Monday, October 26, 2020

Take me to the river... in North Center!

Many cute signs, crafts and sites along the river path in North Center.  All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
This extraordinary renovation sits adjacent to the river in North Center.

I took some photos of riverfront paths after showings in North Center early last week.  North Center has been a hotbed for single family homes for the better part of twenty years due partly to strong public and private schools.  In the last ten years median prices of a house really soared. Many service, restaurant and athletic amenities have been developed nearby to meet the demand of these higher net-worth residents.

The Chicago River is a natural amenity that makes the North Center community area even more charming. The path between West Irving Park Road and West Montrose Avenue on the east bank winds past North Center houses that back up to the river. Horner Park is across the river on the west.  It's a unique experience living near the river and parks.

The North Center riverfront area sales within North Western Avenue to the Chicago River and West Irving Park Road to West Montrose Avenue.

North Center single family home sales near the river (shaded area above)
People are hanging on to homes in this section of North Center.  The last couple of years have had over half the sales than the two years prior.

Eleven homes have closed this year from January 1st to October 24th this year. The median price of a closed house is about $725,000 for this section of North Center.  That's lower than the whole of North Center (median price of $1,100,000) but reflects a higher percentage older homes sold this year in this section that have yet to be renovated.  In 2019 over the same period, twelve homes sold with a median price of $965,000.

That's less sold than the two years prior. 2018, twenty-two houses closed with a median price of about $830,000. In 2017, Twenty-nine houses sold over the same period with a median price of about $850,000. 

Homes of all types and grandeur back up to the river (some barley hanging on to a triple lot newer construction luxury home) 

No dumping... but do all these other things!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

National home sales are strong going into fall season

National real estate sales are performing well this early fall season. I somewhat predicted a typical fall season slowdown figuring a bit of exhaustion from the frenzied, pent up demand of June-August and the national election cycle. The over-all market has kept up some steam in early fall.

The Midwest was the most affordable region. Low mortgage rates are an opportunity to plan and purchase a property in the Chicagoland area that will serve you for the long run.
Stuff I read in the latest National Association of Realtors report:
Four week period ending Oct 11th, 2020 (Year to Year)

- Ending OCT 11th, Contact signings are up 21% over a four week period and were up 18% the four weeks prior.

-Median days on the market is 22 days (21 days the four weeks prior)

-Single family homes affordability declined in August. That is home prices increased more than household income for a typical buyer with 20% down payment.

-Mortgage application growth slowed slightly partly due to the decline in home affordability.

-Mortgage interest rates are expected to remain around the 3% level for an extended period.

-Mortgage forbearance (percentage of loans in forbearance) has declined to a 6.32% rate.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Oak Park seeing the most home sales since 2016


The Chicago metro real estate market has performed well despite the pandemic conditions in 2020. A lot of media reports have focused on the heated markets in the west suburbs and the North Shore. However many of our clients move to Oak Park adjacent to the city.  Oak Park is popular Chicago alternative. The little city connected by the Blue and Green lines. A place where you can get a relatively affordable house compared to many Chicago neighborhoods and good schools. How has Oak Park done this year?

Winter is Oak Pak!

Oak Park is seeing the most single family homes sold to date since 2016.  From January 1st to October 15th 406 Oak Park single family homes have closed. The median price of a closed house is $457,000.  The highest sale is 407 North Kenilworth  for $1,975,000.

2019, 321 houses closed with a median price $445,000

2018, 398 houses closed with a median price of $450,000

2017, 398 houses sold with a median price of $457,500

2016, 458 homes sold with a median price $434,900

2015, 383 homes sold with a median price of $424,000

As the pandemic approached and worsened no one could predict what this year's housing market would look like. Unit sales in fact cut in half or more during April and May in many communities. But the Chicago and surrounding single family home markets bounced back like crazy as many buyers took advantage of low interest rates to either move to the burbs or upgrade their square footage in the city.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Real Real retail store coming soon to the Magnificent Mile


The Real Real brick and mortar store at 940 North Michigan Avenue. It is still valuable to see and feel the goods before a luxury purchase!

While downtown Chicago is taking a hit during the societal shifts caused by the coronavirus  new openings on the Magnificent Mile must go on.  The Real Real luxury brand consignment store and services coming soon to 940 North Michigan Avenue. Their offices are currently located at 980 N Michigan Ave.  There will be retail churn and burn this next few years but I think the result will be bold new brands finding their home along the Chicago lakefront.

