Will 2016’s Spring Market Be as Hot as Last Year? 3500 N. Lake Shore Drive in Lakeview


This 2-bedroom vintage co-op in the Cornelia Apartments at 3500 N. Lake Shore Drive in East Lakeview just came on the market.

Built in 1926, at 17 stories, the Cornelia Apartments was designed with 2 and 3 bedroom floorplans, with most including at least one maid’s room.

There are 64 units. The building has no deeded parking, but there is rental parking available for $275 a month. Washer/dryers are allowed in the units.

This unit has south and west views.

It was renovated after its 2009 sale and now has an updated Snaidero kitchen with Viking, Miele and Subzero appliances.

It has the vintage features buyers look for including arched French doors, a fireplace, crown molding, a butler’s pantry, a gallery foyer and new wood floors.

The maid’s room has been opened up to the kitchen and now functions as a family room.

This unit also has space pak cooling.

If this unit looks familiar to some of you, that’s because it last sold just 9 months ago, in April 2015.

It was on the market just 16 days before going under contract in the hot 2015 spring market.

Will it have the same luck with a quick sale in 2016?

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

Unit #4A: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2500 square feet

  • Sold in June 2009 for $270,000 (per Redfin)
  • Originally listed in March 2015 for $629,000– under contract in 16 days
  • Sold in April 2015 for $615,000 (per Redfin)
  • Currently listed for $699,000
  • Assessments of $1669 a month (includes heat, water, doorman, cable, exercise room, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $4116 (looks like they are separate from the assessment even though it’s a co-op)
  • No parking- rental for $275 a month
  • Space pak cooling
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • Fireplace
  • Bedroom #1: 18×13
  • Bedroom #2: 13×18
  • Family room: 11×11
  • Dining room: 15×18
  • Gallery: 19×7

Are Foreclosures Even Deals? A 2-Bedroom at 3900 N. Pine Grove in Lakeview

3900 n pine grove

This 2-bedroom in the Coronado at 3900 N. Pine Grove in Lakeview just came on the market.

The building was converted into condos at the height of the condo boom in 2005-2006 so there has been a lot of distressed units.

This property is a Fannie Mae Home Path property. It has been in distress since 2011.

This is a southwest corner unit with hardwood floors and crown molding.

The kitchen looks intact with dark wood cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances, although the refrigerator is missing.

The bathrooms also appear to be intact with granite/stone counter tops.

It has wall air conditioning units and an outdoor parking space.

We last chattered about this building in 2012 and that unit had in-unit washer/dryer so I think there are hook-ups.

Even though it is now a Fannie Mae property, it has come on the market at $5500 more than the 2005 purchase price.

Is this even a deal for this location in Lakeview?

Elizabeth Dudeck at Liz Dudeck & Associates has the listing. See the pictures here.

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

  • Sold in June 2005 for $266,500
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in July 2011
  • Fannie Mae owned in October 2014
  • Listed for $272,000 (includes outdoor parking)
  • Assessments of $655 a month (includes security, water, exterior maintenance, scavenger)
  • Taxes of $2655
  • No central air- wall units only
  • In-unit washer/dryer hook-ups (???- maybe)
  • Bedroom #1: 14×12
  • Bedroom #2: 12×10
  • Living room: 22×13
  • Kitchen: 10×8


Walk to Wrigley Field for under $370,000: A 2/2 at 1130 W. Cornelia in Lakeview

1130 w cornelia

This 2-bedroom duplex at 1130 W. Cornelia in Lakeview came on the market in July 2015.

While not a traditional loft, it has loft-like features including two story ceilings in the living room and a second floor loft open to the lower level.

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

There’s a massive skylight on the second level which lets in natural light to the loft and the second floor bedroom.

The other bedroom is on the main level but does not appear to have any windows.

This unit has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and gated parking.

It is just blocks from Wrigley Field and near the shops and restaurants of Southport.

Originally listed last July, it has been reduced $20,001 to $369,999.

Given the price of rents in the neighborhood, why isn’t this selling?

