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Chicago V. Suburbs. Wealthiest Home Buyers Pick…?

Chicago City V. Suburbs

Chicago City V. Suburbs

Do you think more multi-million-dollar home sales take place in the city of Chicago or in its wealthiest suburbs?

If you picked the suburbs, you’d be wrong. At least this year.

A recent feature story by Crain’s Chicago Business highlighted the increasing number of luxury real estate sales now taking place in the city, and the dwindling number in its suburbs.

The Crain’s story said that in August alone, the city of Chicago saw six sales of homes that cost $4 million or more. One of these homes sold for a whopping $7.4 million.

The suburbs, though, have seen a much smaller number of high-end home sales. As Crain’s reports, a $6.2 million mansion on Lake Michigan in the North Shore suburb of Kenilworth sold in late July. That was the first such sale of $4 million or more in Kenilworth in 2014. More importantly, it was only the fifth sale in all of suburban Cook County to pass the $4 million mark.

Crain’s reported, too, that by Sept. 1, there were 19 home sales of $4 million or more in Chicago in 2014. That’s one more $4 million home sale than the city saw in all of 2013.

What’s behind this? According to the Crain’s story, today’s wealthiest buyers want the urban experience. They want to live in a big city filled with amenities and things to do.

Chicago certainly fits that description. The city offers dozens of experimental theater companies, rows of boutique stores, amazing green spaces and countless gourmet restaurants. Each of the neighborhoods surrounding Chicago’s downtown core boast their own entertainment, eating and drinking options.

It’s no surprise to me, then, that so many of the area’s wealthiest buyers are choosing the city over its suburbs. Chicago offers so much. Why not buy a high-end home here?
The MG Group is an award winning residential real estate group ranked #1 IN ILLINOIS & TOP 40 IN THE NATION since 2011 by The Wall Street Journal & in Real Trends’ THE THOUSAND TOP REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS. The MG Group is also recognized as a LUXEHOME 25 by Top 25 Luxury Broker in Chicago and FIVE-STAR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL by Chicago Magazine. SHARE THIS POST & FOLLOW US NOW ON:

 

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“Gone Girl” Writer’s Home For Sale

“Gone Girl” Writer’s Home For Sale

“Gone Girl” Writer’s Home For Sale – Photo via GoogleMaps

If you’ve ever read “Gone Girl,” you know that Gillian Flynn is one of the more talented mystery writers working today.

But did you know that Flynn also owns a house in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village? And did you know that she recently listed that house for sale? Chicago Magazine knows, and it recently ran a feature story profiling the home.

The house doesn’t come with the smallest of price tags. Flynn and her husband are listing the three-bedroom home for $750,000. The couple, though, doesn’t stand to make much of a profit: They bought the 2,500-square-foot gray stone home for $740,000 at the height of the Chicago real estate boom in 2007.

If you are interested in the home, know that it sits in one of the prettiest of Chicago’s neighborhoods. The home on North Hoyne Avenue is on a tree-filled block filled with homes with expressive facades. The home’s listing agent told Chicago Magazine that the block ends up in plenty of Chicago-based movies and TV series when directors want to capture a uniquely Chicago feel in their scenes.

The home is an example of the solid real estate bargains that buyers can find today in even the most desirable of Chicago’s neighborhoods. Housing prices have slowly risen since the Chicago real estate market crashed in late 2006 and early 2007. Savvy shoppers today can find beautiful homes in desirable neighborhoods at reasonable prices.

To do this, of course, home buyers need to work with a REALTOR® who knows the neighborhoods in which they want to buy. This professional can help buyers find the right home at the right price, even in the most popular neighborhoods of Chicago.

The MG Group is an award winning residential real estate group ranked #1 IN ILLINOIS & TOP 40 IN THE NATION since 2011 by The Wall Street Journal & in Real Trends’ THE THOUSAND TOP REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS. The MG Group is also recognized as a LUXEHOME 25 by Top 25 Luxury Broker in Chicago and FIVE-STAR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL by Chicago Magazine. SHARE THIS POST & FOLLOW US NOW ON:

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Home Sales on The Rise Across the Country

 Home Sales on The Rise Across the Country


Home Sales on The Rise Across the Country

We’ve already written about the rise in housing prices in Chicago in July. Now the National Association of REALTORS® has released its latest housing data, and it shows that home sales across the country are again rising.

According to NAR, existing-home sales rose in July to their highest annual pace of all of 2014. At the same time, the percentage of home sales that were of distressed properties — those sold either through foreclosure or short sale — continued to decline.

Both of these facts are good news for Chicago homeowners. As home sales rise across the country and the number of foreclosures drops, it can only help housing values and sales in the city of Chicago.

NAR reported that the total number of existing-home sales rose 2.4% in July to an annual rate of 5.15 million. This means that if the number of home sales stayed at the same level as the country saw in July, the United States would see 5.15 million sales of existing single-family homes, condominiums, townhomes and co-ops for all of 2014.

Existing-home sales are now at their highest annual pace of 2014, according to the story, and have seen solid increases for four consecutive months.

At the same time, housing values are continuing to rise across the country. NAR reports that the median existing-home price for all housing types stood at $222,900 across the country in July. That’s up 4.9% from July of 2013.

