Garage Parking: 429 W. Aldine

427 w aldine

This top floor 2-bedroom in Cortina Court at 429 W. Aldine in East Lakeview just came on the market.

Built in 1926, this building has 24 units and some have their own, private heated garages on the back alley.

This is one of the units with the garage, which the listing says also has extra storage.

It has 9 foot ceilings and many of its vintage features including millwork, picture moldings and the mantel on the gas fireplace.

The listing says the kitchen has been “gutted.” It has 42 inch white cabinets, Carrera marble countertops, a white subway tile backsplash and stainless steel appliances.

There is also an attached butler’s pantry.

The listing says there is new electrical and plumbing.

Also rare for many vintage units, it also has outdoor space in a private deck off the kitchen.

In addition to the private garage, it also has in-unit washer/dryer but there’s no central air. There’s only window units.

This property has come on the market for $140,000 more than the 2008 price, at $460,000 including the parking.  But the 2008 listing did say it had the “original kitchen.”

Is $450,000+ the new price point for renovated 2/2 vintage units in East Lakeview?

Megan Tirpak at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #9: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1309 square feet

  • Sold in September 2008 for $320,000
  • Currently listed for $425,000 plus $35,000 for private garage parking space
  • Assessments of $469 a month (includes heat, cable, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger and snow removal)
  • Taxes of $4765
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • No central air- window units only
  • Gas fireplace
  • Bedroom #1: 15×10
  • Bedroom #2: 13×11
  • Dining room: 15×13
  • Butler’s pantry: 13×8



Nothing to Do But Move In: A Duplex Down at 1224 N. Dearborn in the Gold Coast

1224 n dearborn #2

This 2-bedroom duplex down in the mansion at 1224 N. Dearborn Parkway in the Gold Coast just came on the market.

We’ve chattered about this building in the past. Built in 1900, it now has 13 units, some of which overlook the central courtyard which is a common area and has tables and a grill.

The listing says the unit has had a “gut renovation.”

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

There is a lower level master suite with a new spa-like bath with a steam shower and a walk-in master closet.

The lower level also has heated floors and a den.

The second bedroom is on the main floor along with the main living area.

Some of the vintage features remain on the main level including crown molding, a fireplace, although I can’t tell if it is real or decorative, and stained glass windows in the living room.

The main level has dark wood floors while the master suite on the lower level has the light, almost white, floors. The light floors are coming back in. They were used in HGTV’s Dream Home this year.

The unit has central air and washer/dryer but there’s no parking with this building. It is available for rent in the neighborhood.

Buyers want “new”.

Will this sell within days?

Sophia Worden at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Or see it at the Open House on Saturday, Feb 6 at 1-3 PM.

Unit #1F: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1950 square feet

  • Sold in May 1992 for $285,000
  • Sold in May 2001 for $547,500
  • Sold in November 2012 for $556,500
  • Currently listed for $785,000
  • Assessments of $706 a month (includes exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $8101
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Parking available for rent in the neighborhood
  • Bedroom #1: 13×20 (lower level)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×10 (main level)
  • Den: 11×14 (lower level)


Will the Stock Market Sell Off Stall the Chicago Luxury Market? 2018 N. Dayton in Lincoln Park

2018 n dayton
This luxury single family new construction home at 2018 N. Dayton in Lincoln Park came on the market in September 2015.

We last chattered about it, and its sister property right next door, in November 2015. See our chatter here.

Nearly 3 months later, 2018 N. Dayton is still on the market and priced at the same price of $3.45 million. It appears that 2020 N. Dayton has been withdrawn from the market.

The house has 6-bedrooms and 5.5 baths with 5200 square feet and is being built by Foster Design.

It is being built on the standard Chicago lot of 25×125 so it has only a 2.5 car garage.

The listing says it will have a Chef’s grade kitchen and quarter-sawn oak floors.

The master suite will have a spa bath with rain showers.

There’s a top floor den with skylights and a retractable door that opens to a 35 foot lanai.

The house also will have 6 Sony high definition tvs with new Apple TV installed.

The house is near the shops/restaurants of Armitage but is west of Halsted, which some on this blog have called not the “real” Lincoln Park.

Since November, the number of properties in the $2.5 million to $4 million price range in Lincoln Park has dropped from 52 to 38 but the spring selling season hasn’t yet started. Many properties went off the market for the holidays.

In some other cities, like New York, realtors are saying that the upper bracket market has softened.

Will the stock market weakness impact the luxury market in Chicago?

