Sales of Chicago High-End Luxury Condos Take a Dive in September

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 Ave2748 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 Ave540 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 St1929 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 Dr600 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 Ave950 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.

Luxury Condo Chicago Sales in Chicago Lower For March

Although luxury condos didn’t move as quickly as they have in recent previous months, sales in March did not disappoint, with 6 sales that exceeded $2 million and went all the way up to $4.65 million. There were just 8 luxury sales total (those units sold for more than $1 million) but total sales volume was $46 million.

As far as trends go, it’s no surprise that last month’s sales were concentrated among well-known buildings with hotel-grade amenities and coveted locations in downtown Chicago and the Gold Coast. Two of the top 5 sales were located in the Park Hyatt at 800 Michigan, which is an amazing location on the Magnificent Mile and offers residents all of the services and amenities of the Hyatt Hotel next door.

Here’s a closer look at each of the top five sales and the features that landed them on this month’s top sales report:

132EDelaware132 E Delaware Pl, Unit 6308A
Original list price:
$5.125 million
Sold price: $4.65 million
The month’s most expensive sale was this rare offering high above the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago’s Gold Coast. This contemporary penthouse duplex is one of a kind, offering 300-degree breathtaking views of the lake and city. A sweeping, stainless steel-and-glass staircase is the centerpiece to the home, with a dramatic open living space, soaring ceilings and 22-foot windows to take it all in. This Chicago condo is built for entertaining, whether a grand scale event or small, intimate gatherings. Smart home technology allows for control of the climate, window shades, lighting and music with the touch of a button. Residents of 132 E Delaware have access to all of the lavish amenities offered by the hotel, including a health club, spa, indoor pool, around-the-clock room service and an on-site concierge. And if that didn’t add up to a luxury buyer’s ultimate wish list, the offerings of the Gold Coast neighborhood are icing on the cake, with high-end shopping, restaurants, nightlife and beaches all within a few blocks.

800NMichigan800 N Michigan Ave, Unit 3801
Original list price:
$3.2 million
Sold price: $3 million
This is a unique home in the Park Hyatt built for the most discriminating luxury taste. Spanning 3,200 square feet high on the 38th floor, this home features east and south exposures with amazing views of the lake and city. Details include beautiful finishes, hardwood floors, granite, marble, mill work, and a gas fireplace. The private master suite features a sitting room, balcony, generous closet space and a luxurious in-suite master bath.

Chicago real estate at 840 N Lake Shore Dr840 N Lake Shore Dr, Unit 2103
Original list price:
$2.67 million
Sold price: $2,512,500
An exquisite home on the 21st floor, this Chicago condo boasts stellar views of the lake, museum and city from every window. It’s perfect 2,909 square foot floor plan includes 3 bedroom suites, enormous chef’s kitchen, spa-like master bath with steam shower and custom closets throughout. A gorgeous balcony overlooks the lake, park and city. The previous owners used this condo as an in-town with very minimal use, leaving the unit immaculate and beautifully decorated. Two heated garage parking spaces were also available for purchase with this unit.

800NMichigan800 N Michigan Ave, Unit 2402
Original list price:
$2.6 million
Sold price: $2.375 million
The 3,024 square feet of this downtown Chicago condo have plenty to offer the luxury buyer. With 3 bedrooms, 3.1 baths, this home was prime for a new owner’s decorating and design to enhance the open layout. Panoramic views facing east, with and south, allowing for beautiful vistas throughout. Features include a balcony, large living room, sitting area, dining room, huge chef’s kitchen and a master suite complete with 2 huge walk-in closets, a lux master spa bath and an abundance of natural light.

500 W Superior St, Unit 2305
Original list price:
$2.69 million
Sold price: $2.275 million
The elegance of this condo is felt the moment you see the glass wall foyer that greets every guest. With 3 bedrooms and 3,600 square feet, this breathtaking home includes a family room, modern kitchen with stainless steel counters, Wolf range and built-in grill and an impeccably finished bath. There is ample attention to detail throughout, plus amazing east views that puts the city skyline as a beautiful backdrop.

imageFor more information on last month’s luxury condo sales or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda—How to Not Miss 2010’s Opportunities in Chicago Real Estate

In the more than 21 years I’ve worked in Chicago real estate, I truly have never seen the market so skewed to buyers. The simple fact that this market so heavily favors buyers means it’s the perfect time to take advantage. Because real estate is all about timing, these opportunities are few and far between and don’t last long.

A report from Trulia last month noted that about a quarter of listings on the market had experienced at least one price reduction. Chicago was no exception. There were more properties in Chicago (30% of the city’s listings) that had price reductions than properties in several other major cities, including San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., with price reductions in the Second City averaging 8%. Luxury real estate (properties priced above $2 million) across the country experienced even deeper discounts—average reductions were around 14% lower than the original listing price.

