Much has been made about the real estate market nationwide and the slump in housing.  We all know housing kept the economy strong for years and recently a crisis in sub prime mortgates have caused a collape in many parts of our nation.  The upper end market is not as affected by the travails of the sub prime segment as many buyers of this category pay with cash or a substantial downpayment of 30% or more. 

It should be noted that I am not writing to suggest an economists view of the housing market, rather I write offering a Realtor view of the upper end segment of Chicago real estate.   That being said: I refuse to participate in gloom and doom dialogue!  A positive outlook with a realistic knowledge of the market is most effective for my day to day survival and the effective representation of my clients. 

After a slow start to the year (which is typical), activity is picking up in the upper end market.  In my 14 years in the industry, I gauge activity not only by market data, but also by appointments requested for upper end listings and home sellers calling to list their property at an agressive (market) price.  Prices are not rising as dramatically as they have in the recent past, but homes are selling.  Market time is longer than in the recent past but most sellers understand this.  

Some statistics from the Multiple Listing Service: From March 15, 2008 – April 15, 2008 in Lincoln Park and Chicago’s Gold Coast and Streeterville:

  • 10 condos from $2,499,000 – $ $9,785,000 have gone under contract in Lincoln Park and the Gold Coast.
  • 1 condo has closed for $3,093,000.
  • 8 Single Family Homes have gone under contract ranging from $2,499,000 – $4,650,000. 

Clearly Chicken Little is not crowing in the upper end market. 

To further support my opinion, one need only to look at the most expensive and exclusive of the new developments being built during this “downturn”.  With prices that range from $700-$1500 per square foot, many upper end developments are indeed thriving with brisk sales.  One of my favorite new condo developments is LincolnPark 2520.  I have sold many units there and think it is one of the buildings to watch!    Another great condo choice for upper end buyers is The Ritz Carlton Residences.   Both of these new construction developments are quietly elegant and understated but brimming with the undeniable style of Lucien LaGrange!  I have sold many units in the 2520 and Rubloff represents the Ritz.   A great home builder specializing in the single family home segment of the Chicago market is Environs. I would be delighted to make an appointment if any of you are interested in seeing the model units.

Tomorrow I will write about a fascinating article I just read by a consulting and appraisal group that publishes market statistics from an appraiser viewpoint.