Sunday, December 6, 2009

YTD Sales Improve 7th Consecutive Month

According to figures generated for ChicagoCondosOnline.com by MRED, the regional MLS, year-to-date sales of Chicago condos for the first eleven months of 2009 are:
* Down 36% in total dollar volume, to $2.8 billion
* Down 23% in units closed, to 9,153
* Down 13% in median sales price, to $270,000
* Up 13% in average market time, to 148 days.

This shows an improving year-to-date market, in both dollars and units, for seven consecutive months:

End of April: Dollars down 59%, units down 51%
End of May: Dollars down 57%, units down 48%
End of June: Dollars down 53%, units down 44%
End of July: Dollars down 49%, units down 39%
End of August: Dollars down 47%, units down 36%
End of September: Dollars down 44%, units down 33%
End of October: Dollars down 40%, units down 28%
End of November: Dollars down 36%, units down 23%.

Comparing November sales to October:
* Units closed were down 7%, from 1,037 to 970 closings
* Dollar volume was down 5%, from $306 million to $291 million
* Median sales price was down 1%, from $255,000 to $252,500
* Average market time was up 13%, from 130 days to 147 days.

For details on month-over-month and year-over-year, click here. For previous market reports, click here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Free Seminars on Buying, Selling a Home

Jennifer Ames, a top-producing agent at Coldwell Banker, is conducting two free seminars next week, one on Tuesday night, Nov. 17, for buyers, one on Thursday night, Nov. 19, for sellers. Both will run from 6 to 8 p.m., at Ann Sather's Restaurant, 909 W. Belmont. For details, and to sign up, click here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

YTD Sales Improve 6th Consecutive Month

According to figures generated for ChicagoCondosOnline.com by MRED, the regional MLS, year-to-date sales of Chicago condos for the first ten months of 2009 are:
* Down 40% in total dollar volume, to $2.5 billion
* Down 28% in units closed, to 8,133
* Down 13% in median sales price, to $275,000
* Up 14% in average market time, to 149 days.

This shows an improving year-to-date market, in both dollars and units, for six consecutive months:

End of April: Dollars down 59%, units down 51%
End of May: Dollars down 57%, units down 48%
End of June: Dollars down 53%, units down 44%
End of July: Dollars down 49%, units down 39%
End of August: Dollars down 47%, units down 36%
End of September: Dollars down 44%, units down 33%
End of October: Dollars down 40%, units down 28%.

Comparing October sales to September:
* Units closed were up 7%, from 973 to 1,037 closings
* Dollar volume was up 8%, from $285 million to $306 million
* Median sales price was down 4%, from $266,500 to $255,000
* Average market time was down 12%, from 148 days to 130 days.

For details on month-over-month and year-over-year, click here. For previous market reports, click here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

YTD Sales Improve 5th Consecutive Month

According to figures generated for ChicagoCondosOnline.com by MRED, the regional MLS, year-to-date sales of Chicago condos for the first nine months of 2009 are:
* Down 44% in total dollar volume, to $2.2 billion
* Down 33% in units closed, to 7,073
* Down 13% in median sales price, to $276,000
* Up 16% in average market time, to 151 days.

This shows an improving year-to-date market, in both dollars and units, for five consecutive months:

End of April: Dollars down 59%, units down 51%
End of May: Dollars down 57%, units down 48%
End of June: Dollars down 53%, units down 44%
End of July: Dollars down 49%, units down 39%
End of August: Dollars down 47%, units down 36%
End of September: Dollars down 44%, units down 33% .

Comparing September sales to August:
* Units closed were down 6%, from 1,030 to 973 closings
* Dollar volume was down 10%, from $317 million to $285 million
* Median sales price was up 1%, from $263,900 to $266,500
* Average market time was down 1%, from 149 days to 148 days.

For details on month-over-month and year-over-year, click here. For previous market reports, click here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Weekly Updates on Hold

Because so few new-construction projects are being launched in this economy, we are putting our weekly updates on hold. Instead of providing data on five new projects each Monday, we will offer data on ten new projects each month. These updates will be distributed only by e-mail. If you would like to receive them, send your request to Ric14@ChicagoCondosOnline.com.

For new updates posted each weekday, visit YoChicago.com.

Monday, September 21, 2009

New-Construction Update: 9/21/09

10 E. Delaware

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

10 E. Delaware, 10 E. Delaware
17 of 121 available, 1-4 BR, $560K-$2.25M, Delivery this fall
Developed by The Prime Group, Marketed by @properties

1870 N. Winnebago, Bucktown Point
2 of 15 available, 3 BR, $530K-$590K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by Paramount Homes

1624 W. Division, Vision
33 of 33 available, 2-3 BR, $560K+, Delivery now
Developed by RDM Development, Marketed by Jameson

2734-2736 W. Belmont, Belmont Row
NA of 20 available, 2-3 BR, $270K-$350K, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

565 W. Quincy, 565 Quincy
14 of 241 available, 1-2 BR, $330K-$440K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by Belgravia Group

Previous New-Construction Updates

Monday, September 14, 2009

New-Construction Update: 9/14/09

235 Van Buren

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

235 W. Van Buren, 235 Van Buren
NA of 714 available, 1-3 BR, $199K-$290K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by CMK Realty

927-929 W. Montana, 927-929 W. Montana
NA of 8 available, 2-3 BR, $490K-$760K, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

225 N. Columbus, Aqua
11 of 263 available, 1-4 BR, $370K-$1.98M, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by Magellan

2409 W. Catalpa, Terra Place
5 of 24 available, 2-3 BR, $220K-$390K, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by Jameson

757 N. Orleans, 757 Orleans
NA of 198 available, 0-2 BR, $187K-$387K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by The Gammonley Group

Previous New-Construction Updates

Monday, September 7, 2009

YTD Sales Improve 4th Consecutive Month

According to figures generated for ChicagoCondosOnline.com by MRED, the regional MLS, year-to-date sales of Chicago condos for the first eight months of 2009 are:
* Down 47% in total dollar volume, to $1.9 billion
* Down 36% in units closed, to 6,060
* Down 12% in median sales price, to $279,000
* Up 16% in average market time, to 152 days.

