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Chinese Investor’s Plans another Sign That Downtown Chicago Real Estate is Hot

Sign That Downtown Chicago Real Estate is Hot

I’ve long written that Chicago is a world-class city, one that attracts investors from around the globe. And recent reports — such as this one in Crain’s Chicago Business — that a Chinese real estate firm is planning to spend $900 million to build an 89-story tower on the Chicago River is just more evidence of our city’s pull around the world.

According to Crain’s, Wanda Group, based in Beijing, plans to build its new hotel-and-apartment tower on Wacker Drive in the Lakeshore East Development. The tower, if all goes according to plan, would be the third-tallest building in Chicago, hitting a height of about 1,150 feet. It would include a five-star hotel with 240 rooms.

The plans have created plenty of excitement, especially when Wanda Group released images that show a truly stunning building.

People, though, should not be surprised that the Wanda Group is interested in building in this slice of Chicago. The city’s downtown area is a hot one today, both for residential and commercial development. And why not? Downtown neighborhoods have become 24/7 communities, with restaurants, bars, green spaces, theaters and boutique shops dotting them.

If you own property in this part of Chicago, you should welcome the news that Wanda Group is interested in investing so heavily in the city. It’s just another sign that real estate here is valuable, and that the heart of the city remains attractive to big-money investors.

No one can argue that the city’s housing market didn’t suffer during the days of the Great Recession. And no one can argue that housing here has fully recovered from the housing crash that followed. But when you read about companies like the Wanda Group sinking big money into the city, you should feel hope: The city’s residential real estate rebound is continuing. And it looks like the rebound isn’t about to slow any time soon.

Spoken by Mario Greco | Discussion: No Comments »

Condo Construction is on the Rise Again in Chicago

Condo Construction on the Rise in Chicago

Condo Construction on the Rise in Chicago

Need more proof that Chicago’s housing market is firmly in recovery mode? Took a look in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood at 1345 S. Wabash Ave. That site will soon be the home to a new high-rise condominium project.

That’s right, as a recent story by Chicago Magazine says, developers are once again building new condominiums in downtown Chicago.

That’s significant. Following the real estate crash, condominium construction basically came to a halt in downtown Chicago and throughout much of the city. Several projects under construction fell through, and the half-completed projects in downtown Chicago stood as a reminder of just how bad the real estate market here had become.

That’s changed now, though. Chicago real estate analysts are predicting that developers will soon be building more condo buildings not only in the South Loop but throughout downtown Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Chicago Magazine’s story highlights the new condo project now under construction at 13th Street and Wabash Avenue in the city’s South Loop neighborhood. This project, the early stages of a 15-story 144-unit glass condominium tower by CMK Companies, will be the first new condominium high-rise building to be built in downtown Chicago since the nation’s recession began in 2007. This milestone building should be completed by next spring. If you’re eager to live here you can already buy a unit.

The Chicago Magazine story says that this project is just the first of what will hopefully be many new condominium buildings rising in downtown Chicago. The story quotes Gail Lissner, a vice president at Appraisal Research Counselors, saying that the downtown area today has fewer than 500 units of unsold high-rise condo properties available. That’s down from more than 3,600 in 2009, according to Lissner.

The message from that is clear: Demand is high for new condo units in downtown Chicago, and no one will be surprised once developers start rushing to fill that demand.

 

Spoken by Mario Greco | Discussion: No Comments »

The May Numbers: Sales Down, Prices up Again in Chicago

Sales Down, Prices up Again in Chicago

May was a good month for home sales prices in Chicago. It wasn’t as good when it came to the actual number of homes that sold.

That’s the best way to summarize the latest existing-home sales statistics released by the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

When Chicago homeowners did sell their residences, they tended to fetch higher prices in May, according to the association. The median price of existing Chicago homes rose to $270,000 in the month, up from $235,000 for the same month one year earlier. That’s an increase of 14.9 percent.

It’s important to remember that the average Chicago home seller isn’t actually getting $270,000 for city condominiums and single-family homes. Median sales price and average sales price are two vastly different things. The median price is that number at which half of homes sold for a higher price and half for a lower. In May, then, half of all Chicago condominiums and single-family homes sold for more than $270,000 and half sold for less.

