Monthly ArchiveApril 2009

chicago-condos & Chicago Real Estate & Chicago Homes pcherry on 27 Apr 2009

Buyers Want Price Cuts, Not Upgrades

April 27, 2009 - If the price is right, people will buy. At least that’s the trend evidenced by the latest new Chicago home sales numbers gathered by real estate consulting company Tracy Cross and Associates. In the suburbs as well as at downtown Chicago real estate projects, more developers are offering price reductions instead of other incentives or unit upgrades. According to a recent Crain’s article, Tracy Cross found that 9 of the top 10 selling suburban developers lowered their prices an average of 11.4% in the first quarter of 2009 from first quarter 2008 prices.

Centrum Properties principal John McLinden was quoted as saying, “That’s a good sign. It’s a sign that there actually is a market at a price.” Of future sales he also stated that, “You’ve got to get into 2011 before you see things fully stabilized and a balance of supply and demand. We’ve got an overhang now that just needs to be absorbed and it’s going to take time to do that.”

But not all units that go under contract actually result in sales. Tracy Cross also reports that of 183 Chicago condo and townhome developments, 32 of them projects had more cancelled contracts than new ones in the fourth quarter of 2008. And 59 of them had no sales at all.

In all, developers are projected to sell about 3,487 new units this year. That would be a 17% increase from fourth quarter 2008 sales, but also well below the 6,451 units that were sold last year. With buyers looking for better deals in terms of base prices and not necessarily luxury upgrade incentives on Condos In Chicago, developers may have to rethink how they market their remaining units.

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chicago-condos & Chicago Real Estate pcherry on 25 Apr 2009

Luxury Condos At The Park Webster

April 25, 2009 - The Park Webster is another smaller Chicago real estate development by Mod Two. It’s actually the conversion of the building on 323 West Webster Avenue in Lincoln Park into four luxury residences. According to a recent profile in Chicago Magazine, the rehab has a contemporary, Parisian look and feel. Arica Hilton of Sudler Sotheby’s is in charge of both selling the condos and the interior design, was quoted in the magazine as describing the units as, “clean-lined and European.”

All of the units have 1,900 square feet of living space. The first two floors of the building will house two duplex units, a two bedroom, three bath for about $875,000 and a three bedroom, three bath listed in the $970,000s. Each of the top two floors will have a three bedroom, three bath condo. Prices for those two condos will start at about $1.1 to $1.2 million.

These condos come with walnut hardwood flooring, ceiling heights of 9 to 11 feet and an elegant fireplace with stone surround. Each unit also has either a terrace or patio and garage parking is provided in a detached garage.

The location of The Park Webster is pretty nice, too. It’s not far from several great restaurant choices and retail shops and also close to the Lincoln Park Zoo.

When you’re shopping for New Chicago Condos, be sure to check out the smaller developments, too. There are some hidden treasures out there if you just dig a little.

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chicago-condos & Chicago Real Estate pcherry on 24 Apr 2009

First Big Foreclosure Hits Evanston

April 24, 2009 - The latest news out of Evanston is the foreclosure suit filed by Northbrook Bank & Trust Company against the newly completed Grand Bend at Green Bay. Construction began on this six story, 49 unit suburban Chicago real estate development in early 2006 and wrapped up in mid 2008. Despite the curved, modern architectural design of the building, located on 1228 Emerson Street, there was some speculation that the interiors weren’t up to the standards of many luxury condo buyers. Only 11 of the units sold, and according to a recent Crain’s article, the bank is seeking to foreclose on the other unsold 38 condos in the Ferris Homes project.

Northbrook states that they are owed roughly $13.5 million from an August 2005 construction loan they issued. Ferris had initially borrowed $14 million, then went in debt further in 2007, bringing the loan amount up to around $17.3 million. Northbrook claims in the article that Ferris has missed a number of payments, and the payback date of November 1, 2009 is no longer valid.

Ferris Homes has been in business for 10 years and has other developments in Libertyville and Wheaton. Crain’s states that Grand Bend has the dubious honor of being the target of the first large condominium development foreclosure in Evanston.

Despite the speculation that the finishes weren’t up to the high standards of the luxury market, Grand Bend at Green Bay had other factors stacked against it. A couple of other luxury developments were located in the neighborhood to lure buyers, and of course the overall housing market slump didn’t help. But if you’re still looking to buy a Suburban Chicago Condo, there are some good deals on units in developments that aren’t in danger of foreclosure.

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