This shows an improving year-to-date market, in both dollars and units, for four consecutive months:

End of April: Dollars down 59%, units down 51%
End of May: Dollars down 57%, units down 48%
End of June: Dollars down 53%, units down 44%
End of July: Dollars down 49%, units down 39%
End of August: Dollars down 47%, units down 36%.

At $263,900, the median sales price for August is the lowest monthly median since January 2006.

Comparing August sales to July:
* Units closed were down 2%, from 1,050 to 1,030 closings
* Dollar volume was down 5%, from $333 million to $317 million
* Median sales price was down 8%, from $285,500 to $263,900
* Average market time was up 6%, from 140 days to 149 days.

Asked to comment on the year-to-date statistics, Dave Hanna, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors, had this to say:

"I do think we are at the bottom of the market, but not sure if this is true for type 2 housing (condos). Too many unknown and unfavorable factors relating to financing and risk evaluation by lenders using national data to make (poor) decisions about the viability of the market here for this housing.

"The FHA guideline changes and continual pressure to upgrade our market to category II from category III (lower rates on loans, less chance for an adjustment in appraised value based on market conditions) and a sliver of hope that the conforming loan limit for Chicago PMSA will be raised could make life better for condo owners and buyers.

"The refusal of more and more sellers to accept the so-called current market pricing for their homes is why we are at the bottom. Inventory is shrinking due to homes going off the market unsold, and sellers not re-listing at a lower price.

"Median sale price has plunged due to fire-sale pricing on foreclosures, which are over 40% of the overall market in terms of unit sales YTD.

"In case you can't tell," Dave added, "I am 'mad as hell and not going to take it anymore' and I don't think I am alone on this."

For details on month-over-month and year-over-year, click here. For previous market reports, click here.

New-Construction Update: 9/7/09

4847 N. Ashland

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

4847 N. Ashland, 4847 N. Ashland
3 of 6 available, 3-4 BR, $370K-$490K, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by Sergio & Banks

1122 W. Catalpa, Catalpa Gardens
25 of 126 available, 1-2 BR, $140K-$290K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by Catalpa Developers

1616 E. 56th, Solstice on the Park
NA of 145 available, 2-3 BR, $480K-$2.5M, Delivery NA
Developed by Antheus Capital, Marketed by @properties

3709-13 N. Ashland, 3709-13 N. Ashland
6 of 6 available, 2-3 BR, $490K-$590K, Delivery now
Developed by Five Star Development, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

505 N. McClurg, Parkview
26 of 268 available, 1-3 BR, $350K-$1.3M, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by MCL Companies

Previous New-Construction Updates

Monday, August 31, 2009

New-Construction Update: 8/31/09

Motor Row Lofts

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

2301-2315 S. Michigan, Motor Row Lofts
26 of 94 available, 1-2 BR, $210K-$520K, Delivery now
Developed by Motor Row Development, Marketed by @properties

659 W. Randolph, R+D659
NA of 237 available, 1-2 BR, $237K-$341K, Delivery now
Developed by Mesirow Financial, Marketed by @properties

2801 N. Oakley, Homes of Rivers Edge
19 of 76 available, 2-4 BR, $350K-$690K, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by Conlon

2930 N. Sheridan, 2930 Sheridan
93 of 252 available, 1-2 BR, $200K-$340K+, Delivery now
Developed by Kroupa, Marketed by @properties

757 N. Orleans, 757 Orleans
99 of 198 available, 0-3 BR, $249K-$787K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by The Gammonley Group

Previous New-Construction Updates

Monday, August 24, 2009

New-Construction Update: 8/24/09

Museum Park Place South

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

1901 S. Calumet, Museum Park Place South
159 of 276 available, 1-3 BR, $290K-$590K, Delivery late September
Developed and Marketed by Enterprise Companies

2056 W. Berteau, Berteau Terrace
1 of 33 available, 2 BR, $270K, Delivery Spring 2010
Developed by Macon Group, Marketed by Jameson

2453 S. Lowe, Archer Landing
NA of 18 available, 2-3 BR, $199K-$245K, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by Jameson

744 W. Fullerton, Converge
NA of 16 available, 2 BR, $470K-$499K, Delivery now
Developed by Peak, Marketed by @properties

451 W. Huron, 451 W. Huron
NA of 135 available, 1-2 BR, $390K-$560K, Delivery now
Developed by Hudson Huron, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

Previous New-Construction Updates

Monday, August 17, 2009

New-Construction Update: 8/17/09

Signature Residences

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

207 E. 31st, Signature Residences
17 of 36 available, 1-3 BR, $150K-$380K, Delivery October
Developed and Marketed by 31st & Indiana Development

1160 S. Michigan, Columbian
17 of 220 available, 1-3 BR, $240K-$2.3M, Delivery now
Developed by Davis Group, Marketed by Equity Marketing

2025 S. Indiana, Lakeside Lofts
2 of 96 available, 2 BR, $299K, Delivery now
Developed by Bluestone, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

3001 W. Cornelia, Cornelia Court
19 of 63 available, 2-4 BR, $440K+, Delivery Fall
Developed by NA, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

110 W. Superior, Superior 110
18 of 58 available, 1-3 BR, $490K-$1.5M, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by JFJ Development

Previous New-Construction Updates

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Distinguishing Between Co-op and Condo

Want to understand more about the difference between a co-operative apartment (co-op) and a condo? Check out this post by top-producing agent Jennifer Ames on her blog. It is the first of a three-part series tailored to the Chicago market, including statistics and the premier co-ops and their histories.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

YTD Sales Improve 3 Consecutive Months

According to figures generated for ChicagoCondosOnline.com by MRED, the regional MLS, year-to-date sales of Chicago condos for the first seven months of 2009 are:
* Down 49% in total dollar volume, to $1.6 billion
* Down 39% in units closed, to 5,000
* Down 12% in median sales price, to $283,000
* Up 16% in average market time, to 152 days.

This shows an improving year-to-date market in both dollars and units for three consecutive months:

End of April: Dollars down 59%, units down 51%
End of May: Dollars down 57%, units down 48%
End of June: Dollars down 53%, units down 44%
End of July: Dollars down 49%, units down 39%.

Comparing July sales to June:
* Units closed were flat, at 1,050 in both June and July
* Dollar volume was up 1%, from $330 million to $333 million
* Median sales price was up 1%, from $283,000 to $285,500
* Average market time was down 13%, from 161 days to 140 days.

For details on month-over-month and year-over-year, click here. For previous market reports, click here.

Free Seminars for Condo Associations

Lakeside Community Development Corp., a non-profit housing organization, is hosting three free evening seminars for condo owners and boards in August:

Thursday, Aug. 13: Understanding Financial Statements
Tuesday, Aug. 18: Self-Management vs. Management Companies
Monday, Aug. 24: Insurance for Condominium Associations

For details, call (773) 381-5253 or e-mail condo@lakesidecdc.org.

Monday, August 10, 2009

New-Construction Update: 8/10/09

Grand Plaza

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

545 N. Dearborn, Grand Plaza
10 of 283 available, 2-3 BR, $440K-$940K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by Terrapin Properties

630 W. Barry, 630 W. Barry
9 of 9 available, 2-3 BR, $390K-$620K, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by Jameson

1919 W. Crystal, 1919 W. Crystal
4 of 9 available, 2-3 BR, $560K-$660K, Delivery now
Developed by Studio Dwell, Marketed by Koenig & Strey

2444 W. Diversey, 2444 W. Diversey
2 of 8 available, 2-4 BR, $360K-$420K, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

714 W. Division, Parkside of Old Town
NA of 258 available, 1-2 BR, $200K-$280K, Delivery now
Developed by Parkside LLC, Marketed by Equity Marketing

Previous New-Construction Updates

Monday, August 3, 2009

New-Construction Update: 8/3/09

Pearson on the Park

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

222 E. Pearson, Pearson on the Park
40 of 219 available, 2-3 BR, $356K-$491K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by Hawthorne Development

1600 N. Halsted, Axis
2 of 20 available, 1 BR, $225K+, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by @properties

926-928 W. Carmen, Carmen
2 of 8 available, 2-3 BR, $285K-$409K, Delivery now
Developed by PNA Development, Marketed by @properties

2800 W. North, Silver District
8 of 20 available, 2-3 BR, $180K-$290K, Delivery now
Developed by Boldun & Gurevich, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

650-670 W. Wayman, Trio
20 of 209 available, 1-2 BR, $210K-$370K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by RDM Development

Previous New-Construction Updates

Monday, July 27, 2009

New-Construction Update: 7/27/09

Lincoln Park 2520

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

2520 N. Lakeview, Lincoln Park 2520
50 of 192 available, 1-5 BR, $1M+, Delivery late 2011
Developed and Marketed by Ricker-Murphy Development

2242 W. Chicago, 2242 W. Chicago
7 of 8 available, 2-3 BR, $380K-$590K, Delivery September
Developed by DenMax, Marketed by North Clybourn Group

925 N. Larrabee, Sky Life
6 of 6 available, 1-3 BR, $640K-$740K, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by North Clybourn Group

4913-4929 S. King, Logan Square
8 of 8 available, 2-3 BR, $180K-$290K, Delivery now
Developed by Boldun & Gurevich, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

1215 W. Granville, Granville Gardens
9 of 40 available, 1-2 BR, $120K-$150K, Delivery now
Developed by Lee Street, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

Previous New-Construction Updates

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Local Agent Sets Forbes Straight

On her blog, Live and Play in Chicago, top-producing agent Jennifer Ames, takes aim at Forbes' coverage of Chicago's real-estate market, particularly Lincoln Park:

Unfortunately, as with any interaction with the media, there’s the risk of having one’s comments taken out of context, and that is precisely what happened in my July 2009 interview with Stephane Fitch for his Forbes magazine story entitled “America’s Most Troubled Luxury Neighborhoods.”

Fitch distilled our 30-minute interview into two quotes that, out of context, contradict the key points I made in our interview.

So, I’d like to set the record straight: Chicago’s Lincoln Park is not a “troubled” neighborhood. While I cannot comment on the other neighborhoods mentioned in his story, I disagree with his assertion that home prices in Lincoln Park are on the verge of “collapse.”

Lincoln Park has fared better than most other neighborhoods during the current adjustment and is poised to recover faster.

For details, click here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

State Offers $6,000 Loans to First-Time Buyers

In today's Chicago Tribune, Mary Ellen Podmolik offers some good news for first-time buyers:

The Illinois Housing Development Authority is set to announce later today that it will offer qualifying consumers short-term, interest-free loans of up to $6,000 to be used as down payments on home purchases.

Under the program, qualifying buyers who finance their purchases through the state's Home Start Loan Program will receive a zero-interest loan for up to 3.5 percent, or up to $6,000, of the purchase price to use for a down payment when they arrange a 30-year, fixed-rate, Federal Housing Administration-insured loan through one of the state's participating lenders.

A $300 application fee is required and the down payment loan must be repaid before June 30, 2010, otherwise interest will start accruing.

Income and purchase limits apply. To participate in the program, households of three or more people can make no more than $86,135 and a single-family home can cost no more than $349,020. Veterans and active-duty military personnel don't need to be first-time buyers to participate.