Or is the luxury bracket really in a world all its own?

Daniel Glick at @Properties still has the listing. You can see the pictures here.

2018 N. Dayton: 6 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, 5200 square feet, 2.5 car garage

  • Originally listed in September 2015
  • Was listed in November 2015 for $3.45 million
  • Currently still listed at $3.45 million
  • Taxes are “new”
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 19×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 12×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 19×10 (lower level)
  • Bedroom #5: 12×11 (lower level)
  • Bedroom #6: 14×10 (third floor)

Love Lakeshore East? Buy a 2/2 Under the 2006 Price in The Regatta at 420 W. Waterside

420 e waterside

This 2-bedroom in The Regatta at 420 W. Waterside in Lakeshore East came on the market in October 2015.

It is bank owned.

From the pictures, it appears that the kitchen, with cherry cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances, and the bathrooms, are intact.

It has central air, a balcony, and washer/dryer hook-ups in the unit.

There’s no parking with this unit but there is deeded parking in the building. You’d have to see if something was available to purchase or rent.

But who has a car these days anyway?

This unit was originally listed for $438,900 in October 2015 but it hasn’t found any takers.

It has been reduced to $394,900, or $37,100 under the 2006 purchase price.

Is this a deal?

Rommel Shaw at Paradigm Realty LLC has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #503: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1182 square feet

  • Sold in August 2006 for $432,000
  • Lis pendens filed in September 2014
  • Bank owned in June 2015
  • Originally listed in October 2015 for $438,900
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $394,900
  • Assessments of $557 a month (includes heat, a/c, gas, cable, doorman, exercise room, pool, exterior maintenance, scavenger, snow removal
  • Special annual assessment of $1160 (not sure what this is for)
  • Rental restrictions in the building
  • No parking with this unit
  • Washer/Dryer hook-ups in the unit
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 12×13
  • Bedroom #2: 12×10

Live in the Neighborhood Redfin Says is the Hottest in the Country: 2157 W. Division

2157 w division

This 2-bedroom at 2157 W. Division in the Ukrainian Village came on the market in October 2015.

According to Redfin, the Ukrainian Village is the hottest neighborhood in the entire country.

From DNAInfo:

Redfin’s just-released “Hottest Neighborhoods of 2016″ report, which ranks neighborhoods in 32 cities across the country, shows Ukrainian Village as first in the nation.

The West Loop and East Village ranked second and third hottest neighborhoods in the city.

The calculation was based on page views, searches and other factors measured on Redfin’s website and app during the second half of 2015.

I know we’ve had this debate before, but what, exactly ARE the boundaries of Ukrainian Village? It is a sub-neighborhood of West Town.

I thought it was Damen to the east, Western to the west, Division to the north and Chicago to the south.

Looking at the real estate for sale in that location right now, there aren’t many properties.

The best I could do, where I had a picture, is this modern building which was built in 2007. It’s at the very northern border of the neighborhood.

This was a Studio Dwell Architects and Ranquist development constructed during the boom.

This unit has a southwest exposure with floor to ceiling windows and contemporary finishes.

The kitchen is Arclinea and the unit has luxury finishes including Subzero, Miele, Gaggenau, Durvit and Zuma.

Listed at $610,000, this property has been reduced by $16,000 to $594,000.

If you’re looking to buy, is Ukrainian Village your first choice neighborhood?

What makes it so hot?

Christopher MacFarland at Dream Town has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #302: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in August 2011 for $463,000 (included the parking)
  • Originally listed in October 2015 for $610,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $594,000 (I think it includes the parking)
  • Assessments of $520 a month (includes exterior maintenance, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $6975
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 14×11
  • Bedroom #2: 13×10

A Vintage Lovers Delight in East Lakeview for Under $500,000: 444 W. Belmont

444 w belmont approved

This 2-bedroom at 444 W. Belmont in East Lakeview just came on the market.

It’s been 5 years since we chattered about this building which was constructed in 1929 and has just 11 units.

It’s one of the many, smaller, vintage buildings on the north side that don’t get as much publicity as the big high rises.

This unit has many of the features that vintage lovers look for including a foyer/gallery with barrel vaulted ceilings, crown molding, a decorative fireplace, arches and French doors.

It has a separate dining room and butler’s pantry that includes a wine refrigerator.

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

The bathrooms are marble with heated floors.

It has central air and washer/dryer in the unit.

The only thing that is missing is parking. As is true of many buildings of this era, they didn’t build it thinking everyone would be driving a car around.

