Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Worried About Overbuilding? Blanche Isn't

In Realty Times, its award-winning editor, Blanche Evans, shares some reassuring news and valuable insights on condos, both nationally and in Chicago:

Whatever you think you know about condominiums, you're probably wrong. Don't be rattled by the overbuilding of condos in certain areas, there's plenty of market for them across most of the United States.

For one thing, density is a certainty. The U.S. Census projects 450 million U.S. residents by 2050. We have 300 million now. Since 2006, single heads of households have outnumbered marrieds, and only 40% of homebuyers have children under 18.

Condos are a lifestyle choice where residents can skip the yardwork and use the fitness center without carrying the overhead. It's the perfect step between apartment rentals and detached single-family homes. Condos serve workers--they tend to be built near jobs, amenities and attractions.

That's why condos continue to defy the housing downturn. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), condominium and cooperative prices in 59 key metro areas show the national median existing-condo price hasn't dipped. Of those metros, 33 showed increases in the median condo price.

Chicago is one of the metros celebrating density and the condo lifestyle. Figures from the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois (MLSNI) found that sales of condos and townhouses (attached homes) were equal to, or higher than, 2006 levels in 55 suburbs and 29 [of the 77] city neighborhoods [census areas] in 2007.

That's pretty good considering that total sales for all types of housing declined over 21%.

Condo owners move approximately every four years, while detached homebuyers tend to sell after six years, says NAR. Why would any practitioner not want that business?

Think of condominiums as what they really are--neighborhoods, and you should have no problem recommending them to any buyer.

No comments: