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Archive for the 'Chicago Neighborhoods' Category

REALTORS® Confidence is Dipping. But Should Yours?

REALTORS® Confidence is Dipping. But Should Yours?

REALTORS® Confidence is Dipping. But Should Yours?

REALTORS® aren’t quite as confident about the housing market as they once were, according to the latest confidence report released by the National Association of REALTORS® (“NAR”).

The big question is WHY? What accounts for this drop in confidence?

According to the report, REALTOR® confidence in the housing market in September fell to its lowest level in 2.5 years. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, said that he isn’t really sure why the confidence levels have dropped. After all, the economy is still recovering, and consumer confidence is on the rise.

I know, too, that the housing market on the North Side of Chicago is still a strong one, and one that calls for confidence. Yes, sales of Chicago condominiums and single-family homes are down from last year. But, in good news for sellers, the sales prices of these city homes have been steadily rising. That’s particularly true in such strong neighborhoods as Lincoln Square, Lakeview, North Center, Logan Square and Lincoln Park.

Of course, the housing market is not perfect. It still faces its own challenges. And that might be what’s behind the drop in confidence among REALTORS®.

The NAR report points to one such challenge: It’s more difficult for consumers today to qualify for mortgage loans because of more stringent credit standards. That, of course, has reduced the number of consumers in the housing market and the number of home sales, both in Chicago and across the nation.

Others said that there is a smaller number of affordable homes available for first-time buyers, and that is keeping these buyers out of the market.

Whatever the big issues are, it’s clear that the housing market faces challenges. Of course, this is nothing new. The housing market always faces challenges. But here’s a truth: It has always found ways to overcome these challenges, too.

I think this is true today. It still makes sense to buy a home in Chicago. This is a great city. And there are plenty of affordable, quality homes on the market. I have confidence in this market, and you should, too.

 

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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Top 5 Neighborhoods in Chicago for Buyers & Sellers

Top 5 Neighborhoods for Buyers’ Market in Chicago

Top 5 Neighborhoods for Buyers’ Market in Chicago

Selling a home in Chicago’s Near West side neighborhood? You’re lucky. And if you’re buying a home in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood on the South Side? You’re lucky, too.

At least that’s what the latest Buyer-Seller Index from real estate Web site Zillow says.

The monthly index lists the top city neighborhoods for buyers and for sellers. Chicago Magazine real estate writer Ian Spula recently covered the latest index. And the results show that overall, Chicago is still a real estate market that slightly favors home buyers over home sellers.

It’s important to note that Zillow doesn’t consider home values when compiling its index. Instead, the real estate site looks at such factors as how many sellers drop their asking prices and how long it takes homes to sell. The index also compares sales-to-list-price ratios: What percentage of the listing prices do buyers actually pay when closing on homes?

The ranking of the top sellers’ and buyers’ markets in Chicago is far from a perfect one. But the Zillow index does provide a good overview of those neighborhoods in which sellers rule and those in which buyers are favored.

According to the Chicago Magazine story, the top five sellers’ markets in Chicago are the Near West Side, Logan Square, River North, East Village and West Lawn. In the Near West Side, just 33.8% of homes had a price cut, while buyers paid an average of 100% of the list price on recent sales.

The five top buyers’ markets were Beverly, Garfield Ridge, Gold Coast, Streeterville and East Lakeview. In the Gold Coast, for instance, 41.4% of recent listings had seen price cuts. And in East Lakeview that figure stood at 47 percent. It also takes longer for homes in these markets to sell.

Don’t take this to mean, though, that owners in neighborhoods such as the Gold Coast aren’t landing good sales prices for their condominiums or single-family homes. They are. They just aren’t getting quite as much as they want, and they’re not selling their homes, on average, as quickly as they’d like.

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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Demand for Chicago Condos Means Breaking Ground

Demand for Chicago Condos - Photo via GoogleMaps

Demand for Chicago Condos – Photo via GoogleMaps

It’s good to see new condo buildings rising throughout Chicago. And Chicago Magazine recently covered the ground-breaking ceremony of one of the most anticipated of these new developments.

Convexity Properties/DRW Holdings is developing 4 East Elm at the busy intersection of State and Elm streets. The 24-story building will include 35 condominium units. None of them will be cheap. According to the Chicago Magazine story, prices here will begin at $2.2 million. And the magazine reports that an upper-floor penthouse will go for an asking price of $7.2 million.

The units will be spacious, too, with plans calling for 3,100 to 3,500 square feet for half-floor units and 6,600 square feet for combined full-floor units.

This development is important because, as Chicago Magazine reports, it will be the first major condominium development to rise on the Near North Side in many years.

This is another sign that Chicago’s housing market is firmly in recovery mode. People want to live in the heart of Chicago, or in its surrounding North Side neighborhoods. Urban living is hot today, with consumers wanting the ability to walk to public transportation, restaurants, shops, parks and theaters. They want the full city experience, and few cities offers as much as does Chicago.

4 East Elm will be a welcome high-end addition to the city’s condo market. As the Chicago Magazine story says, the development will feature plenty of amenities, including a pool and spa, movie screening room, fitness center and clubhouse.

The condo development will also bring more retail to this slice of Chicago. The development’s bottom floor is being reserved for retail uses, although no tenants have been named yet.

I’m thrilled to see such a quality development planned for this city corner. The condo market is strong in and around downtown Chicago, and 4 East Elm will provide yet another option for buyers – albeit wealthy ones – who want that urban experience.

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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Chicago’s Hottest Neighborhood Thanks to the Tech Boom

Chicago's  Hottest Neighborhood

Chicago’s Hottest Neighborhood

If you live in Chicago, you know that the city is made up of eclectic neighborhoods. That’s part of what makes the city such an attractive one: There’s a neighborhood that’s right for every home buyer.

One of the city’s hottest neighborhoods today is River North. This, again, is something that most Chicagoans know, especially those who have gone to take advantage of its many tourist-friendly attractions.

Bloomberg recently took a closer look at this booming Chicago neighborhood. The news site referred to River North as one of the hottest office markets in the entire United States.

It’s also true that River North is becoming an ever more popular place for Chicagoans to call home, with many seeking out modern condominiums here.

As Bloomberg reports, it wasn’t always like this. There was a time when River North was mostly a wasteland dotted with vacant land. This isn’t unusual. Look at Wrigleyville today and you see an always busy, bustling neighborhood. There was a time, though, when even this active neighborhood had a less-than-stellar reputation.

Bloomberg points to the emergence of tech firms in River North as one of the reasons for this neighborhood’s resurgence. The story says that Chicago as a whole is benefitting from the growth in technology jobs, as a growing number of tech firms — both established ones and start-ups — are moving to the city to set up headquarters and regional offices.

The story also says that office rents in River North have risen 26% in the last two years, thanks in part to the growing demand from tech companies.

This is all good news for property owners in this neighborhood. No one can predict whether property values will rise in a given neighborhood, even one that is as hot as River North is today. But owning real estate in River North at this particular moment certainly seems like a good investment.

 

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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Chicago Luxury Apartments are in Demand

Chicago Luxury Apartments in Demand

Chicago Luxury Apartments in Demand

Downtowns are hot today. And Chicago is no exception.

A recent story by Chicago Magazine illustrates this nicely. According to the story, the city’s luxury apartments are leasing quickly. At the same time, developers are flocking to downtown Chicago to add more apartments to the city’s core.

The Chicago Magazine story cites data provided by Appraisal Research Counselors showing that by the end of 2016, downtown Chicago could see as many as 8,700 new apartment units. That’s a significant figure, especially considering that there are about 28,000 total apartment units in downtown Chicago today.

As an example of the demand for high-end downtown apartments, Chicago Magazine points to the performance of the new luxury apartment tower OneEleven Wacker. According to the story, the development’s 500 units are more than 50 percent leased. That’s impressive, considering that the building has only been open for six weeks. A total of 150 leases were signed before OneEleven Wacker opened its doors, according to the Chicago Magazine story.

These apartment units aren’t cheap, either. The Chicago Magazine story points out that monthly rents for studio apartments in OneElevenWacker stand at nearly $2,000 a month.

These numbers should come as no surprise to anyone who knows downtown Chicago. The center of the city has become a 24/7 neighborhood, offering everything from boutique shops and high-end restaurants to green spaces, bars and experimental theaters to its residents. There’s so much to do, it’s no wonder that people are willing to spend big dollars to live here.

The demand here is strong, too, for condos. Buyers today want the urban experience. They want to walk to public transportation, restaurants, grocery stores, theaters and shops. Many of today’s younger buyers don’t even want the hassle of a car.

I expect, then, demand for downtown Chicago living to only increase in the coming years. City centers are popular today across the Midwest. And Chicago’s downtown certainly ranks as one of the best urban downtowns on the globe.

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