Andrew Ogorzaly at Exit Strategy has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #D: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed, duplex up

  • Sold in July 1992 for $196,000
  • Sold in June 1998 for $240,000
  • Sold in January 2001 for $315,000
  • Sold in June 2004 for $390,000
  • Originally listed in July 2015 for $390,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $369,999 (includes outdoor parking)
  • Assessments of $283 a month (includes exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger and snow removal)
  • Taxes of $4696
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 15×13 (second level)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×9 (main level)
  • Loft: 16×12 (second level)

New Year, Same Properties: A “Great Investment” Still Available at 2510 N. Wayne in Lincoln Park

2510 n wayne

This 1-bedroom top floor loft in the Wheelworks Lofts at 2510 N. Wayne in Lincoln Park came on the market in April 2015.

We last chattered about it in September 2015 as a possible “great investment” because the building has no rental cap and it’s not far from DePaul.

You can see that chatter here.

If you recall, the Wheelworks is a former Schwinn factory.

This loft has authentic loft features with exposed brick and 16-foot timber ceilings with a skylight.

This is apparently 2-units that have been combined into one larger unit so it is a rare 1-bedroom with 2 bathrooms.

It also has 2 wood-burning fireplaces.

The kitchen has white cabinets and some appliances are stainless steel.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and deeded, gated secured parking which is included in the price.

Since September it has been reduced another $4,000 to $295,900.

Why isn’t this selling when it could easily be rented out?

Why aren’t investors biting?

Thomas Youngblood at @Properties still has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #305: 1 bedroom, 2 bath, 1100 square feet

  • Sold in January 1994 for $217,500
  • Bank owned in October 1998
  • Sold in November 1998 for $175,000
  • Sold in June 2005 for $275,500 (included the parking)
  • Originally listed in April 2015 for $324,900
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in September 2015 at $299,900 (included the parking)
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $295,900 (includes the parking)
  • Assessments are now $383 a month (they were $324 a month in September 2015)- includes water, snow removal, exterior maintenance, scavenger
  • Taxes are now $3353 (they were $3622 in September 2015)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • 2 wood burning fireplaces
  • Bedroom: 13×13

The Biggest Story of 2016: Will Inventory Finally Move Higher?

Lincoln Park Zoo holiday lions 2014

It’s been several years of low inventory in Chicago across all spectrums of properties including single family homes, townhouses and condos.

The result has been bidding wars and rising home prices along with really low market times.

In the last few months of 2015, however, inventory slowly crept up and bidding wars have receded.

From Redfin’s Market Tracker:

The supply of homes for sale was up 3.3 percent year over year and the city had a 6.5-month supply of properties for sale, Chicago’s highest since 2012 and a sign that buyers are starting to gain an advantage.

Buyers have more choice and are more cautious, but sellers haven’t yet gotten the message. They’re pricing their homes too high, which might have contributed to slowing sales last month. Despite a dip in sale prices, asking prices rose nearly 10 percent to $250,000. The typical home sold in 25 days.

Every neighborhood is different, however. In Logan Square, the average home sold in just 9 days in November versus the 40 days it took in Streeterville.

And in some neighborhoods, single family homes are selling within hours whereas condos will sit.

But a rise in inventory would bring some relief to buyers from bidding wars and price increases.

The last couple of months could have just been a temporary slowdown. The real test will be in about 6 weeks when the spring buying season begins.

With prices back to record highs in many neighborhoods, will homeowners finally be looking to move in 2016?


Second Biggest Story of 2016: Will the Rental Market Remain Red Hot?

Crib Chatter doesn’t cover much of what is going on in the rental market, but you’d have to be dead not to notice apartment rental tower after apartment rental tower going up all over the GreenZone.

In 2015, developers were on track to deliver a record 3100 new apartments downtown.

But they aren’t stopping there.

They are scheduled to deliver at least 3500 more in 2016 and 4500 in 2017.

Apartment rental prices at the “top” luxury buildings have hit record highs.