More information and a list of participating lenders is available at www.ihda.org.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New-Construction Update: 7/20/09

Library Tower

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

520 S. State, Library Tower
10 of 184 available, 1-3 BR, $245K-$950K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by Lennar Homes

8 E. 9th, Astoria Tower
60 of 240 available, 1-2 BR, $230K-$1.5M, Delivery now
Developed by Provence, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

1720 S. Michigan, 1720 S. Michigan
20 of 498 available, 1-3 BR, $190K-$350K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by CMK Companies

3434-3464 S. Halsted, Bridgeport Condominiums
30 of 67 available, 1-2 BR, $210K-$370K, Delivery now
Developed by Mega Group, Marketed by Koenig & Strey

600 W. 16th, Union Row
6 of 35 available, 2-4 BR, $530K-$680K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by Belgravia Group

Previous New-Construction Updates

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tighter Lending Rules Choking Sales

According to Chicago Tribune reporter Mary Ellen Podmolik:

Dramatically tightening guidelines on mortgages that government-controlled companies will back . . . are crimping a local condo market burdened with an oversupply of inventory at the same time consumers are dealing with the Chicago area's 10.7 percent jobless rate.

As of July 1, Freddie Mac no longer will guarantee mortgages in new condo buildings where less than 70 percent of the units have been sold. Fannie Mae adopted the same threshold March 1. Previously, the requirement was 51 percent. The changes come on top of a matrix of fees adopted by Fannie and Freddie this spring that increase the cost of a mortgage for condo buyers with various credit scores and also impose fees for buyers who make down payments of less than 25 percent.

As a result, some developers are turning to their own lenders and arranging short-term private financing for buyers. An increasing number, though, are applying to have their developments approved by the Federal Housing Administration.

A building has to be only 51 percent sold in order for buyers to receive FHA-backed mortgages, and the down payment required is 3 1/2 percent. Because of the lesser underwriting requirements, the FHA's share of mortgages insured for new-home purchases has grown.

Condo buildings want in on that action. Since October, 68 Chicago condo buildings have received FHA approval, and an additional 51 buildings have applications pending.

For the entire article, click here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

New-Construction Update: 7/13/09

Silver Tower

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

303 W. Ohio, Silver Tower
NA of 233 available, 1-3 BR, $270K-$790K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by Stonegate Development

3340 N. Damen, 3340 N. Damen
2 of 6 available, 2-4 BR, $470K-$610K, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by Conlon

1201 S. Prairie, One Museum Park West
80 of 298 available, 2-3 BR, $530K-$2.1M, Delivery 2010
Developed and Marketed by Enterprise Companies

2326 W. Giddings, Fountain View
1 of 18 available, 2 BR, $530K+, Delivery now
Developed by Terra Firma, Marketed by Koenig & Strey

1937 W. Diversey, 1937 W. Diversey
3 of 24 available, 2 BR, $300K-$310K, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by Property Consultants

Previous New-Construction Updates

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

YTD: Dollars Down 53%, Units Drop 44%

According to figures generated by MRED, the regional MLS, year-to-date sales of Chicago condos for the first half of 2009 are:
* Down 53% in total dollar volume, to $1.3 billion
* Down 44% in units closed, to 3,877
* Down 12% in median sales price, to $280,000
* Up 20% in average market time, to 157 days.

This shows an improving market since the end of May, when year-to-date dollar volume was down 57% and units closed were down 48%. At the end of April, sales year-to-date were down 59% and 51% respectively. So the picture has brightened two months in a row.

Reports the Chicago Sun-Times: David Hanna of Prudential SourceOne Realty and president of the Chicago Association of Realtors, said federal rules for mortgage lenders deserve much of the blame [for the decline in the condo market]. Policies of such mortgage underwriters as the Federal Housing Administration have penalized relatively strong local markets for condos, he said. Hanna said the FHA, "the lender of choice for condos," has adopted somewhat looser loan standards for large condo buildings as of Oct. 1, but that help should have come by now.

Comparing June sales to May:
* Units closed were up 37%, from 766 in May to 1,050 in June
* Dollar volume was up 38%, from $239 million to $330 million
* Median sales price was up 1%, from $279,000 to $283,000
* Average market time was up 9%, from 148 days to 161 days.

For details on month-over-month and year-over-year, click here. For previous market reports, click here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

New-Construction Update: 7/6/09

Clarovista

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

6238 N. Broadway, Clarovista
80 of 160 available, 1-3 BR, $100K-$270K, Delivery now
Developed by The Access Group, Marketed by Jameson

123 S. Green, Emerald
84 of 212 available, 1-2 BR, $270K-$620K, Delivery now
Developed by Senco, Marketed by Property Consultants

2523 N. Southport, 2523 N. Southport
6 of 6 available, 2-3 BR, $470K-$770K, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by Conlon

2208 W. Chicago, 2208 W. Chicago
1 of 3 available, 3 BR, $420K+, Delivery Fall
Developed by NA, Marketed by North Clybourn Group

8 E. Randolph, Joffrey Tower
11 of 208 available, 1-2 BR, $280K+, Delivery now
Developed by Smithfield, Marketed by @properties

Previous New-Construction Updates

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lawmakers Vote To License Property Managers

In the Chicago Tribune, Pamela Dittmer McKuen summarizes recently passed legislation that affects condo associations:

Association managers soon will need a license to practice their trade. The Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Act, originally known as SB-1579, passed both houses of the Illinois General Assembly on May 30. Many of the details have yet to be worked out, but the bill creates a regulatory board and denies licensure to anyone convicted of a felony.

Other association-related legislation that passed:

Bills HB-688 and SB-267 allow municipalities to get court permission to reclaim uncompleted and deteriorating condominium projects that are a danger or nuisance to the community. The properties can be turned over to a receiver for management, rehabilitation, completion, sale or dissolution.

HB-155: When a condo owner sells a unit, the association can't exercise its right of first refusal or option to purchase on the basis of the type of financing used by the buyer.

SB-1390 amends the General Not-For-Profit Act to allow the use of e-mail for notices and other informal communications.

All of those bills await the signature of Gov. Pat Quinn to become law.

For details, see the complete article.

