Buying or selling? Either way, it’s important to make sense of the crazy-quilt sales figures of Chicago’s luxury real estate scene to reach your goal.
The kitchen at 455 W. Deming Pl. in Lincoln Park, where new construction single-family homes are selling fast and furious.
Some luxury residences are lingering on the market while others sell in a blink, like a 4,200-square-foot Park Tower condo that went for almost $4.5 million the day it was listed this past summer. What does price have to do with it? KoenigRubloff’s Sandra Bercovitz (312-545-4585; firstname.lastname@example.org) and Baird & Warner’s Kimberly Gleeson (312-961-7576; email@example.com) tell us the rhyme and reason behind this crazy-quilt luxury market.
Luxury properties were in short supply last year, but now there’s a glut? KG: The existing inventory of Chicago condos in the $2–5 million range will take a year to sell, and that’s if nothing else comes on the market. The sweet spot is $1–2 million, where they fly off the shelves. SB: In the $2–5 million range in Lincoln Park it takes a year to move properties through the market. Seventy-four single-family homes were listed and 70 sold in the last 12 months. But the new construction Lincoln Park single-family home absorption rate used to be a year or two; now it’s a little over two months. I sold one of the 11 new large row houses on the 400 block of West Deming Place for $3.5 million in a few days— from plans.
So it’s a buyers market for condos and a seller’s market for single-family homes? KG: Not necessarily. The luxury market is fair for buyers and sellers at the moment and fairly priced properties sell. But Illinois has the second-highest property taxes in the nation, so high taxes coupled with luxury assessments can make a big dent in income. Even for wealthy buyers it can be hard to get a loan. SB: High condo assessments are one reason why single-family homes are desirable right now. But in general, luxury buyers want completed, upgraded properties, even in vintage, and often prefer new construction because it’s customizable.
What are your most exciting properties that offer great value at the moment? SB: Another Deming Place row house is ready for occupancy, this one a 5-bed, 4.5-bath with elevator, two patios, and an attached 3-car garage at 455 for $4.195 million (contact KoenigRubloff’s Jeff Lowe, 312-264-1122). My listing for a newly updated, sun-drenched 3-bed, 2-bath condo with two spaces and three outdoor patios in a 1999 low-rise building on 615 W. Deming is a great value given its size, location, cost, condition and amenities. KG: My listings for a 6300-square-foot, 4-bed, 4.5-bath at the Palmolive with 13.5-foot ceilings for $7.25 million, and a 5-bed, 5.5 bath full-floor unit at 1555 N. Astor for $3.625 million are both incredible values given their size, décor, views and amenities—they’re single-family homes in the sky. A 4-bed, 3.5-bath 1891 row house with an attached garage at 51 E. Division for $2 million has been totally renovated and is in great shape, and a 3-bed, 2.5-bath 1928 coop at 1448 N. Lake Shore Dr. for $1.275 million offers patrician elegance, sweeping space and gorgeous views for the price.