The number of city home sales declined in May 15.7% when compared to the same month one year earlier. There were 2,390 home sales in Chicago in May of this year and 2,834 during the same month in 2013.

In more good news for Chicago home sellers, it’s taking less time to sell city condos and single-family homes. The REALTORS® association reported that in May it took sellers an average of 50 days on the market to sell their homes in Chicago. That’s down 7.4% from May in 2013.

What do I take away from the latest statistics? Only that Chicago remains a housing market in recovery mode, but one that still poses challenges to sellers. If you want to succeed selling a home in today’s market — selling it in a reasonable amount of time for a fair price — you’ll boost your odds by working with a skilled REALTOR® who knows your community and what you home is worth.

Spoken by Mario Greco | Discussion: No Comments »

A New Green Space Coming to the South Loop is Great News for Dog Owners

What makes a neighborhood a true neighborhood? Lush public parks certainly help. And Chicago might soon be getting a new one, according to a recent story by the Curbed Chicago blog. According to Curbed, a new park in the city’s South Loop neighborhood that caters to “dogs and their human companions” should open this fall. Fred Anderson Park will be located at Wabash Avenue and 16th Street in the South Loop. It will be about 1.1 acres. Chicagoan Anderson, after whom the park is named, was a well-known jazz saxophonist who died in 2010. The park will feature plenty of green space for people, of course, but also a dog run with artificial turf. The park will also include walking paths and several benches. It’s a nice feature to add to the South Loop. The South Loop is one of Chicago’s hottest neighborhoods today. But it does lack green space. The addition of Fred Anderson Park is a welcome one. The park will join several amazing green spaces dotted throughout the downtown and North Side areas of Chicago. The city is known for its eclectic restaurants, boutique shops, theaters, museums and amazing architecture. But its parks are also jewels. And parks play an important role in the city’s housing market. Public parks and green space make neighborhoods more attractive. And more residents want to live in neighborhoods that boast calming green space. This makes it easier to sell condominiums and single-family homes in these communities. It makes it easier, too, to fetch a fair sales price in them. So even if you prefer to spend your Chicago summer days basking in the cool air of your central air conditioner, you should be happy any time you read about a new park coming to a Chicago neighborhood. Parks are just one of the many factors that make Chicago a great place to live.

Spoken by Mario Greco | Discussion: 1 Comment »

Selling a Condo in Lincoln Park or Lincoln Square? A Quick Sale Might Be in Your Future.

Ready to sell a condominium in Lincoln Park or Lincoln Square? The odds are good that you’ll be able to sell that property in under 80 days.

That’s the news from a recent story in Crain’s Chicago Business listing the average days it takes to sell condominiums and single-family homes in a variety of Chicago neighborhoods.

According to the story, which cited data from the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and Midwest Real Estate Data, condos in Lincoln Park were selling in an average of 71 days during the first four months of 2014. If you’re trying to sell a condo in Lincoln Square, the news is good, too. Crain’s reports that it took an average of 75 days to sell a condo in this neighborhood during the first four months of the year.

Condos were actually selling in the shortest amount of time in the city’s West Town neighborhood. According to Crain’s, it took owners an average of 65 days to sell their condos in this city neighborhood during the first four months of 2014.

Other Chicago communities that saw quick condo-selling times during the first four months of the year were North Center (66 days) and the Near West Side (67).

Certain Chicago neighborhoods also saw quick selling times for single-family homes. Crain’s reports that it took owners an average of just 46 days to sell their single-family homes in Chicago’s North Park neighborhood in the first four months of the year.

Other city neighborhoods with quick selling times for single-family homes during the first four months of 2014 included Avondale (56 days), Edgewater (58), North Center (66) and Logan Square (72).

Even if you don’t live in one of these hot Chicago neighborhoods, you can still sell your home in a reasonable amount of time. You just need to take the steps necessary to prepare your home for sale. This starts with working with a REALTOR® who knows your neighborhood. This professional can help you set the right asking price for your property, the one designed to bring in the greatest number of solid offers.

Spoken by Mario Greco | Discussion: 2 Comments »

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