Monday, June 29, 2009

New-Construction Update: 6/29/09

3763 N. Wilton

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

3763 N. Wilton, 3763 N. Wilton
7 of 10 available, 2-3 BR, $390K-$690K, Delivery now
Developed by Ronan Construction, Marketed by NA

1464 S. Michigan, Marquee
NA of 214 available, 1-3 BR, $220K-$940K, Delivery now
Developed by Sedgwick Properties, Marketed by Jameson

2408 W. Rice, Lumiere
5 of 12 available, 3 BR, $340K-$430K, Delivery now
Developed by DenMax Corp, Marketed by @properties

860 W. Blackhawk, SoNo
NA of 275 available, 1-3 BR, $240K-$470K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by Smithfield Development

1621 S. Carpenter, Chantico South
5 of 9 available, 2-3 BR, $240K-$430K, Delivery now
Developed by Lipe Property, Marketed by Jameson

Previous New-Construction Updates

Monday, June 22, 2009

New-Construction Update: 6/22/09

1720 S. Michigan

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

1720 S. Michigan, 1720 S. Michigan
20 of 498 available, 1-3 BR, $190K-$390K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by CMK Companies

2523 N. Southport, 2523 N. Southport
6 of 6 available, 2-3 BR, $490K-$770K, Delivery now
Developed by Pat O’Donnell and Pat Gibbons, Marketed by Conlon Real Estate

1624 W. Division, Vision
NA of 33 available, 2-3 BR, $440K-$590K, Delivery October '09
Developed by RDM Development, Marketed by Jameson

60 E. Monroe, Legacy at Millennium Park
50 of 355 available, 1-3 BR, $480K-$4.2M, Delivery fall '09
Developed and Marketed by Mesa Development

1555 Wabash, 1555 S. Wabash
85 of 176 available, 1-3 BR, $200K-$500K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by New West Realty

Previous New-Construction Updates

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Buyer & Seller, Beware: Appraisals in Disarray

Adding to the problems of buying or selling a condo these days is increasing disarray in the appraisal industry.

For insight, including some personal experiences with valuations coming in far below the contract price and home equity lines of credit being dramatically reduced, see recent posts of @properties agent Bob Darrow on "Your Windy City Guide," Bob's blog.

South Loop Units Being Coverted To Rentals?

In its June 15 edition, Crain's Chicago Business reports that Centrum Properties, the lead developer of the 12-acre Roosevelt Collection at Roosevelt Road and Wells, is "preparing to tear up contracts with condo buyers" and convert the 342-unit Lofts at Roosevelt Collection into an apartment building.

Crain's says a source familiar with the matter says the decision ultimately rests with a group of six lenders and that "the deal isn't done and might not materialize.

"Such a switch would portend a larger shift as a downtown condo glut turns into an apartment glut," the publication states.

According to Crain's, Roosevelt Collection is one of eight new condo buildings to be delivered this year in the South Loop. As other projects approach their delivery dates, it adds, "there's a good chance more will convert."

The seven other conversion candidates on Crain's list are Astoria Tower at 8 E. 9th; Coliseum Park at 1440 S. Wabash; 1600 Museum Park at 1629 S. Prairie; Museum Park Place South at 1901 S. Calumet; Terrazio at 1935 S. Wabash; Lexington Park at 2138 S. Indiana; and 1555 S. Wabash.

Monday, June 15, 2009

YTD: Dollars Down 57%, Units Drop 48%

According to figures generated by MRED, the regional MLS, year-to-date sales of Chicago condos are:
* Down 57% in total dollar volume, to $914 million
* Down 48% in units closed, to 2,805
* Down 13% in median sales price, to $280,000
* Up 23% in average market time, to 156 days.

Comparing May sales to April:
* Units closed were up 19%, from 645 in April to 766 in May
* Dollar volume was up 18%, from $202 million to $239 million
* Median sales price was down 0.3%, from $280,000 to $279,000
* Average market time was down 8%, from 161 days to 148 days.

For details on month-over-month and year-over-year, click here. For previous market reports, click here.

New-Construction Update: 6/15/09

340 Evergreen

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

340 W. Evergreen, 340 Evergreen
3 of 9 available, 3-4 BR, $660K-$1.2M, Delivery now
Developed by ITK2 Development, Marketed by Jameson

1415-1425 W. Belmont, Alexandria on Belmont
2 of 15 available, 2 BR, $490K-$520K, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

5832-5836 S. Prairie, Prairie Parc
5 of 8 available, 2 BR, $160-$200K, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

1418 N. Lasalle, 1418 N. Lasalle
2 of 4 available, 3 BR, $1.2M-$1.9M, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by Rubloff

757 N. Orleans, 757 Orleans
NA of 198 available, 0-3 BR, $240K-$760K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by Gammonley Group

Previous New-Construction Updates

Friday, June 12, 2009

Warning: Before You Buy in a Condo Hotel

If you are ever tempted to buy a unit in a condo hotel (aka a "condotel"), including at the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, do your research first. A good place to start is this helpful article by Steve Bergsman at Inman News.

Warns Bergsman, a real-estate author based in Arizona: "This product has been on my watch list as one of the worst real estate investments ever created for the simple reason that it is really just a financing mechanism for the developer and for all practical purposes, caveat emptor, which in today's world means let the buyer be damned.

"Basically," explains Bergsman, "a condotel works like this: An investor buys a condominium in a hotel building and then allows the hotel to use the unit for guests when the owner is not in residence. The sales pitch suggests the buyer will recoup investment costs and fees through the daily rental of the condo unit by the hotel, which, by the way, rarely ever happens.

"Even if you wanted to buy into a condotel today," he concludes, "it's doubtful you could find a bank that would finance this loan. Lenders have come to view a condotel mortgage as a high-risk investment."

SoNo, 860 W. Blackhawk, Cuts Prices 16-20%

Crib Chatter reports today that SoNo, the new construction high rise at 860 W. Blackhawk, is the lastest development to cut prices. According to a "tipster," prices are being cut 16-20% in a sale that starts this weekend.

