Monthly ArchiveFebruary 2008

chicago-condos Dave on 25 Feb 2008

$540 million bid for UBS Tower

While many deals for major office towers around Chicago have fallen through in recent months, Hines Interests L.P. has agreed to pay $540 million for the UBS Tower.

The deal would be the largest for any commercial space in Chicago for the year, and is welcome news for a market that has been hard hit by problems in the credit market.  Commercial real estate deals in recent years have been characterized by highly leveraged financing.

However, a turbulent credit market has led many banks and lenders to tighten requirements for new deals, often requiring real estate funds to put up a larger percentage of the equity.

UBS Tower is owned by Deutsche Bank.  The company put the tower on the market in September, in what was seen as one of the biggest tests of the strength of the downtown Chicago commercial real estate market.  The building is currently about 70 percent leased.

The market for Chicago Condos has also been hit by a drop in sales in recent months.  However, several new luxury developments are opening their doors this year, and sales have remained relatively strong in the area as retirees trade in their suburban homes to enjoy an urban lifestyle in a renewed downtown.  .

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chicago-condos Dave on 21 Feb 2008

Condo sales rebound on Near North Side

The real estate market around Chicago has suffered in recent months from a decline in demand for condos and single-family homes.  However, some neighborhoods are seeing a renewed interest from buyers.

The Near North Side has long been the most active condo market in Chicago.  However, the past several years have brought a decline in sales in the area.  During the fourth quarter, buyers on the Near North Side reversed that trend.  According to the Chicago Association of Realtors, a total of 717 units were sold in the neighborhood during the fourth quarter, up from 644 units sold during the same period in 2006.

The rise in demand helped bring down the average turnover time for units on the market.  If you’re selling your condo on the Near North Side, it will now take you an average of 105 days to find a buyer, down from 114 days a year ago.

Meanwhile, prices continued their upward march, helped out by the number of new ultra luxurious developments.  The average sales price during the fourth quarter posted a 4 percent jump from the same period in 2006.

Buyers looking for the best Chicago Condos For Sale in the city can always find exactly what they’re looking for in this amazing neighborhood.

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chicago-condos Dave on 19 Feb 2008

Transfer tax could hit buyers who back out on deals

The Chicago City Council continues to look for ways to get money out of residents to fund city programs.  The recent increase in the transfer tax was one of the most questioned new tax increases to hit city books in recent months.

However, if city officials get their way, anger from the rise in the transfer tax could hit a new level around the city.  According to one proposal by the Daley administration, buyers who back out on their purchase contract could still be liable for the city’s transfer tax.

This could be perhaps one of the worst ideas to come out of city hall in recent months.  With the real estate market suffering from a drop in sales and developers offering an increasing number of incentives to attract buyers, a transfer tax on tentative contracts could hurt the market even more.

The question to be asked to city officials is how they can charge a transfer tax on a transfer that, in effect, never happened.  The rise in the transfer tax will take effect on April 1.  Take advantage of deals today on Chicago Condos For Sale around the city before the rise in the transfer tax is felt in your pocketbook.

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