From Crain’s:

The average effective rent at top-tier, or Class A, buildings in downtown Chicago rose to $2.82 per square foot in the quarter, up 6.0 percent from a year earlier, according to a report from Appraisal Research Counselors. But the Class A occupancy rate slipped to 93.7 percent from 94.2 percent in third-quarter 2014.

With the downtown apartment boom stretching into its sixth year, these are the best of times for landlords, who are still filling up their buildings even as they keep jacking up rents. The average Class A apartment now rents for 36 percent more than it did at the bottom in 2009.

Appraisal Research, however, estimates that downtown apartment absorption rates are about 2500 units a year. Doing the math, that implies an excess inventory in the next few years of several thousand apartments.

A lot of individual properties have also gone rental, including condos, townhouses and even single family homes.

This 1-bedroom Dearborn Park II 3-story townhouse at 1214 S. Federal in the South Loop recently came on the market as a rental after just selling in October.

It is listed at $2199 a month.

1242 s federal dearborn II entrance

It appears that the kitchen has been renovated with new cabinets and granite counter tops and that there is a new bathroom vanity.

You can see the pictures of the townhouse rental here.

Here was the townhouse when it was listed for sale earlier this year.

1214 S. Federal #H: 1 bedroom, 1.5 baths, 1200 square feet, 1-car garage

  • Sold in October 1995 for $135,500
  • Originally listed in July 2015 for $315,000
  • Sold in October 2015 for $298,000
  • Now listed as a rental for $2199 a month
  • Assessments of $275 a month (includes exterior maintenance, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $4598
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom: 14×21 (third floor)

Will the expected big increase in inventory in the luxury rental high rises impact pricing in all of the other rentals down the chain?

Or will the rental market stay hot enough to keep prices elevated even for the smaller landlords?


Third Biggest Story of 2016: The Luxury New Construction Boom – Will It Continue?

Developers are finally building mid-rise and high-rise condo buildings in Chicago again but nearly all of the new builds have been in the luxury price points.

No.9 Walton in the Gold Coast is a good example of the type of new construction that dominated 2015. It will have just 66 units with the average size at 4,000 square feet. These are clearly meant to be family homes in the sky for the rich.

They start around $2 million.

But the luxury new construction isn’t limited to River North, Streeterville and the Gold Coast.

Webster Square, a 95-unit new construction high rise near the intersection of Webster and Lincoln at 540 W. Webster in Lincoln Park, will begin deliveries in 2016.

540 w webster

This is the largest new construction building in Lincoln Park since 2520 N. Lakeview which is right on the Park and has lake views.

You can get a 1 bedroom, 1.5 bath unit with 927 square feet on the second floor at Webster Square for $459,000 but price points escalate quickly from there.

Check out the development’s website here.

In 2015, the developers showed no interest in building anything but luxury. The price points for the big River South developments aren’t yet known, however. Perhaps those will be more “affordable.”

Is this just the way the city is going?

Will there ever be affordable new construction again in the GreenZone?



Market Conditions: Chicago November Sales Fall Just 1.4% YOY While Inventory Plunges

State Street at Christmas 2011

The Illinois Association of Realtors is out with the November sales data.

While the country, the state of Illinois, and the 9-county metro area all saw sales take a steep dive in November, the City of Chicago held up well.

The city of Chicago saw sales of 1,615 homes in November 2015, down 1.4 percent from last year when 1,638 homes were sold. The median price of a home in Chicago was $235,000, up 2.2 percent over November 2014 when the median price was $230,000.

“Median prices in the Chicago market posted a strong showing in November, boosted by a lower number of properties from which to choose,” said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and senior vice president for government relations for The Inland Real Estate Group. “To see inventories drop more than 16 percent year over year in Chicago clearly signals that buyers want to start the new year in a new home.”

