When it comes to residential real estate in Chicago, condominiums are king. Especially in the city's downtown and North Side neighborhoods. Even with everything that has happened in the U. S. housing market, the Chicago condo industry continues to hold steady with increasing average prices and nonstop development of new condo projects in communities across the city.
It's a familiar scene - construction crews putting up brand new buildings in vacant lots and gutting older structures to make way for the modern living spaces that Chicago condo buyers have put in demand. Both existing and new construction condo units are selling, but a definite trend towards buying new has swept the city and has really changed the face of the local real estate backdrop. In addition to all the condominiums, lofts and flats built during the boom between 2000 and 2006, Chicago has numerous plans in the works for fresh residential developments that will bring thousands more homes to the market.
Nearly 6,000 new units are expected to be finished by the end of 2008 with delivery on an additional 4,000 units proposed for next year. This will create a very saturated housing inventory in Chicago, but also puts buyers in a good position to get what they want for a good deal. Many of these forthcoming condominium, townhome and loft projects are in downtown or the surrounding vicinity. And certain parts of the city are being totally revamped with all new high-rises and state-of-the-art architecture, such as the New East Side. This tiny pocket of the Loop (located between the Chicago River, Lake Shore Drive, Millennium Park and Michigan Avenue) is occupied in part by a large-scale residential development called Lakeshore East, which will include 14 residential towers when it is finished in 2010.
Other major contributions to the ever-expanding condominium community in Chicago are the Trump Hotel & Tower and the Chicago Spire. Both of these luxury projects are currently under construction and have inspired worldwide publicity. Donald Trump's debut in the Windy City is located across the river from the Loop in the trendy River North neighborhood. His 96-story building will house roughly 470 posh residences with price tags ranging from $583,000 (for a 580-square-foot studio) to $9.6 million (for a 6,850-square-foot penthouse). Much of the Trump Tower is already built and the hotel levels are currently in use, but full completion of the condominiums is anticipated for sometime in 2009.
Down closer to Lake Michigan, preparation for the Chicago Spire is underway. Just a block inland from Navy Pier, the Spire is an innovative architectural creation that will bring renewed interest to the Chicago skyline. The blueprint for this spiral-like, 150-story residential building (scheduled for delivery in 2012) has close to 1,200 units with several levels of top-of-the-line communal amenities. Real estate in the Spire is among the highest price per square foot in the city and includes multimillion-dollar penthouses with undisclosed price tags.
Condo prices in the Loop and other areas near the city center have shown appreciation in recent months and while condo sale prices in Chicago are up in general (6% increase from June 2007), it's the higher-end properties that are really coming out on top. The total number of million-dollar-plus condos/penthouses/townhomes sold during the first two quarters of 2008 outdid the same period last year by over 100 units. The Gold Coast is one of Chicago's most expensive and exclusive neighborhoods and real estate there is gaining value for both condominiums and single-family homes. The average sale price for attached properties in the Gold Coast is around $620,000 and the average listing price is in the high $800,000s.
The well-being of the entire Chicago condo market is expected to be positively influenced by a shift in values of the American home buyer. There is a new generation of young house hunters who are more inclined towards low maintenance, high-technology urban dwellings - a perfect fit for the city's many newly constructed properties - than the large suburban homes of their parents’ day. This group of twenty-somethings and early thirty-year-olds are on the opposite end of the age spectrum from baby boomers, but their needs and preferences are actually quite similar: modern, high-quality homes with convenient on-site amenities (i. e. exercise rooms) and not a lot of upkeep. As baby boomers enter into retirement, many are expected to trade in their family homes and downsize to condominiums near a fun, exciting locale (a. k. a. Chicago!). With two sizeable populations emerging onto the residential real estate scene in search of condo heaven, Chicago is prepared with a substantial supply of units in every shape, size, style and price.
Article brought to you by James Belmont - James writes about Chicago Condos and other Chicago real estate topics.
James Belmont writes articles about Chicago Condos and other Chicago real estate related topics for http://www.ChicagoCondos-Online.com