In even better news, foreclosures and short sales accounted for just 9% of all July home sales. That is down 15% from the same month one year earlier.

This is especially important. As the percentage of distressed sales continues to fall, you can expect to see median housing values increase at an even faster rate.

The MG Group is an award winning residential real estate group ranked #1 IN ILLINOIS & TOP 40 IN THE NATION since 2011 by The Wall Street Journal & in Real Trends’ THE THOUSAND TOP REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS. The MG Group is also recognized as a LUXEHOME 25 by Top 25 Luxury Broker in Chicago and FIVE-STAR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL by Chicago Magazine. SHARE THIS POST & FOLLOW US NOW ON:

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Foreclosures Still Hurting Chicago

Foreclosures Still Hurting Chicago

Foreclosures Still Hurting Chicago

Foreclosures and short sales continue to be a problem in the Chicago area, according to a recent story by Crain’s Chicago Business .

According to the story, Illinois in July had the country’s fifth-highest percentage of home sales that were considered distressed — sales that were either foreclosures or short sales. Crain’s cited numbers from RealtyTrac showing that distressed sales made up 18 percent of July home sales in Illinois. Only Nevada, Florida, Arizona and Michigan had a higher percentage of distressed home sales during the month.

Across the nation, distressed home sales made up just 13.6 percent of all home sales in July. This shows how much of a problem foreclosures continue to be in Chicago and Illinois.

Foreclosures, of course, can cause prices in an entire neighborhood to drop. Consider this example: You’re selling a home for $250,000. Unfortunately, a similar home at the end of your block is in foreclosure. That home is selling for $190,000. The odds are good that buyers will choose the foreclosure home.

If you have too many foreclosure homes in your neighborhood, you’ll have to lower your own asking price to compete for buyers. Today’s home buyers, after all, aren’t going to spend more on a home just because it isn’t in foreclosure.

The foreclosure numbers are even worse in the Chicago area itself. The Crain’s story points to numbers by Midwest Real Estate Data charting short sales and lender-sold foreclosure sales. According to these numbers, distressed sales accounted for 20.6 percent of home sales in July in the nine counties of the Chicago area. That number is too high. The good news? It’s the lowest that figure has been since January of 2011, according to the Crain’s story.

The truth is, until the Chicago area sees a smaller number of foreclosures and short sales, the city’s housing market will continue to be held back. Yes, the city’s housing market has shown steady improvements. But the improvements could be even stronger if there weren’t so many distressed sales holding back the momentum.

The MG Group is an award winning residential real estate group ranked #1 IN ILLINOIS & TOP 40 IN THE NATION since 2011 by The Wall Street Journal & in Real Trends’ THE THOUSAND TOP REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS. The MG Group is also recognized as a LUXEHOME 25 by Top 25 Luxury Broker in Chicago and FIVE-STAR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL by Chicago Magazine. SHARE THIS POST & FOLLOW US NOW ON:

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Freddie Mac Brings Good News for Chicago Home Sellers

Good News for Chicago Home Sellers

Good News for Chicago Home Sellers

If you’re trying to sell a condominium or single-family home in Chicago, you want the national economy to continue to improve. Consumers are more likely to buy a home if they’re not worried about losing their jobs.

A recent report by Frank Nothaft, chief economist with Freddie Mac, brings good news regarding the country’s economy. The report lists four signs that the national economy is slowly returning to normal.

And what are these signs? First, Nothaft points out that companies are finally starting to hire new workers again. According to the column, the country added 230,000 new jobs on average for the first seven months of 2014. This is important news for home sellers. When more people are employed in steady jobs, there are more potential buyers for those homes that are on the market.

Nothaft writes, too, that the average number of persons per household in the United States has increased by 2.6 percent from 2005. The average household in the United States now contains 2.76 persons. In 2005, it contained 2.69 persons. If the number of people living in a household had remained at the 2.69-person level since 2005, there would be an additional 3 million households in the United States today. That’s a lot of homes that weren’t needed from 2005 through today. Nothaft predicts that as employment numbers continue to improve, the number of people squeezing into the typical U.S. household will start to fall. People moving out will need someplace to live which is more good news for U.S. home sellers.

In more good news for the housing market, Nothaft writes that the monthly mortgage payment-to-rent ratio for the United States is near the lowest it has been in more than 40 years. This means it is about as affordable to own a home as it is to rent an apartment in many markets across the United States, including Chicago. This bodes well for home sellers, as a strengthening economy will only make homeownership more affordable for a growing number of consumers.

Finally, Freddie Mac’s latest economic forecast predicts that the country’s economy will continue to grow — by an average of 3.3 percent in 2015 — and that its unemployment rate will continue to gradually decline. This will lead to a growth of household formation, increasing demand for those homes on the market.

The MG Group is an award winning residential real estate group ranked #1 IN ILLINOIS & TOP 40 IN THE NATION since 2011 by The Wall Street Journal & in Real Trends’ THE THOUSAND TOP REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS. The MG Group is also recognized as a LUXEHOME 25 by Top 25 Luxury Broker in Chicago and FIVE-STAR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL by Chicago Magazine.  SHARE THIS POST & FOLLOW US NOW ON:

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