Here is the November sales data for the last 9 years (thanks to G for some of the data):

  • November 2007: 1859 sales and median price of $290,000
  • November 2008: 1093 sales and median price of $222,500 (16% short/REO sales)
  • November 2009: 1905 sales and median price of $215,000 (29% short/REO sales)
  • November 2010: 1144 sales and median price of $182,500 (39% short/REO sales)
  • November 2011: 1429 sales and median price of $157,000 (43% short/REO sales)
  • November 2012: 1750 sales and median price of $180,000
  • November 2013: 1844 sales and median price of $200,000
  • November 2014: 1638 sales and median price of $230,000
  • November 2015: 1615 sales and median price of $235,000

“Median prices continued to increase even though sales declined on both a monthly and an annual basis,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “Much of this decline can be attributed to the significant drop in the sales of foreclosed properties.  Adjusted for inflation, house prices in Illinois have recovered to 91 percent of their November 2008 level; the comparable figure for Chicago is 84 percent.  At current rates of growth of prices, recovery will take between 12 and 18 months in both cases.”

Money continues to be cheap. The average 30-year mortgage rate actually fell year over year to 3.93% from 3.98% in November 2014.

Real estate agents around the country have blamed falling inventory for the slower pace of sales in November.

What does this mean for the 2016 market?

Why aren’t builders building like crazy if the demand is there?

Illinois home prices see uptick in November; Sales dial back [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, December 22, 2015]

The Lakeview SFH Alternative: A 3-Bedroom Penthouse at 2919 N. Burling

2919 n Burling

This 3-bedroom penthouse at 2919 N. Burling in Lakeview came on the market in October 2016.

The building has 9 units with attached, covered parking.

I can’t tell if there is an elevator but neither the current listing or the prior listing in 2014 says that it does so I am assuming it does not.

The unit has 12 foot ceilings and 3 outdoor spaces including a front terrace, a back deck and a private rooftop deck.

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

It has a family room and a laundry room that is as big as a bedroom in most condos.

There is central air.

At 2800 square feet, it is bigger than most single family homes.

It also isn’t the more common “duplex down” configuration.

The unit came on the market for $969,000 and has reduced $30,000 to $939,000.

Why isn’t this selling in this low inventory market?

Mariana Knittle at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #J: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2800 square feet

  • Sold in March 1999 for $555,000
  • Sold in July 2001 for $755,000
  • Sold in February 2014 for $885,000
  • Originally listed in October 2015 for $969,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $939,000 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $367 a month (includes exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger)
  • Taxes of $11,051
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 17×16
  • Bedroom #2: 16×10
  • Bedroom #3: 13×12
  • Family room: 14×12
  • Laundry room: 11×10

Just In Time for Santa, the Best Lincoln Park Deal of 2015: 1434 W. Wrightwood

1434 w wrightwood

This 2-bedroom townhouse in the Embassy Club at 1434 W. Wrightwood in West Lincoln Park just came on the market.

It is bank owned.

The listing says it is 1500 square feet.

The kitchen has white appliances and what looks to be intact cabinets.

The bathrooms also appear to be intact.

It’s being sold “as-is”.

There is central air and a 1-car attached garage.

This complex is kitty-corner from Wrightwood Park, which has an outdoor swimming pool, a children’s playground, and a running track.

Listed at just $394,900, a sales price under $400,000 would be a 2011-type price in this complex even though this is one of the smaller 2-bedroom townhouses.

The townhouses in the Embassy Club usually sell at $450,000+.

Is the bank underpricing it to spur a bidding war?

Linda O’Donnell at Re/Max Signature has the listing. See the pictures here.

By the way- I don’t know where Redfin is getting the prior sales listing information for this property because the public record doesn’t have the prior sales that Redfin has.

1434 W. Wrightwood: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1500 square feet, 1 car attached garage

  • Sold in September 1993 for $341,500
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in August 2011
  • Bank owned in October 2015
  • Currently listed “as-is” for $394,900
  • Assessments of $418 a month (says it includes cable but with bank owned listings this isn’t always correct)
  • Taxes of $9275
  • Central Air
  • 2 fireplaces
  • Bedroom #1: 15×12
  • Bedroom #2: 14×11