What's hot for '17 in the luxury market? It's not what you think.
Here and below: 1555 N. Astor #28EW boasts soaring views of the city, Lake Michigan, and Lincoln Park.
Realtor.com predicts Chicago’s 2017 home sales will rank dead last among the nation’s 100 largest metro areas. For now, though, the market is on fire—especially the luxury sector. Homes under contract in December 2016 soared 33 percent over the same period in 2015, yet there were fewer homes on the market in January than any time in the past decade, according to Chicago Association of Realtors data that goes back to January 2007. What gives? Two of Chicago’s top luxury brokers, Baird & Warner’s Rick Druker (312-607-5115) and @properties’ Emily Sachs Wong (312-286-0800), help us take the market’s temperature.
MA: Do you believe the gloomy prediction about Chicago’s market? RD: We were having a record year in luxury until the election, and it hasn’t slowed down. No. 9 Walton is over 90 percent sold at well over $1000 per square foot—the highest prices ever seen in Chicago—and now the same developer, JDL, is giving 2 W. Delaware a full-blown luxury upgrade. New sells; sizzle sells; and full-amenity buildings are in high demand. ESW: People are optimistic about the economy right now because the stock market is high, and buying because they know that interest rates are going up. Look at 400 W. Huron—it sold out almost immediately.
MA: So it’s all about new condos? ESW: No. It’s about anything that has a fresh new look and is already done. Anytime you come out of a recession you have big change. Pre-recession, everything was very traditional and Gold Coast or Lincoln Park. Now there are so many great neighborhoods that luxury apartments and houses are selling everywhere as long as it’s modern and new, and people like its vibe.
MA: What do you see going fast? RD: People are redoing apartments in the old classics, such as Water Tower Place, The Carlyle, 161 E. Chicago Ave., 950 N. Michigan Ave., and 1555 N. Astor, because they have spacious apartments, stellar locations, and outstanding amenities. And the so-called B buildings are making a huge comeback for some of those reasons, too, such as 1100, 1110, 1212, and 1300 N. Lake Shore Drive. ESW: The new sweet spot is $2 million. Anything good in that range goes really fast. Two of my listings getting a lot of action right now are totally renovated vintage homes on North Dayton Street. One is a 5-bed, 3-bath row house with a two-car garage at 2043 for $1.620 million, and the other is a 4-bed, 3.5-bath 4000-square-foot home with a two-car garage at 2225 for $2.395 million. RD: We have a spectacular 4-bed, 7-bath, 8,000-square-foot unit with a 17-foot-high living room and 240-degree views at 161 E. Chicago Ave. for $4.299 million; a 3-bed, 4.5-bath 5,000-square-foot unit with multiple balconies at 950 N. Michigan Ave. for $3.8 million and a 5-bed, 6-bath 6,550-square-foot unit with 360-degree views at 1555 N. Astor St. for $3.625 million.