Market Conditions: Chicago Sales Rise Just 1.2% in June But Median Price Kept Rising

The June sales data is out and as expected the slowdown in sales continued as the median kept rising.

From the Illinois Association of Realtors:

“The city of Chicago saw a 1.2 percent year-over-year increase in home sales in June 2014 with 2,761 sales, up from 2,729 in June 2013. The median price rose to $275,000 versus $252,500 in June 2013, an annual increase of 8.9 percent.”

Thanks to G for the historical sales data:
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  • June 2014: 2761 sales
  • June 2013: 2729
  • June 2012: 2246
  • June 2011: 1841
  • June 2010: 2526 (tax credit sales)
  • June 2009: 1981
  • June 2008: 2282
  • June 2007: 3,127
  • June 2006: 3,557
  • June 2005: 3,850
  • June 2004: 3,752
  • June 2003: 2,891
  • June 2002: 2,590
  • June 2001: 2,451
  • June 2000: 2,513
  • June 1999:  2,435
  • June 1998:  2,214
  • June 1997: 1,817

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Here is the monthly median price data:
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  • June 2014: $275,000
  • June 2013: $254,900
  • June 2012: $216,700
  • June 2011: $207,000
  • June 2010: $234,250
  • June 2009: $242,050
  • June 2008: $309,945

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“Home sales traditionally pick up in the summer months, and June was no exception. Chicago buyers helped reverse a year-over-year sales trend by buying more homes than last June,” said Matt Farrell, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and managing partner of Urban Real Estate. “Demand continues to outpace home supply, and buyers are finding the home they want in a shorter amount of time. This continued to push median prices higher, putting sellers in a strong position.”

“The volume of sales over the next three months (July, August and September) is forecast to match those recorded in 2013. In addition, median prices are continuing to climb while the REAL Housing Price Index suggests a slightly more optimistic growth rate when housing characteristics are taken into account,” noted Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois.

“Further good news may be found in the Chicago foreclosure inventory; the average inventory change rates were -24.2 percent in the past 6 months, -14.3 percent in the last 12 months and -8.2 percent in the last 24 months.  Given these rates of change, the foreclosure inventory would return to the pre-bubble levels by Oct 2014, Dec 2014 and May 2015 respectively,” he said.

Last year, July, August and September sales volumes fell due to rising mortgage rates so the year over year change in sales isn’t expected to be as dramatic as the first half of this year.

Purchase mortgage applications remain at 15-year lows. And all cash buyers remain at an usually high level. Historically, nationally, cash buyers make up about 5-10% of the market. Right now, it is still around 30%.

DR Horton, one of the largest home builders, reported earnings this week and blamed its weak results on the Chicagoland area saying:

“The third quarter results included $54.7 million in pre-tax charges to cost of sales for inventory impairments, primarily related to active communities in the Midwest region in Chicago that were purchased from 2004 to 2007 and had been previously impaired. The Chicago housing market remains weak, with sales absorptions and returns in these communities performing below management’s expectations. During the quarter, the Company took actions to increase sales pace, reduce inventories and improve cash flows and returns in these communities which resulted in these impairment charges.”

Is the glass half full (as the IAR sees it) or half empty (as DR Horton see it)?

Illinois home sales see slight uptick in June; Prices continue annual upward trend [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, July 22, 2014]

Market Conditions: Chicago Sales Fall 15.7% in May But Median Price Rises 14.9%

Sales have been slowing year over year the last several months so it’s no surprise that we saw more of the same in May.

From the Illinois Association of Realtors:

“The city of Chicago saw a 15.7 percent year-over-year home sales decline in May 2014 with 2,390 sales, down from 2,834 in May 2013. The median price rose to $270,000 versus $235,000 in May 2013, an annual increase of 14.9 percent.”

Last May was also the best May since the boom years as interest rates remained low. Remember, rates didn’t jump until mid-May and it took several months for those rates to impact buyers because those buying in May, June and even July most likely already had locked in the low rates.

May sales:
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  • May 2008: 2119 sales
  • May 2009: 1557 sales
  • May 2010: 2057 sales
  • May 2011: 1705 sales
  • May 2012: 2037 sales (not sure why the IAR has a higher number for 2012)
  • May 2013: 2834 sales
  • May 2014: 2390 sales

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Median price data:
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  • May 2008: $319,500
  • May 2009: $225,000
  • May 2010: $230,000
  • May 2011: $190,000
  • May 2012: $203,000
  • May 2013: $234,000
  • May 2014: $270,000

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“Median home prices continue to rise as buyers in the spring market seek out their new home from the little inventory on the market, and make their best and strongest offer,” said Matt Farrell, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and managing partner of Urban Real Estate.

