Market Conditions: Sales Fell 8.3% Year Over Year in January Continuing 2014’s Trend

January 2015 continued the trend that was noticeable throughout the fall and winter of 2014, and that was declining housing sales.

Remember, last winter was the polar vortex with record cold blasts and the second highest seasonal snowfall ever.

This January closings, for the most part, would have gone under contract in November and December of 2014. Chicago recorded no snowfall in December and moderate temperatures.

From the Illinois Association of Realtors:

The city of Chicago saw sales of 1,295 homes in January 2015, down 8.3 percent from last year. The median price of a home in Chicago was $222,000, up 11.0 percent over January 2014.

Sales Data Since 2006 (thanks to G for the older data):

  • January 2006: 2009 sales and median price of $258,000
  • January 2007: 1850 sales and median price of $279,900
  • January 2008: 1203 sales and median price of $290,000
  • January 2009: 918 sales and median price of $205,000
  • January 2010: 1237 sales and median price of $195,000
  • January 2011: 1034 sales and median price of $150,000
  • January 2012: 1123 sales and median price of $149,000
  • January 2013: 1521 sales and median price of $157,000
  • January 2014: 1383 sales and median price of $200,750
  • January 2015: 1295 sales and median price of $222,000

“Families and professionals have a strong desire to buy a home yet a full market recovery continues to be stalled by the limited homes for sale. Buyer demand on lower inventory is pushing up prices to offer sellers an incentive,” said Hugh Rider, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and co-president of Realty & Mortgage Co. “With the winter thaw, we expect to see increased market growth as more homebuyers and homeowners see the opportunity to make the most of currently low interest rates.”

“Once again prices and sales moved in opposite directions in January with the sales decline attributed to a lower completion rate for homes under contract in December,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.  “In addition, foreclosure sales declined while sales of regular properties were almost the same as January 2014.”

Mortgage rates remain considerably below last year’s level. The average 30-year mortgage was 3.66% in January 2015 compared to 4.46% a year ago.

In January 2014, the IAR blamed the weather for the decline in sales. But sales declined every month last year except one.

What’s the excuse this year?

Illinois sees double-digit gains in median home prices in January [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, February 23, 2015]

See the World From This Penthouse at 655 W. Irving Park Road in Lakeview

655 w irving park road

This 2-bedroom penthouse in Park Place Tower at 655 W. Irving Park Road in Lakeview recently came on the market.

The building was built in 1976 and has 901 units.

It is among the tallest buildings on the north side of the city.

This unit, on the 55th floor, which is the penthouse floor, has south and east views which includes the lake and the city.

It has hardwood floors in the main living areas.

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

There’s central air and a 1-car tandem parking space that can fit two cars included in the price.

The listing doesn’t mention a washer/dryer being in the unit.

This unit last sold 10 years ago during the boom years.

It has come on the market $75,100 under the 2005 price at $419,900.

Is this a deal for the views and location?

Cathryn Browne at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #5501: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in July 2005 for $495,000
  • Currently listed at $419,900 (includes 1 tandem parking space that fits 2 cars)
  • Assessments of $943 a month (includes A/C, water, doorman, cable, exercise room, pool)
  • Taxes of $5690
  • Central Air
  • No washer/dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 17×12
  • Bedroom #2: 13×11

 

 

A Family Home in the Sky Across from the Zoo: 2130 N. Lincoln Park West

2130 n lincoln park west

This 3-bedroom vintage unit at 2130 N. Lincoln Park West in East Lincoln Park came on the market in January 2015.

The building was built in 1928 and has 33 units.

It’s a half-floor residence with views of the park, the Lincoln Park Zoo and the lake with multiple exposures.

The kitchen has been updated with maple cabinets and Subzero, Bosch and Viking appliances.

It has a 35×7 gallery as well as a decorative fireplace.

The unit comes with features that are rare with vintage units such as garage parking in the building, washer/dryer in the unit and space pak cooling.

The listing says it’s in the Lincoln school district.

At 2400 square feet, it’s as large as many townhouses.

It was last listed in 2011 but withdrawn without a sale.

The unit has now come on the market $255,000 above the 2006 purchase price, at $1.2 million.

When people think about living in the city with children, is this the dream?

Landon Harper at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #8S: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2400 square feet

  • Sold in July 2005 for $870,000
  • Sold in July 2006 for $945,000
  • Currently listed for $1.2 million (1 car garage parking included)
  • Assessments of $1387 a month (includes water, exercise room)
  • Taxes of $12607
  • Space pak
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 16×15
  • Bedroom #2: 18×11
  • Bedroom #3: 10×10
  • Gallery: 35×7
  • Dining room: 18×15

This 2/2 Didn’t Sell in 2011 But What About in 2015? 2729 N. Racine in Lincoln Park

2729 n racine

This 2-bedroom at 2729 N. Racine in Lincoln Park just came on the market.