Given the low inventory, will this sell for full price?

Gabrielle Weisberg at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #6B: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1800 square feet

  • Sold in December 1999 for $350,000
  • Sold in April 2005 for $418,500
  • Currently listed for $450,000
  • Assessments of $496 a month (includes exterior maintenance, lawn care, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $6725
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • No parking
  • Decorative fireplace
  • Bedroom #1: 16×12
  • Bedroom #2: 18×10
  • Dining room: 15×14

Who’s Buying All the New Construction in Lakeview? A 6-Flat at 1165 W. Eddy

1165 w eddy

This new construction 6-flat at 1165 W. Eddy in Lakeview just came on the market.

Last week, Crain’s discussed the teardown and new construction phenomena in Chicago. Over the last 5 years, Lakeview was the most popular neighborhood for teardowns in the city.

On the 3700 block of North Greenview Avenue, construction is under way on a house with five bedrooms, five baths and a rooftop deck. It will replace a humble two-bedroom, one-bath cottage that was there for 125 years before it was demolished last fall.

It’s a familiar transition in Lakeview. In the past five years, nearly 300 older residential buildings in the neighborhood have been torn down and replaced with new homes, according to data compiled by Chicago Cityscape, which tracks building-industry permits in the city.

Lakeview is the epicenter of teardowns in the city, with more than twice the number in the second-ranked neighborhood, North Center. There, 124 residential buildings were torn down to make way for new homes from 2011 through 2015.

But it’s not just single family homes that are being built, it’s also 3-flat and 6-flat buildings like this one at 1165 W. Eddy.

In 2011, we actually chattered about the 1893 2-bedroom Victorian house that was on one of the lots at 1167 W. Eddy.

1167 w eddy approved

You can see that chatter here.

In 2011, that house, which was on a standard city lot, sold for $493,000.

In 2016, it, and the lot next door, are now 6 luxury condominiums with these price points:

  • #1E: 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, duplex down, $899,900
  • #1W: 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, duplex down, $899,900contingent
  • #2E: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, $559,900contingent
  • #2W: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, $559,900
  • #3E: doesn’t appear to be on the market
  • #3W: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, $679,900

At least 2 of the 6 units are already under contract.

The units have Subzero and Wolf appliances, natural stone bathrooms and custom millwork.

Each unit has a large front balcony. The top floor units have private rooftop decks. Each unit comes with 1-car parking in the garage.

As was the case in 2011, this is still your view across the street:

1167 w eddy across the street approved

During the housing bust, we often discussed who it would be that would buy up all the 2/2 condos that were built in the boom that were listed at $400,000.

The $400,000 price point now seems quaint, even in Lakeview and Bucktown.

No 2/2s are being built new construction at that price. They are all “luxury” and priced over $500,000.

Who’s buying a 1450 square feet 2-bedroom in Lakeview near Wrigley Field for $679,900?

Has a new type of buyer emerged in Lakeview?

Has the era of 27-year old newlyweds buying their first condo while still going to Southport or Wrigleyville bars passed?

Brian Henderson at Jameson Sotheby’s has all the listings. You can see the interior pictures here.

Unit #3W: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1450 square feet, penthouse

  • New construction
  • Currently listed at $679,900 (includes 1-garage parking space)
  • Assessments of $125 a month (includes water, common insurance)
  • Taxes are “new”
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 15×12
  • Bedroom #2: 12×10
  • Private rooftop deck


Nearly a Year on the Market for this Millennium Park 2-Bedroom: 310 S. Michigan

310 s michigan #2 approved

This 2-bedroom in the Metropolitan Tower at 310 S. Michigan across from Millennium Park in the Loop originally came on the market in February 2015.

The unit has east views, which includes the Park and the Lake.

It has hardwood floors in the living and dining room.

The listing calls the kitchen “gourmet.” It has granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

Other than a single glass dining room table, without any chairs around it, there is no other furniture or staging in the unit.

There don’t even appear to be window treatments in the living room. There aren’t pictures of the other windows in the listing.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and parking is $50,000 extra.

After a year on the market, should this unit be officially staged?

Or is it all about price?

Yelena Bernshtam at Continuum Real Estate has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1405: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1410 square feet

  • I can’t find a prior sales price.
  • Listed in February 2015 for $899,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $829,000 (parking is $50,000 extra)
  • Assessments of $976 a month (includes heat, a/c, cable, doorman, exercise room)
  • Taxes of $8693
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 11×17
  • Bedroom #2: 10×9