Some of the new prices:
01 Tier: 1/1, 905 square feet; Now priced: $302,400 to $338,400
02 Tier: 2/2, 1416 square feet; Unit #1402 is listed on the MLS for $505,400; Now priced: $421,400 to $469,400
03 Tier: 2/2, 1416 square feet; Unit #2803 is listed on the MLS for $547,400; Now priced: $394,900 to $463,900

Parking is now available for $9,000. @properties is handling sales. For floor plans and building details, see SoNo's Web site at Sono Chicago.

Monday, June 8, 2009

New-Construction Update: 6/8/09

Silver Cloud

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

5346 S. Cornell, Silver Cloud
NA of 74 available, 2 BR, $240K-$280K, Delivery NA
Developed by Creative Designs, Marketed by Sudler Sotheby's

1900 N. Central, Enclave at Galewood Crossings
23 of 54 available, 2-4 BR, $239K-$330K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by Red Seal Homes
To buy at auction, see details in June 4 post below

2330-2334 W. Wabansia, Wabansia Row
NA of 11 available, 4 BR, $790K-$1M, Delivery Sept '09
Developed by Origin Development, Marketed by @properties

2333 N. Bosworth, 2333 N. Bosworth
2 of 3 available, 2-3 BR, $450K-$650K, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

150 W. Roosevelt, Lofts at Roosevelt Collection
130 of 324 available, 1-2 BR, $300K-$650K, Delivery Fall '09
Developed and Marketed by Centrum Properties

Previous New-Construction Updates

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Enjoy the Views From Aqua, 225 N. Columbus

Among the videos offered by Magellan Development of its Lakeshore East project are these panoramic views. They were taken from a 60th-floor balcony of Aqua, its new 82-story condo at 225 N. Columbus. Enjoy the views and the music!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

29 Condos in 2 Developments Up for Auction

Among the properties to be auctioned later this month by Rick Levin & Associates are 29 condos at two new developments in Chicago: Metro Place, at South Campbell and Roosevelt; and The Enclave, at Grand and Laramie.

7 p.m. Thursday, June 25:
MCL Companies' Metro Place: Six 2BR/2BA condos to be sold absolute, regardless of price. Previously priced up to $259,900. Suggested opening bids from $125,000. Details, including times of open houses.

11 a.m. Saturday, June 27:
Red Seal Homes' The Enclave at Galewood Crossings: an FHA-approved gated community. In addition to six single-family homes and 17 townhomes, 23 condos will be on the block. Six of the condos to be sold absolute, regardless of price. 2-4BR, 2-3BA. 2-flats available. Previously priced up to $359,900. Suggested opening bids from $85,000. Details, including times of open houses.

Both auctions will be conducted at the Crowne Plaza Hotel-Chicago Metro at 733 W. Madison.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Prices Reduced 25-30% at 659 W. Randolph

Crib Chatter reports that over the weekend "bank-liquidation pricing," ranging from 25 to 30% off, started on the remaining available units in the new-construction high-rise RD 659, at 659 W. Randolph in the West Loop.

Sample reductions:

01 Tier: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1147 square feet, parking included: Reduced from $459,000 to $341,000 (26%) and from $492,000 to $367,000 (25%)

Tier 05: 1 bedroom plus den, 2 baths, 988 square feet, parking included: Reduced from $409,000 to $293,000 (28%) and from $421,000 to $301,000 (29%)

Tier 18: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 840 square feet, parking included: Reduced from $342,000 to $254,000 (26%) and from $369,000 to $260,000 (30%).

Chris McComas at @Properties is handling sales. According to his latest stats, 25 units have closed, but the building is 51% sold.

See pictures of the model unit here. See floor plans at the RD 659 website. See more pricing details here.

New-Construction Update: 6/1/09

Superior 110

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

110 W. Superior, Superior 110
15 of 58 available, 1-3 BR, $540K-$1.6M, Delivery fall '09
Developed and Marketed by JFJ Development

240 E. Illinois, Fairbanks at Cityfront Plaza
10 of 281 available, 1-2 BR, $470K-$990K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by Centrum Properties

1870 N. Winnebago, Bucktown Point
2 of 15 available, 3 BR, $530K-$590K, Delivery now
Developed and Marketed by Paramount Homes

303 W. Ohio, Silver Tower
NA of 225 available, 1-3 BR, $270K-$870K, Delivery June '09
Developed and Marketed by Stonegate Development

60 E. Monroe, Legacy
48 of 355 available, 1-4 BR, $490K-$4.25M, Delivery Sept '09
Developed and Marketed by Mesa Development

Previous New-Construction Updates

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Major Brokerages Close 2 Offices in Old Town

Your Windy City Guide reports that two leading brokerages recently closed offices in Old Town.

Sudler Sotheby’s office at 1650 N. Wells relocated most of those agents to its office at 919 N. Michigan and a few agents to space acquired from Century 21 Sussex & Reilly at 912 W. Armitage in Lincoln Park.

Baird & Warner's office at 1510 N. Wells is relocating those agents to the larger space near Diversey on Lincoln, or to the firm's Michigan Avenue address.

Median Price Down 15% From May '08 High

For April 2009, the median sales price of Chicago condos was down 15% from its all-time monthly high, recorded in May 2008.

That finding comes from statistics compiled using figures from Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), the region's multiple listing service.

According to the MRED data, the median sales price of condos sold in April 2009 was $280,000, compared to $329,000 in May 2008. From January 2003, the earliest month for which we have figures, the median price in April 2009 was up 28%, from $218,500.

At its May 2008 peak, the median price was up 51% from our January 2003 starting point.

The monthly medians are tracked and shown in the graph and the chart below. This information will be updated each month and available in Market Overview on ChicagoCondosOnline.com.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Agents Hebson, DiVito Join Koenig & Strey

Colin Hebson and Rich DiVito, two of the top-producing agents in Chicago, have left @properties to join Koenig & Strey GMAC. Along with three agents from their team, the two agents will operate out of Koenig & Strey's Lincoln Park office.

Hebson and DiVito began working together in 2006, and have brokered more than 2,000 sales. In addition, they have consistently placed in the top 1 percent of Realtors® in Chicago.