If it looks familiar, that’s because we chattered about it in 2011.

See our 2011 chatter here.

But in 2011, it didn’t sell.

It looks to have the same finishes as in 2011.

The kitchen has granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

One bedroom is upstairs and the second is downstairs with a murphy bed.

The unit has skylights and shares 1 common wall with the unit next door.

There is deck and 1-outdoor parking space included.

In 2011, everyone seemed obsessed that the assessment for this 2-unit building was “just” $225 and only included water and common insurance.

4 years later, the assessment remains $225 a month.

This unit has come on the market just $20,000 above the lowest list price in 2011.

But the market is much better than 4 years ago.

Will this sell quickly this time around?

Jamie Connor at Conlon again has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #N: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in October 2001 for $329,000
  • Sold in August 2005 for $425,000
  • Originally listed in September 2010 for $409,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in October 2011 for $349,000
  • Withdrawn in October 2011
  • Currently listed at $369,000
  • Assessments are still $225 a month (includes water and common insurance)
  • Taxes are now $6025 (they were $5452 in October 2011)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer
  • Parking
  • Bedroom #1: 14×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×13 (lower level)

Live Among Gold Coast Million Dollar Mansions for Less: 1450 N. Dearborn Pkwy

1450 n dearborn

This large 1-bedroom vintage unit in an old mansion at 1450 N. Dearborn Parkway in the Gold Coast just came on the market.

It was built in 1874 and has 4 units.

The listing says it “feels like Paris.”

The unit has many of its vintage features intact including 2 fireplaces, 12 foot ceilings with the original moldings and built-in bookcases.

At 1000 square feet, the unit has a dining room.

The galley style kitchen has a mixture of maple and white cabinets with Subzero and Bosch appliances.

It has features buyers look for including washer/dryer in the unit and coveted parking behind the building.

However, there’s no central air.

This unit hasn’t been on the market in 12 years.

Is now the time to get your dream property?

Linda Lyons at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2A: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 1000 square feet

  • Sold in August 1989 for $160,000
  • Sold in September 2003 for $480,000
  • Currently listed for $450,000 (includes parking)
  • Assessments of $484 a month
  • Taxes of $6086
  • 2 fireplaces
  • No central air- window units only
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom: 14×20
  • Dining room: 8×10
  • Kitchen: 5×9

Would You Live in the Basement? A 3-Bedroom at 55 W. Erie in River North

55-w-erie-approved

This 3-bedroom garden unit in the vintage building at 55 W. Erie in River North just came on the market.

The building was built in 1895 and has 9 units.

This unit is a Freddie Mac property and is being sold “as-is.”

From the pictures, it appears the kitchen cabinets are intact but the only appliance is the microwave.

Also from the pictures, it looks like the bathroom vanity and toilet are there.

Is that green carpet in the living room?

It has exposed brick and a fireplace.

The listing says it is 1200 square feet but you can’t really rely on anything in a bank listing.

There’s no parking with the building.

This unit is interesting because it became bank owned 2 1/2 years ago in 2012. That’s a long time to be sitting on a property.

This property is in a prime River North location, near the Cathedral District and Michigan Avenue shopping.

But the pictures also clearly indicate it’s in the lower level, i.e. the basement.

Would you live in the basement of a building if it was the right location?

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

Unit #G: 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, 1200 square feet

  • Sold sometime in the late 1990s (no price listed)
  • Lis pendens first filed in July 2007
  • Bank owned in August 2012
  • Currently listed “as-is” for $224,900
  • Is a Freddie Mac 1st look property through 2/24/2015 (which means owner-occupiers only)
  • Assessments of $293 a month
  • Taxes of $4565
  • It says there’s central air- but who knows
  • No mention of washer/dryer
  • No parking
  • Bedroom #1: 16×13
  • Bedroom #2: 11×13
  • Bedroom #3: 12×12

 

Buy a 2/2 Foreclosure in the Hot Fulton Market District: 1118 W. Fulton

1118 w fulton

This 2-bedroom at 1118 W. Fulton in the Fulton Market District of the West Loop just came on the market.

It is bank owned and being sold “as is.”

From the pictures, the unit has hardwood floors and French doors.

The pictures indicate that the two bathrooms are intact but there are no pictures of the kitchen so carpe diem.

The buyer is responsible for 6 months of association dues.

The price includes one garage space.

Old listings indicate that the unit has central air and there are washer/dryer hook-ups in the unit.