Views from 980 North Michigan Avenue yesterday

Monday, October 12, 2020

"Keim Furs" building at 1820 West Foster Ave in Lincoln Square / Ravenswood demolished

I've passed the Keim Furs sign my entire life - either living nearby as I do now or visiting family in the area when I was growing up. The vintage building was sold for $980,000 in 2018 and demolished last week. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

The "Keim Furs" building at 1820 West Foster, Chicago IL 606025 in Ravenswood / Lincoln Square has been demolished.  The property was sold in 2018 to a development company by the Keim family for $980,000 according to public records.  The B1-2 zoning allows for many, many uses as of right or special use permit.

Mixed use two-story building with a couple apartments over street level retail.

Big Joe's bar is to the right on the corner.

Many North Siders and visitors to the area have seen the "Keim Furs" sign for generations. The fur business storefront looked closed up and dingy for years. I'm not clear of they are still in business somewhere else. In any event it's a classic, vintage sign on a two-story mixed use building.  This area of  Lincoln Square / Ravenswood located in 1+ Chappell and Amundsen school districts is very desirable for residential and business development. 

This area is at the intersection of the Ravenswood/ Andersonville / Bowmanville neighborhoods of Lincoln Square, Uptown and Edgewater community areas.  It's a great area if you like restaurants, breweries, cafes, local shopping and good schools! There is no permit for the new construction and I have not seen any zoning / variance applications submitted to the 40th Ward as of yet. My guess is it will be four residential units with retail on the ground floor.  However I can also see a fully commercial endeavor at this location.

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Pandemic proof? Lincoln Square home sales 2020 (highest sale $3,250,000)


A certainly charming but modest home for Lincoln Square standards these days.  The median price of sold Lincoln Square single family home for the first three quarters of 2020 is $740,000. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

We love Lincoln Square homes.  And... so did the Chicago market. Despite the pandemic almost the same number of Lincoln Square homes have sold this year as the same period of 2019. Median price this year is up slightly over last year.

Lincoln Square single family home sales 2020 (January 1st to September 30th)

81 single family homes have closed in the first three quarters of 2020.  The median price of a sold home is $740,000.  88 homes closed over the same period of 2019 with a median price of $725,000.

The highest priced sold house this year is 4431 N Hamilton Ave, Chicago IL 60625 for $3,250,000. The new construction house sits on a 37' wide x 178' long lot in the heart of Lincoln Square. This is only the 2nd home sale recorded in the MLS for over $3M in Lincoln Square since 2016 and probably only the 2nd ever (maybe a non-listed home traded for this amount over the years)Both were on single 37' wide lots and over 175' deep. I predict a handful of private built homes over the last few years will surely break the $3.5M mark whenever they come on the market.

The lowest priced sold home is a small frame house at 2154 West Foster, Chicago IL 60625 for $275,000. That's a pretty good deal for a popular area across from Winnemac Park. No construction permits have been issued yet but a zoning change to build a new construction three flat is likely. 

2154 West Foster (center). The vintage frame single family home sold for $275K and will most likely be replaced by a new construction three-flat. You can see a new 3-flat under construction to the far right of the photo.

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Lincoln Park vintage building in Arlington-Deming Historic District to be demolished

A vintage two-flat with a coach house located in the charming Arlington-Deming Historic District of Lincoln Park will be demolished. My business partner Bob resides in Lincoln Park near this block and noticed the fencing yesterday at 516-518 West Arlington Place, Chicago IL 60614. A quick check at my account shows a demo permit had been issued September 25th, 2020. The RM-6 zoning means a taller building with more units is permitted on the lot.

A small vintage multi-unit building and coach house at 516-518 West Arlington Place (All photos Bob DePalma, Eric Rojas, Brokers, Kale Realty)

The building has some history with zoning and development struggles. Back in 2006 the owner at the time tried to redevelopment the parcel despite the down-zoning of the block in 2002. The plans were rejected by the 43rd Ward alderman and Chicago Plan Commission at the time. That same owner purchased the building in 1996 for $340,000 and recently sold the parcel this year for $2,900,000 (sale was recorded in January of this year, source Cook County Recorder of Deeds). Not bad!

No permits have been issued for new construction on the site as of yet and I have not seen a proposal on  the 43rd Ward alderman site.