Monday, September 28, 2020

Big bird at Montrose Harbor

Bird Sculpture looking toward (Montrose Harbor)

A bird sculpture has appeared at Montrose Harbor. I noticed our new friend on a ride last weekend (while waiting for my kids at Margate Park soccer). Others have posted about it since August but it's the first time I've seen it up close and have yet to identify the artist / donor.

The sculpture is located near the Purple Martin houses (not to be confused with the venerable 80s British pop band House Martins).

Purple Martin houses

Montrose Harbor

Friday, September 25, 2020

Healthy home sales in the Ranch Triangle neighborhood, Lincoln Park

Ranch Triangle has a collection of vintage and newer homes among several charming short angled blocks. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

I visited a client's home in Ranch Triangle on Friday. They may decide to sell their duplex condo. Ranch Triangle is a desirable Lincoln Park neighborhood located near the popular North and Clybourn retail stretch. Many of the homes are hidden away on angled and short blocks despite being in the middle of Lincoln Park hustle and bustle. It has a "tight knit" community feel where neighbors often know each other.  Let's take a look at recent sales. 

Ranch Triangle in Lincoln Park is roughly West North Avenue, North Halsted, West Armitage and the river to the west. Image from

Ranch Triangle Single Family Home Sales

16 single family homes sold from January 1st through September 24th with a median price of $1.4 million.  1919 N Dayton, Chicago, IL 60614 is the highest priced closing at $4.275 million. The lowest priced sold home is a rare foreclosure sale at 1840 N Bissell for $401,000.  16 home sales over the period was the most unit sales (by one) in the past five years.

-2019 over the same period 12 homes sold for a median price of about $1.6 million. 
-2018 over the same period 7 homes sold with a median price of $1.37 million.
-2017 over the same period 14 homes sold with a median price of about $1.35 million.
-2016 same period 15 homes sold with a median price of $1.52 million

Popular town homes along North Maud

Ranch Triangle Condo Sales (attached and town house units)

Ranch Triangle condo sales have been amazingly consistent over the past five years.
62 condo units (attached units and town homes) sold from January 1st to September 24th. The median price of an attached condo is a beefy $605,000.  1919 N Sheffield Unit 2, Chicago IL 60614 is the highest priced sold unit at $1.72 million.  The lowest sold condo is 1600 N Halsted Unit 2D for $248,000. 

-2019 over the same period 65 units sold with a median price of $550,000. 
-2018 same period 65 units sold with a median price of $543,000.
-2017 same period 71 units sold with a median price of about $554,000.
-2016 same period 67 units sold with a median price of  about $528,500

Despite this year's economic and social challenges Ranch Triangle and Lincoln Park markets have have remained resilient. The location offers some of the best in amenities and housing variety Chicago has to offer.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Openlands non-profit plants trees in Lincoln Square

Openlands plants a parkway tree on the 2400 block of West Winona. The last tree had been removed well over ten years ago.

 Openlands was spotted planting new parkway trees in Lincoln Square this morning. The non-profit has several programs including TreePlanters Grants. In this instance a long time neighbor organized the TreePlanters Grant project just west of Winnemac Park. We're very grateful he did as our area, like many, lost trees in the last serious storm.

Take the first step in organizing your tree planting day by visiting Openlands.

Monday, September 14, 2020

NEWS: Downtown condo supply up, "party house" crack down

Looking for a downtown condo?

Crain's Chicago Business reported at the end of August a 15 month supply of condos in the Lakeshore East area of #downtown and over 11 month supply of condos in popular #Streeterville. Meanwhile many North Side neighborhoods outside of downtown have less than a 3 month supply. A healthy balanced market is considered 4 to 5 month supply.

Many reasons are cited for high downtown supply... including large high-end new construction buildings delivering units, less necessity to live near offices, investor sell-off and real and perceived unrest. The question is how far and how long the dip will last. Story HERE

The party is over!

Chicago has a new Short Term Rental ordinance that cracks down on "party houses" and lowers fees for smaller host businesses. Two new rules include banning single night rentals and preventing listing the short-term rentals online prior to city approval.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Lincoln Square area multi-unit sales (2-4 unit buildings)

All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

Small multi-unit buildings (2-4 units) have been the lifeblood of many North Side neighborhoods. In the early 1900s many multi-generational family members lived in the separate flats. The small multi-units then became popular vehicles for owner-operators (live in one and rent out the other units to the open leasing market).  Small multi-units evolved into a popular cottage industry for investors and landlords. 

Despite all the conversion activity to single family homes and tear downs small multi-units still remain an important housing stock in our communities. We'll be bringing a Lincoln Square three-flat to market this fall. Let's take a look at recent sales.

Lincoln Square Multi-Unit Sales (2-4 unit buildings)

From January 1st to September 9th 24 multi-unit buildings have closed in Lincoln Square Community Area. The median price of a closed multi-unit is about $630,000.  

-16 of the closings were 2-flats with a median closing price of $585,000

-6 were 3-flats with a median closed price of $710,000

-2 were 4-flats that sold for $582,000 and $630,000 (even with more units the buildings or locations were not as desirable thus the relatively lower median price). 

Over-all multi-unit sales are down by 13 units year to year. In 2019, 37 units closed over the same period with a median price of $670,000.  The pandemic most certainly affected multi-units particularly as it was more difficult to gain access and show properties with tenants. Coronavirus risks in the spring made many apprehensive to buy, list and allow showings in a property.  

Typical Lincoln Square multi-units

Lincoln Square, North Center and Uptown Multi-unit Sales

In the three popular North Side neighboring markets of Lincoln Square, North Center and Uptown 78 multi-units sold from January 1st to September 9th, 2020. The median price of a sold building for these three areas is $630,000. Sales are down 32 units in these combine neighborhoods. In 2019, 110 multi-units sold with a median price of $652,000. 

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

National sales numbers rebound, Chicago matches July 2019


Unit sales rebounded nationally and in Chicago to either equal levels or up over 2019. (All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)

In February of this year some clients and real estate experts were sounding the alarm about the coronavirus.  I was having conversations about potential impact when selling in the spring market. "If I buy a house will I be able to sell my existing condo?".  Then we went full pandemic in March with shelter in place orders. Something most of us never saw coming or even fathomed. Yet, clients and brokers still had to make decisions. Some bought and sold, some sat out. Here's how some of the sales numbers have panned out.  

The National Association of Realtors reports sales numbers have been resilient despite the pandemic and civil unrest. NAR's Chief Economist suggests "homes sales will be down only 2% - 4% at years end". Some year over year stats:

-National home sales are currently up about 10% year to year 

-Inventory is down about 20%

-Current mortgage applications are up 27% year to year suggesting we may be stable the rest of the year.

June and July were very active for our personal business. Chicago prices held strong through the worst pandemic months and July sales matched 2019.

Meanwhile in the Chicago metro area unit "sales in the nine-county metropolitan area were up 12 percent in July from the same month a year ago" according to Crain's Chicago Business analysis of sales numbers by The Illinois Association of Realtors.

In Chicago, "2,725 homes sold in July, up 0.6 percent from July 2019, or essentially flat. The previous three months’ sales declines were sharper than in the metro area: 20.8 percent in April, 42.6 percent in May and 27.6 percent in June." Ouch.  However, Chicago sales median price is up about 7.5% over July 2019.

It appears the Chicago suburbs did see a spike of activity from those seeking more space for their new "work-at-home, school-at-home" life.