Fulton Market is one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city with new restaurants and hotels going in not to mention the Morgan El stop.

Will this property get multiple offers?

Jeff Mrozek at Crosstown Realtors  has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #503: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in May 1999 for $530,000
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in May 2010
  • Lis pendens filed in September 2012
  • Bank owned in December 2014
  • Currently listed “as is” for $280,800
  • Assessments of $430 a month
  • Taxes of $6406
  • Unclear about central air
  • Unclear about washer/dryer
  • Attached parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 12×12
  • Bedroom #2: 13×12
  • Office: 10×11

A Parisian Style Terrace in East Lincoln Park: 453 W. Fullerton Parkway

453 w fullerton parkway

This 2-bedroom at 453 W. Fullerton Parkway in East Lincoln Park came on the market in September 2014.

The building was built in 1914 and has 14 units.

The listing says it has a “Parisian style terrace” and it also is the only unit in the building with a private deck off the side.

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

The listing says the bathrooms are “updated.”

It has window air conditioning and I can’t tell anything about the washer/dryer as it’s not listed either in the unit or the building.

The listing says it has 1-car parking.

Originally listed for $550,000 in September, it has been reduced by $30,000.

Is a unit with unique outdoor space a better sell in the spring/summer market?

Sabina Szura at Dream Town Realty has the listing.  See the pictures here.

Unit #1E: 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, 1500 square feet

  • Sold in May 1991 for $165,000
  • Sold in March 1995 for $184,000
  • Originally listed in September 2014 for $550,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $520,000
  • Assessments of $407 a month (includes heat)
  • Taxes of $5349
  • No central air- window units
  • Washer/Dryer? Not listed either in the unit or the building
  • 1 car parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 14×13
  • Bedroom #2: 13×13
  • Office: 10×7

 

You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Live in Vintage Grandeur: 421 W. Melrose in Lakeview

421 w melrose approved

This 1-bedroom in The Eddystone at 421 W. Melrose in Lakeview came on the market in May 2014.

The Eddystone was built in 1929 and as you can guess from the date, that proved problematic.

Designed by Holabird & Root, it was originally supposed to take up most of a city block and encompass over 2,000 apartments around a central courtyard.

However, the stock market crash intervened and portions of the building were abandoned by the developer. The current building was all that was built.

It now has just 77 units on 22 floors.

But the vintage grandeur is still there.

This 1-bedroom unit has the large rooms associated with buildings of this era and includes a full-sized dining room and a 10×10 foyer. The foyer is almost larger than many bedrooms we’ve chattered about in other newer buildings.

While the fireplace is decorative, the unit has extensive crown molding, herringbone floors, barrel vaulted ceilings and arched doorways.

The kitchen has white cabinets with a Subzero refrigerator, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.

While it has in-unit washer/dryer there is no central air (it has window units).

Parking is also leased.

The listing says it will escrow $10,000 for a special assessment on the windows over the next 12 months. The listing says it has north, south, east and west exposures.

Originally listed in May for $245,000, it has been reduced to $225,000.

Is Chicago one of the best kept urban secrets in the United States?

Joan Watson at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #15B: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 1250 square feet

  • Sold in February 2002 for $200,000
  • Sold in April 2007 for $220,000
  • Originally listed in May 2014 for $245,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $225,000
  • Assessments of $892 a month (includes heat, water, gas, doorman, cable)
  • Taxes of $3624
  • No central air- window units
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Leased parking
  • Bedroom: 29×12
  • Living room: 27×14
  • Dining room: 17×12
  • Kitchen: 13×10
  • Foyer: 10×10

Looking for Something Unique? A 2/2 at 540 W. Belden in East Lincoln Park

540 w belden

This 2-bedroom at 540 W. Belden in East Lincoln Park just came on the market.

It is a top floor duplex up in a vintage building that was constructed in 1888 and converted into condos in 2007. The building now has 12 units.

It has some unique features including exposed brick and a wood burning fireplace.

The developer tried to keep some of the original architecture including the large picture windows.

It has 10 foot ceilings.

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

One bedroom is on the main level and the master bedroom is on the second level, accessed via a spiral staircase.

It has central air and parking which is $30,000 extra.

However, the developer didn’t put in in-unit laundry in these units. There is coin laundry in the building.

Is in-unit laundry a must-have at this price point?

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

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

  • Sold in July 2007 for $435,000
  • Currently listed at $399,000 plus $30,000 for parking
  • Assessments of $349 a month
  • Taxes of $5447
  • Central Air
  • No washer/dryer in the unit- coin laundry in the building
  • Wood burning fireplace
  • Bedroom #1: 18×20 (second level)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×11 (main level)