If you’ve been following along in recent months of Chicago condo sales, you’ll know that the real estate market had a busy summer among high-end properties. Sales far and above $1 million and $2 million have been common as of late, and I might have expected more of the same as we closed out September.
However, September was a bit unusual for the luxury sector. The most expensive sale topped out at just $1.5 million, which is hardly in the “ultra-luxury” category we’ve seen take over the top sales month after month. Not to mention, September is typically when the fall real estate market comes to life, as people return from summer breaks and want to make a move before the holiday season settles in.
So what does this anomaly mean? It could be a sign that the Chicago luxury real estate market is taking a turn in buyers’ favor. So far in 2017 has really favored sellers, thanks to limited inventory driving high prices. Many prospective buyers have either opted to wait out the market for better buying conditions, or are purchasing homes with cash to ensure they are able to get the home of their choice.
September Sales See Softer Prices, Square Footage
It’s possible that the various things at play throughout 2017 came to a head in September, resulting in sales that were significantly softer than what we saw in preceding months. The most expensive condo to sell in September went for just $1.5 million. Total sales volume for the month was $86.8 million, compared to August’s $95 million.
Another atypical trend last month was the square footage among the top sales. Most luxury buyers who are in the market for a condo still want at least 3,000 square feet, to retain the space of a single-family home but enjoy all of the conveniences of condo living.
And so, it’s safe to say that September was unusual. Let’s take a look at what the sales market brought with a closer look at the top five Chicago condos sold:
2748 N Lakewood Ave, Unit 2
Original list price: $1.435 million
Sold price: $1.4 million
A stunning row home in Lincoln Park, this row home spans 3,500 square feet (the only one out of the top five to cross the 3,000 mark in square footage). The open-concept living space is packed with luxury, style and sophistication, thanks to custom-quality details and finishes and fully outfitted technology like surround sound and recessed lighting. The home offers the privacy and security of a single-family home, with a gated courtyard entry and attached, heated two-car garage. The exterior boasts four spaces to enjoy the outdoors: a professionally landscaped, tranquil courtyard, two decks off the main and penthouse levels, and a custom-designed rooftop that feels like a five-star resort with breathtaking city views. Lincoln Park is a neighborhood coveted for its great location and this home is no exception with a central spot just a short walk to the brown line.
540 W Webster Ave, Unit 911
Original list price: $1.325 million
Sold price: $1.425 million
A welcome (and rare!) new construction addition to Lincoln Park, Webster Square is a boutique style, 12-story building with 89 units ranging from 1 to 4 bedrooms. This 3 bedroom, 3.1 bath condo is 2,130 square feet, with a modern, open-floor plan, high ceilings, fantastic views, private balconies and upscale finishes. This beautifully appointed building is packed with amenities like a 24-hour doorman, fully-equipped fitness center, club and party room, business center, rooftop deck with dynamic lake and city views and a landscaped half-acre private park.
1929 N Sedgwick St, Unit A
Original list price: $1.499 million
Sold price: $1.475 million
Part of a stunning 1870s all-brick walk up, this duplex-up penthouse in Lincoln Park is one of a kind, recently redesigned by James Thomas Firm and with no detail left out. The first floor boasts towering, 14-foot ceilings with crown molding, transitional custom lighting and custom silk draperies. A wide-open floorplan includes an oversized family room with built-in cabinets surrounding a wood-burning fireplace. And the kitchen is the crown jewel—all-white custom cabinetry, 11-foot island, detailing lighting and an eat-in kitchen. On the second floor, find a gracious master suite with a private southwest deck, a built-out closet and luxury bath with dual vanities, separate shower and jet tub. Outdoors is a 1,500 square foot private deck with outdoor kitchen, tv, irrigation, lighting, motorized shades, planters and amazing skyline views.
600 N Lake Shore Dr, Unit 3704
Original list price: $1.478 million
Sold price: $1.475 million
Lake Shore Drive is another highly sought-after address for Chicago condos, and this one is in a prime location in the building’s north tower. With 2,159 square feet right on the lakefront, there is plenty of room to relax and entertain in this standout home. A wall of windows running along the living, dining and kitchen areas and balcony make way for breathtaking views of Lake Michigan, Ohio Street Beach and Navy Pier. Details like custom light fixtures, dark hardwood flooring, custom wall paint and exquisite décor make this a covetable home.
950 N Michigan Ave, Unit 4402
Original list price: $1.5 million
Sold price: $1.5 million
A prestigious magnificent mile location at a premier address, this 2,175 square foot condo is an elegant urban oasis. A key feature of this Chicago condo is the tall picture windows that bring in beautiful vistas of Lake Michigan, Oak Street Beach, Lake Shore Drive and the shoreline from every room. This unit in particular has the highest ceilings in the building, at 10.5 feet, plus an expansive living room, separate dining room and a redesigned, expanded kitchen. The master suite has two private baths the three walk-in closets. Amenities in this impeccable, well-managed building include an indoor pool, sun deck and grills, fitness center, attentive 24-horu door staff and available garage parking.
No matter where you are in the process, if you’re considering purchasing a luxury Chicago condo, I highly recommend getting familiar with the most recent sales. Seeing what types of properties and features sold at what price helps give you an idea of what you might be looking at when you’re ready to find a property that matches your needs and your budget.
For more information on the Chicago condos that sold last month, or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080.