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Downtown condo sales on the rebound

filed under: Chicago home prices, Chicago home sales, Developments, Downtown, First-time buyers, Market conditions posted on June 2nd, 2012

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THE SCOOP IN THE LOOP: This 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo, located in a new 46-story tower at 235 W Van Buren, was listed at $329,900 and is now under contract. Sales of downtown Chicago condos like this one have skyrocketed this spring.

In another hopeful sign for Chicago’s real estate market, the sales of downtown condos recently hit a two-year high. It seems as though buyers are finally starting to absorb the excess inventory that has shadowed the downtown market ever since the downturn, holding down prices and forcing some newer buildings to turn to renters.

In April, there were 360 condo sales pending in the downtown area, up 55% from a year earlier. While this is good news, prices have yet to recover in downtown Chicago, making this summer an especially good time to buy a condo in the heart of the city.

Over the past two years, according to MLS data, median prices for condos in the Loop have fallen almost 8%, from $352,500 to $325,000. Developers of many downtown condos have had to slash prices to attract interest. Interest rates, too, have dropped and are now at record lows — around 3.75% for a 30-year loan for people with the best credit and sizable down payments.

The combination of low prices and rock-bottom interest rates make this year the best time to buy a Chicago home in at least the last 12 years. Will prices downtown continue to slump, or are we at the bottom? We have seen a recent uptick in prices (and sales) citywide, suggesting that a recovery, however faint, may finally be taking hold.


Written by Sue Fox //

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