Chicago also experienced a more mild average price reduction, which shows that the risk for buyers who should also consider resale value down the line. Real estate in Chicago, while certainly not immune to the current market’s conditions, still doesn’t experience the extreme volatility that cities like New York and Los Angeles are subject to. Chicago homes are great investments for the long term.

Trump Tower Chicago real estate

Getting a deal in Trump Tower is all about the timing--and the timing may never be better. Image from flickr/Bernt Rostad

Just like the stock market, with it’s “Buy, sell, buy—no wait, sell! Buy!” mentalities, real estate purchases are equally difficult to time perfectly. But based on past experience, I can tell you that once interest rates begin to increase, there is typically a rise in home buying which consequently raises prices. And right now, interest rates are the lowest they’ve been in years.

For buyers in the market for luxury real estate in Chicago, a good FICO score and a down payment of 20 to 30% puts you in the driver’s seat. If you’re able to pay cash, especially on properties costing anywhere from $2 million to $5 million, the roadway is clear for deals to be made—especially with developers.

Just a few buildings buyer should consider in this opportunistic market:

lincoln park 2520 chicago real estate

A market likes this makes it a great time for buyers to negotiate with developers on new construction, like the upcoming Lincoln Park 2520.


Lincoln Park 2520: One of the few pieces of new construction in Chicago, this luxury building currently has several listings and is in a prime position for buyers to negotiate.

Ritz-Carlton Residences: These Chicago luxury condos have been talked about since it was barely a twinkle in the eye of Michigan Avenue. Some units have already experienced resales, showing the value in these units even in the current market. The price on the few units left won’t get any lower.

800 Michigan Avenue: As one of Lucien Lagrange’s prestigious buildings, units in Park Tower have always turned around to have a great resale value simply because of their luxury and exclusivity.

Trump Tower: Those who bought real estate in Trump Tower during development didn’t have the same opportunities that buyers have now to get into this prestigious building, which is coveted for the Trump name alone—not to mention the services, amenities and privacy that come with it.

The market for prime real estate in Manhattan is already beginning to bounce back, which means Chicago won’t be far behind. Those who know what they want now and can make decisions will certainly reap the benefits by buying before the end of the year. The holidays (between the end of November and the first of the year) have always been a great opportunity for buyers, so in 2010, this could be the sweet spot for buyers go truly get the deal of a lifetime.

To get a feel for the values in Chicago real estate that are available to you now, contact agent Sheldon Salnick at (312) 498-5080 or by email at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Chicago Real Estate Opportunities in Park Tower, 800 Michigan Avenue

Chicago real estate at Park Tower 800 Michigan Avenue

Chicago's Park Tower, 800 N Michigan Avenue

With only 117 condos in Chicago’s Park Tower, this building is one of the most coveted and prestigious places to live in the Gold Coast. Located at 800 N Michigan Avenue, Park Tower is by far one of the most luxurious places to live—quiet and understated, but with a few steps inside, you can see and feel that the building seeps with sophistication and class. Park Tower was designed by Lucien Lagrange Architects, one of the city’s most renowned firms, especially when it comes to luxury buildings for Chicago real estate.

Because the Chicago condos in Park Tower are directly above the Park Hyatt Hotel, residents can have room service from the hotel 24/7 and take advantage of other hotel amenities. Have a catered party, use the valet parking and get reduced hotel rates for your out-of-town guests. Plus, the Hyatt’s health club (with swimming pool!) is available for families about $150/month. A less-obvious advantage to being in the same building as the Park Hyatt is that the Park Tower is able to share many of the expenses with the hotel (such as window washing).

Here are a few luxury properties currently available in Chicago’s Park Tower:

800 N Michigan Avenue Unit 5002
3 bedroom/3 bath
List price: $2,900,000
Assessments: $1,088

Chicago real estate at Park Tower 800 Michigan Avenue

800 N Michigan Avenue, Unit 5002

This unit is truly a one of a kind and perhaps the most unusual among real estate in Chicago. Entering this unit is like walking into a museum, with slick, minimalist design and the best and most expensive finishes money can buy. This unit was professionally designed and includes a Bulthaup kitchen with custom dining bar, Antonio Lupi bathroom with iPod/speaker-equipped mirrors and digital shower controls by Kohler. There is also built-in furniture throughout the unit, among the stone walls and floors with wood appointments. This is a space you can’t help but fall in love with. And if the first-class design wasn’t enough, garage parking is included.

Chicago real estate at Park Tower 800 Michigan Avenue

Unit 5002

Chicago real estate at Park Tower 800 Michigan Avenue

Unit 5002

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