Monday, May 25, 2009

New-Construction Update: 5/25/09

One Museum Park & One Museum Park West

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

1211 S. Prairie, One Museum Park
63 of 289 available, 2-3 BR, $720K-$2.8M, Delivery now
Developed by Enterprise, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

1201 S. Prairie, One Museum Park West
87 of 298 available, 2-3 BR, $530K-$2.1M, Delivery Fall '09
Developed by Enterprise, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

1224 W. Van Buren, VB1224
57 of 189 available, 1-2 BR, $250K-$309K, Delivery now
Developed by New West, Marketed by @properties

155 N. Aberdeen, 155 N. Aberdeen
6 of 12 available, 2-3 BR, $550K-$900K, Delivery July
Developed by NA, Marketed by @properties

2520 S. Oakley, Oakley Pointe
5 of 21 available, 1-2 BR, $220K-$299K, Delivery now
Developed by NA, Marketed by Koenig & Strey

Previous New-Construction Updates

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fannie Mae Raises Costs of Condo Loans

Mortgage rates and house prices are down, but underwriting changes that took effect in April are throwing new hurdles in the way of borrowers, according to Ken Harney in the Washington Post.

For example: On all condominium loans, Fannie Mae now has an across-the-board three-quarters of a point, no matter how high the applicant's credit score. For a once-popular "interest-only" condo loan with a 20-percent down payment and a borrower credit score of 690, Fannie imposes the following ratcheted sequence of add-ons:

One-quarter of 1 percent as an "adverse market" fee; another 1.5 percent for the below-optimal credit score; three-quarters of a percent for the interest-only payment feature; and three-quarters of a percent because the property is a condo. The total comes to 3.25 percent extra, which can be paid upfront or rolled into the rate.

For the complete article, click here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

$8,000 Cash Available to First-Time Buyers

Ken Harney of the Washington Post reports:

The $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time home purchasers is about to morph into a ready-cash down payment source, thanks to a new federal policy change.

Buyers eligible for the credit who apply for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration may soon also be eligible for bridge loans or cash advances--up to $8,000--that they can use for the down payment, closing costs or other loan expenses pending receipt of their tax credit check from the IRS.

Under guidance drafted by the FHA, all lenders approved to do business with the agency will be authorized to provide bridge loans at closing--secured solely by the tax credit the borrower anticipates receiving from the IRS. State and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations approved by FHA will be allowed to offer either bridge loans or second mortgages secured by the house.

Though the $8,000 tax credit carries the name "first-time homebuyer," eligibility extends to anyone who hasn't owned a principal residence during the past three years. The credit amount from the IRS is the lesser of 10 percent of the purchase price of the dwelling or $8,000.

The federal $8,000 credit covers purchases closed by Nov. 30. Unless Congress extends the credit, it will disappear Dec. 1.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Koenig & Strey Closes 2 More Offices

Crain's Chicago Business reported yesterday that Koenig & Strey GMAC, one Chicago’s largest residential brokerages, has shuttered offices in the River North and Lincoln Park neighborhoods.

Both offices, at 750 N. Orleans and 1800 N. Clybourn, housed a combined total of roughly 230 employees, says Doug Ayers, president of the brokerage. Koenig has now closed three city offices this year, having earlier shut its branch in the Roscoe Village neighborhood.

Most employees from the River North and Lincoln Park offices, which closed last month, transferred to the company’s eight remaining branches in the city.

Baird & Warner and Sudler Sotheby’s International have also closed offices as home sales have plummeted three straight years and agent ranks are shrinking.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ARC: 42% of New Downtown Units Unsold

YoChicago reports today on the latest statistics from Appraisal Research Counselors (ARC), which monitors the downtown condo market:

Of the 5,389 downtown condos under construction and set for delivery between this year and 2011, just 3,139, or 58 percent, are currently under contract.

Almost 4,700 new homes will be completed in the downtown area this year, less than 2,000 of which, or 42 percent, remain unsold. At least 700 more homes will be finished in 2010 and 2011, 39 percent of which still are not under contract.

For more details, see this report from the Chicago Tribune.

Skweres To Manage Wolin-Levin High-Rises

Thomas A. Skweres has joined the management services team at Wolin-Levin, as managing director of its newly established High-Rise Division.

Tom previously served as an executive at Associa/Legum & Norman, The Habitat Company and Draper & Kramer.

Wolin-Levin manages more condos than any other property-management firm in Chicago. Its portfolio consists of 20,000 units in 50 properties with on-site management. The company has served Chicago for nearly 60 years and is now part of FirstService Residential, a publicly held, national company.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Two Developers Suing Buyers Who Walk Away

An article in Monday's Crain's Chicago Business reports that the percentage of new condo sales that are falling apart before closing has increased from 10% to 15% last spring, to more than 25% today.

As cancellations rise, two veteran Chicago developers, Enterprise Companies and Fogelson Properties, are suing home buyers who try to walk away.

According to Crain's, the joint-venture companies have taken the unprecedented step of filing lawsuits against about 100 home buyers who didn't close on contracts on condos in the Museum Park project. Some buyers can't get financing to close. Others walk away because they think the units are worth less than they agreed to pay.

The cases, some of which have been settled, generally seek recovery of earnest money deposits and half the cost of upgrades. Industry experts say such disputes usually are settled without litigation. The developers have won about half the cases already through settlements and court rulings, says one of their lawyers.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Video: Lake Point Tower's Spectacular Views

To celebrate its 40th anniversary this fall, Lake Point Tower, a 70-story condo at 505 N. Lake Shore, between Grand and Illinois, a block west of Navy Pier, has created a four-minute video and a colorful brochure that feature spectacular lake and skyline views from its 720 units.

The only residential building east of Lake Shore Drive, Lake Point Tower was built in 1968 and converted to condos in 1988. Occupants have unobstructed, panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline. On a clear day, it is possible to see four states.