“It truly is an ideal time for prospective sellers to evaluate if now is their right time to buy, and if so, to consider making their move.  Buyers are being realistic about finding the home they might move into and upgrade later, and don’t expect to find their dream home immediately. They are looking for location, space, and the potential a property ultimately has,” Farrell added.

“The housing market continues to provide evidence of a return to more normal conditions,” noted Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois.  “Sales continue to increase on a month-to-month basis although they have been unable to match the stellar gains of last year.  The impact of foreclosures continues to decrease with the expectation that the numbers of foreclosed properties on the market will return to pre-recession levels sometime in the next 6-12 months.  Homeownership rates for retiring Baby Boomers continue to increase providing some potential medium-term housing market growth opportunities.”

Even though rates are not historically high, home sales continue to lag both in Chicago and nationally. Chairman Yellen blamed tight credit in the FOMC press conference this month.

But it seems like credit is no harder to get than it was last May when sales were soaring.

Will sales lag in Chicago for the rest of the year?

Illinois median home prices up 8.3 percent from a year ago; Statewide home sales down 9.4 percent in May [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, June 23, 2014]

 

This 4-Bedroom North Center Cottage is Listed at Just $499,900: 1750 W. Grace

We’ve chattered about this 4-bedroom single family home at 1750 W. Grace in North Center numerous times over the years.

You can see our May 2013 chatter here when it came back on the market after several years.

We also chattered about it in 2008 which you can see here.

In between, it was featured on an episode of HGTV.

It’s actually been pending numerous times as well but never sold.

A lis pendens foreclosure was filed in 2011. There was finally a judicial sale in December 2013.

If you recall, it was built in 1878 on a standard 25×125 lot. The house had central air in prior listings, even though the current one doesn’t indicate that, and a 2-car garage.

You can see the interior pictures in the 2008 chatter.

From the current pictures, it appears to have the same kitchen with white cabinets and green counter tops.

The price has been all over the place on this property over the years.

But it looks to be priced at among the lowest prices it has ever been listed at at $499,900.

That’s below what many townhouses or duplex downs are listed for in the neighborhood.

Is this house now a deal?

And will it FINALLY sell in 2014?

Ayoub Rahab at Great Street Properties now has the listing. See the pictures here.

1750 W. Grace: 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1619 square feet, 2 car garage
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  • Sold in May 2006 for $555,000
  • Was listed in May 2008 for $669,900
  • Reduced several times
  • Was listed in November 2008 for $584,900
  • Withdrawn
  • Re-listed in April 2009 for $575,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in June 2009 for $550,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in December 2009 for $535,000
  • Withdrawn in 2009
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in January 2011
  • Was re-listed in May 2013 for $599,000
  • Withdrawn
  • Bank owned in December 2013
  • Currently listed at $499,900 (with HomeSteps financing available)
  • Taxes now $9228 (they were $9171 in 2013 and $7162 in 2009)
  • Central air
  • Basement
  • Bedroom #1: 17×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 11×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 9×8 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 10×9 (main floor)

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This Building Sold Out in Just 90 Days in 2009: A 3-Bedroom at 842 W. Belle Plaine in Buena Park

We last chattered about this 11-unit vintage building at 842 W. Belle Plaine in the Buena Park neighborhood of Uptown in 2009.

See our prior chatter here and here.

It was a rehab/conversion in 2009 with all new kitchen and baths.

Despite the slowing market, the building still sold out in 90 days.

This top floor 3-bedroom unit came back on the market in March 2014.

The unit has wainscoting and crown molding.

The kitchen has dark wood cabinets, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and a wine refrigerator.

The master bedroom has a steam shower with sprays.

This penthouse unit has 2 outdoor spaces including a 600-square foot rooftop deck with a wet bar.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and parking is available for $20,000.

Originally listed at $474,500 it has been reduced to $449,500.

Is this unit now priced to sell?

Mario Greco at KoenigRubloff has the listing (he also sold the original building). See the pictures here.

Unit #3N: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1600 square feet

  • Sold in May 2009 for $430,000 (I can’t tell if this includes the parking or not. There’s a separate PIN for the parking but no deed recorded.)
  • Originally listed in March 2014 for $474,500
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $449,500 (plus $20,000 for parking)
  • Assessments of $187 a month
  • Taxes of $6432
  • Central Air
  • Side-by-side washer/dryer
  • Bedroom #1: 17×14
  • Bedroom #2: 13×10
  • Bedroom #3: 11×10
  • Rooftop Deck: 30×22

 

Does Staging Matter For Million Dollar Properties (Update)? 1642 N. Bell in Bucktown

We last chattered about this 5-bedroom French Provincial single family home at 1642 N. Bell in Bucktown in October 2012.

See our chatter here.

Two years ago, the home had no furniture or window treatments.

It didn’t sell.

It’s come back on the market in 2014 with furniture and window treatments.

Built circa 2006 on a wider than normal Chicago lot of 38×127, it has a coveted 3-car garage and a walled yard.

Three of the 5 bedrooms are on the second floor with the other two in the lower level.

There’s also a game room and a sewing room in the lower level.

In 2012, the kitchen had Wolf and Subzero appliances but I don’t know if the kitchen cabinets were the same. The current listing says they are Poggenpohl.

This house was bank owned in 2010. Here’s a link to what it the interior looked like before the last sale in 2010. The kitchen is obviously different in the current listing.

Back in 2012 it was listed at $1.775 million.

It came on the market in March 2014 at $1 million more- at $2.7 million.

It has since been reduced to $2.542 million.

Will the staging close the deal on this home in 2014?

And is the market strong enough to get the higher price?

James Prendergest has the listing once again. See the current pictures here.

1652 N. Bell: 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 6200 square feet, 3 car garage
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  • Sold in June 2006 for $730,000
  • Lis pendens filed in April 2009
  • Bank owned in May 2010
  • Sold in December 2010 for $1.38 million
  • Originally listed in March 2012 for $1.775 million
  • Was still listed in October 2012 at $1.775 million
  • Withdrawn in 2013
  • Re-listed in March 2014 for $2.7 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $2.542 million
  • Taxes are $22,156 (they were $17,686 in October 2012)
  • Central Air
  • Partial kitchen in the lower level
  • Decks on roof and the garage
  • Bedroom #1: 28×19 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×19 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 14×19 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 14×20 (lower level)
  • Bedroom #5: 14×20 (lower level)
  • Sewing room: 11×7 (lower level)
  • Game room: 14×13 (lower level)

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A 3-Bedroom Rehab in Lakeview for $522 a Square Foot: 820 W. Wolfram

This 3-bedroom townhouse at 820 W. Wolfram in Lakeview just came on the market.

The 6-unit complex was built in 1979 and appears to be fee simple (which means the units do NOT pay assessments.)

From prior listings in the complex, it appears they are all 3 bedroom, 2 bath units of 1530 square feet.

This unit was sold just last August and has been completely gutted.

It is one of two street facing units that has a 20×15 front walled patio.

An entire glass front which opens onto the patio has been installed on the first floor allowing for an open kitchen/living space with the patio.

The floors are light wood (the dark walnut wood floors are now “out”- by the way).

The kitchen has white modern cabinets with Wolf, Bosch and Subzero appliances and “waterfall” countertops.

There are frosted sliding room doors and walls of marble.

The third bedroom is on the third floor with the other two bedrooms on the second floor. There’s no basement.

The townhouse has central air and a parking space (is this an outdoor space?)

It has come on the market at the price of $799,000.

At 1530 square feet, that would be $522 a square foot.

In comparison, 1250 square foot 2/2s in Helmut Jahn’s popular Streeterville high rise at 600 N. Fairbanks are listing around $580 a square foot.

Will this property command a price over $500 a square foot in this location?

Will this be one of the most expensive (per square foot) properties to ever sell in Lakeview?

Brad Lippitz at KoenigRubloff has the listing. It appears to be agent owned. See the pictures here.

Unit #F: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed
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  • Sold in April 1990 for $360,000
  • Sold in November 1993 for $197,000
  • Sold in August 2013 for $80,000 (according to public records)
  • Renovated
  • Currently listed for $799,000
  • No assessments
  • Taxes of $6916
  • Central Air
  • Parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 17×15 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×11 (second floor)

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Looking for a Unique Historic 3-Bedroom Coach House? 1924 N. Seminary in Lincoln Park

This 3-bedroom coach house at 1924 N. Seminary in Lincoln Park came on the market in May 2014.

It is part of an 8-unit vintage building built in 1883.

It has unique features you don’t often see in today’s new construction including exposed brick, a wood beamed ceiling and a top floor sunroom/media room or third bedroom that connects to an outdoor terrace.

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

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and a 1-car garage.

Originally listed at $619,000 it has been reduced $20,000.

What will it take to sell this piece of Chicago history?

Cathy Gibson Fay at KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #CH: 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, no square footage listed
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  • Sold in June 1999 for $315,000
  • Sold in July 2004 for $485,000
  • Sold in September 2007 for $553,500
  • Originally listed in May 2014 for $619,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $599,000
  • Assessments of $222 a month
  • Taxes of $6136
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • 1-car garage
  • Bedroom #1: 20×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3 (or media room/sun room): 17×11 (third floor)

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How Hot IS the Market? A 2/1 With Everything in Lincoln Park: 836 W. Wrightwood

This 2-bedroom at 836 W. Wrightwood in Lincoln Park came on the market in April 2014.

