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Chicago real estate roundup

01.26.08 | admin | In Spire, Trump, Hinsdale, roundup, real estate

Real estate is not looking so good in the Chicago area right now. A lot of people who bought places downtown as investments are now looking to sell. So who’s going to be left to buy units in the Chicago Spire?

Chicago Spire condominium tower faces twist in economy as it begins sales push

One-of-a-kind tower looks to fetch up to $15 million a unit as it opens sales office; experts anxiously await results as they watch real estate deals and prices slide

In today’s troubled housing market the dreams of the Chicago Spire developer will meet reality Monday when its sales office opens.

Later this month, Shelbourne will launch its sales effort outside the U.S., where it expects to sell about half the units, its chief executive, Garrett Kelleher, has said. Starting Jan. 23, it will take its road show to Dublin, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Moscow and Johannesburg, among other places.

Through the third quarter of last year, buyers signed contracts to purchase 3,312 newly built downtown condominiums, a decline of 35 percent from a year earlier and off 52 percent from the record year of 2005, according to Chicago-based Appraisal Research Counselors.

The Spire will be competing with the half-built Trump International Hotel & Tower, which has struggled with sales for the past two years.

In October, existing-home prices fell 6.7 percent, the worst decline since the recession of 1991, according to the most recent Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Is there business plan really to attract half of their buyers from overseas? That might work in New York City but not Chicago, especially not now. Compared to Manhattan nobody from another country wants to own a luxury condo in Chicago. Maybe this will change after the Olympics if they are in Chicago but right now regular people outside of North America know very little about Chicago and it’s not on their map.

Median price of existing single-family home in US drops in 2007

The housing market reached another milestone in 2007, though not the kind that anyone wishes for.

For the first time in at least 40 years — and possibly since the Depression — the median price declined for an existing single-family home across the country, according to a report Thursday by the National Association of Realtors.

David Oser, chief economist for ShoreBank in Chicago, isn’t too optimistic. “Things take a really long time to play out [in housing],” he said. “And even if we have reached a bottom, we’re going to bump along at that bottom for a long time — many months, perhaps a year before a recovery starts.

“The federal government can inject stimulus into the overall economy and do all sorts of things to put money into people’s pockets, but when it comes down to housing itself, it gets solved family by family.”

“The average price is now back to the level of March 2005, which implies that many people who bought homes even two years ago have experienced no appreciation in their homes’ worth,” said ShoreBank’s Oser. “Those who bought more recently are likely to live in homes that are worth less than they paid for them.”

For Chad and Jeanine Smith, who bought a townhouse in northwest suburban Lakemoor in December 2002, the line between profit and breaking even — or losing money — is a fine one.

“I don’t want to have to take a loss, though I’m afraid that might have to happen,” he said.

The couple began trying to sell their home in April 2007, with several potential buyers visiting over the summer. But they’ve had no one look at the three-bedroom unit in several months. They’ve lowered their price to $203,900 from $207,000 and are thinking about asking $199,000, he said.

The National Association of Realtors said single-family sales in December fared slightly better than those of condos, nationally, declining 21.6 percent and 24.5 percent, respectively.

[via Chicago Tribune]

2007 Chicago home sales fall, prices gain

Chicago area home sales dropped, but prices bucked the national trend and gained.

The median home sale price in the Chicago metropolitan area grew 2.4 percent last year to $254,000, while total home sales fell 20.5 percent to 92,656. Nationally, the median home price fell for the first time since 1968: 1.8 percent to $217,000.

[via Chicago Sun-Times]

Wealthy may be next in line in US home crisis

Unfortunately, Hinsdale may also now be too expensive for some of the people who already live here.

“There is a section of the population here that over-extended themselves to buy here and then keep up the facade of wealth,” said Sharon Sodikoff, a broker associate at local real estate agency Prudential Homelife Realty. “In the next year or so they’ll be forced out in dribs and drabs.”

[via Reuters]

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