Dozens of photos of the building and its views can be found on Flickr. To visit the association's Web site, click here.

For an in-depth profile of the building, with floor plans, median sales price and ownership costs per square foot for each unit type, from studio to penthouse, click here.

To watch the video, which also showcases such amenities as indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center and a private 2.5-acre park with a duck pond, click arrow in center of image below.




Below: Views from typical corner unit, 1209, overlooking Navy Pier, and from typical center unit, 5305, looking northeast.



New-Construction Update: 5/18/09

Astoria Tower

Every Monday, with help from our friends at YoChicago.com, we present vital data on five condos under construction.

To view Building Profile on ChicagoCondosOnline.com, click address. To visit developer’s Web site, click name. To use Chicago's best condo search engine to review in-depth profiles of 900+ new-construction properties and find the unit types that meet any combination of 100 preferences, click here.

8 E. 9th, Astoria Tower
60 of 240 available, 1-2 BR, $230K-$1.5M, Delivery now
Developed by Provence Development, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

2411 W. Walton, Sanctuary
2 of 13 available, 2-3 BR, $410K-$440K, Delivery now
Developed by Romeo Kapudijawas, Marketed by Baird & Warner

416 W. Deming, Deming on the Green
17 of 23 available, 1-4 BR, $480K-$2.6M, Delivery 2010
Developed by Silverleaf, Marketed by Coldwell Banker

2741-2743 N. Sheffield, Rotunda
7 of 8 available, 2-4 BR, $440K-$690K, Delivery July
Developed by NA, Marketed by Rubloff

6 N. Michigan, 6 N. Michigan
40 of 104 available, 1-3+ BR, $320K-$5.5M, Delivery now
Developed by Six North Michigan, Marketed by @properties

Previous New-Construction Updates

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bob Darrow on Lincoln Park, Lakeview Markets

In the above video, @properties agent Bob Darrow offers keen insights into the real-estate markets in Lincoln Park and Lakeview.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ways To Protect Your Association's Funds

In today's Chicago Journal, Jim Stoller, president of The Building Group, which manages 80 properties, lists safeguards to prevent condo association funds from being misused. Among them:

* Pay attention immediately when monthly statements are not received or present an inaccurate record of cash flow. It usually means trouble.

* Research your management company. Talk to current and past clients. If possible, find out if accurate records are provided monthly. Also ask if funds were ever misappropriated or if there was evidence that the firm received kickbacks from vendors.

Some management firms engage in less-than-ethical dealings such as accepting “referral fees” (i.e., kickbacks) from vendors or pad the association’s charges with undisclosed, add-on fees. Many firms own related companies--from painters to maintenance to insurance agencies-- and use their services instead of seeking independent, competitive bids.

* Make sure your management company has a fidelity bond to insure client’s funds. Become a “named insured” and get a copy of the certificate.

* Read and decipher the financial statements every month. Is every check and wire transfer documented; are there any missing? Are the checks payable to known association vendors and for the appropriate amounts? Are bank statements included for every association account and are they reconciled with the financial statements?

* Make sure your funds are not co-mingled with other clients. Also avoid “master programs” in which your building is grouped with others, thereby making it easier for a management company to add undetected fees and harder for an association to trace its funds.

* Reserve accounts should be controlled by the board and require multiple signatures on their checks. Excess funds should be transferred out of management-controlled operating accounts when they reach previously set amounts.

* Audits by a third party CPA should be performed annually.

Best Neighborhood Info for Condo Buyers

The best source of information on communities and neighborhoods for condo buyers in Chicago is the collection of 77 Area Profiles at ChicagoCondosOnline.com, "The Ultimate Condominium Resource."

Only on ChicagoCondosOnline.com will you find the citywide rankings of all 77 community areas on such demographics as percentage of singles or professionals, median sales price, student-teacher ratios, and appreciation rates for one, three and five years.

For example, the Near North Side, No. 1 in condo sales, ranks third in college grads and professionals, fifth in median income and 71st in children under five. In appreciation (increase in median sales price) for the past one, three and five years, it ranks between 15th and 17th.

To access these profiles, which include maps that show the boundaries of neighborhoods within each area, visit ChicagoCondosOnline.com. Using a Quick Comparison Chart, you can generate side-by-side comparisons of any three areas. See sample profile below; see sample chart here. See interactive city maps with sales data for each of the 77 areas here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bargains: Metropolitan Tower at 17-34% Off

YoChicago reports:

Prices are falling at Metropolitan Tower, the converted Straus Building at 310 S. Michigan in the South Loop.

A new splash page on the development's Web site announces new "final closeout pricing" scheme for 11 finished units that will go into effect Saturday. Additionally, two units listed by the tower's Equity Marketing sales team were reduced in price yesterday.

Eight east-facing two- and three-bedroom homes are for sale through the developer at prices ranging from the $590s to the $640s, down from the $780s to $950s.

For details and prices of individual units, click here.

'Chicago Real Estate Experts' Launched

An innovative social-networking Web site called Chicago Real Estate Experts that will focus on sharing knowledge was launched today. Its purpose, according to Joe Zekas, one of its founders, is to connect home buyers and sellers with highly qualified, pre-screened local agents, appraisers, attorneys, inspectors and lenders.

Joe's firm, Data Based Ads, has more than 20 years experience working with real estate professionals through a variety of publications, including YoChicago and NewHomeNotebook.

Among its many features, Chicago Real Estate Experts will offer blogs, photos, video, public and private groups and discussion forums, local events calendars, news from a variety of sources, activity feeds and online real-time chat.

Membership in the site is open to everyone but, says Joe, "only a limited number of dues-paying professionals who meet our criteria are allowed to hold themselves out as experts. We require that they develop relationships with consumers by demonstrating and sharing their expertise rather than by directly soliciting them."

The objective criteria for agents include a minimum five years full-time experience and direct representation of a buyer or seller in at least 50 closed transactions. At least 20 of those transactions must be within the geographic area for which the person is applying to qualify as an expert.

Additional information is available at this site.