It is in a vintage 15-unit building that was built in 1884.

(Wasn’t this building used as an apartment in one of those Focker movies?)

It has all the features that a first time buyer would be looking for including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and a parking space behind the building.

The front of the unit is south facing so it gets a lot of light.

There is exposed brick and a wood-burning fireplace.

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

It is not located next to an El train line or the metra.

It is just a few blocks to the Diversey brown line stop.

It has been on the market for 51 days and has been reduced $15,000.

With rising rents, isn’t this a good rental alternative?

Why isn’t this selling if the market is so hot?

Brian Loomis at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, no square footage listed
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  • Sold in April 1994 for $128,000
  • Sold in September 2006 for $334,000
  • Originally listed in April 2014 for $375,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $360,000
  • Assessments of $248 a month (includes cable)
  • Taxes of $4156
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 13×9
  • Bedroom #2: 11×9

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Market Conditions: Chicago April Sales Fall 7.6% But Median Price Jumps 12%

Sales have been slowing for several months in Chicago. After the surge in 2013, it’s not surprising that year over year numbers show a decline.

Remember, it wasn’t until May of 2013 that mortgage rates spiked.

From the Illinois Association of Realtors:

The city of Chicago saw a 7.6 percent year-over-year home sales decline in April 2014 with 2,210 sales, down from 2,392 in April 2013. The median price rose to $250,000 versus $223,250 in April 2013, an annual increase of 12.0 percent.

Here are the sales statistics for April since 2007:
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  • 2007: 2419 sales
  • 2008: 1886 sales
  • 2009: 1407 sales
  • 2010: 1984 sales
  • 2011: 1466 sales
  • 2012: 1750 sales (I have 1750 from last year’s data- not 1816 as IAR says it was)
  • 2013: 2392 sales
  • 2014: 2210 sales

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Here are the median prices:
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  • 2007: $289,800
  • 2008: $300,000
  • 2009: $218,000
  • 2010: $225,000
  • 2011: $169,000
  • 2012: $184,400 (IAR says it was $182,000 but I have $184,400 from last year’s data)
  • 2013: $223,500
  • 2014: $250,000

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“Inventory remains at a low across the city of Chicago, creating lower market times and increased sales prices during a time of year when many traditionally are looking to buy or sell,” said Matt Farrell, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and managing partner of Urban Real Estate.

“As buyers navigate their way through the home buying process, it can’t be stated enough that if you see something you like, it won’t likely be available a few days later. Work with your REALTOR® to ensure you have your ducks in a row, and be ready to pull the trigger and make an offer, as the same home will likely be under contract the next time you get back to it,” Farrell added.

Low inventory is still feeding the bidding frenzy in many neighborhoods. But for some properties, such as 1 and 2-bedroom condos in some north side neighborhoods, the market is not so hot.

I’ve been watching quite a few properties sitting there for weeks.

Price still matters for condos.

For single family homes, inventory is almost non-existent in the GZ neighborhoods making bidding wars more common.

Mortgage rates have fallen to 6 month lows but sales are still lackluster. Mortgage applications remain at 19-year lows.

Is the spring/summer buying season already a bust?

Illinois median home prices increase 7.6 percent in April. home sales decrease 7.8% amid tight inventories [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, May 22, 2014]

Who Says There Was a Housing Bust? 83.6% Appreciation in 10 Years: 832 W. Wolfram in Lakeview

We last chattered about this 3-bedroom townhouse at 832 W. Wolfram in Lakeview last year.

See our March 2013 chatter here.

The old listing said it was a townhouse but didn’t mention any assessments at all. This listing says it is “fee simple.”

As you can see from the picture, it is the unit behind the main house in the front.

(My question is- if it’s fee simple, who’s in charge of shoveling that really long sidewalk all winter long? Or any of the snow removal, yard stuff at all?)

The townhouse has unique features including a modern kitchen with white cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

It also has exposed brick throughout and skylights.

The listing says it has a 1.5 car garage (and possibly two) and there’s a shared roof deck over the garage.

Last year when we chattered about it, it was listed for $678,900 or 47% appreciation.

This year, it came back on the market at $850,000, or 83.6% higher.

Will they get this price in Lakeview?

Nancy Hearon at Berkshire has the listing. See the pictures here.

832 W. Wolfram: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, no square footage listed, 1.5 car garage

  • Sold in October 1995 for $264,000
  • Sold in May 2004 for $463,000
  • Was listed in March 2013 for $678,900
  • Withdrawn
  • Currently listed for $850,000
  • No assessments. Fee simple
  • Taxes now $6452 (they were $6732 last year)
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 16×12 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×11 (main level)
  • Bedroom #3: 9×11 (main level)
  • Office: 9×7 (main level)
  • Living/dining combo: 29×18