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Archive for March 27th, 2015

Sizzle is back in the South Loop

filed under: Chicago home prices, Chicago home sales, Market conditions, South Loop posted on March 27th, 2015

SOUTH LOOP:

SCOOP ON THE SOUTH LOOP: Condo and house prices have rebounded sharply, and although they haven’t quite reached the heights of six years ago, before the crash.

A well-known Chicago developer just agreed to pay $26 million for a large chunk of land just north of Roosevelt Road, on the east side of the river. A new brewery, Motor Row Brewing, opened its doors in January on the 2300 block of South Michigan. Hundreds of new apartments are being built along South Clark, the British School of Chicago is designing a new South Loop campus, and home prices are steadily recovering — in some cases almost reaching peak levels last seen six years ago.

Is the South Loop back in the game?

Just three years ago, the South Loop was awash in cheap condos whose owners were so deeply underwater that they were going into foreclosure, trying to sell them short, or simply renting them out and waiting until prices recovered. Entire buildings had slipped from bright “grand openings” with shiny sales centers into a troubled half-lives as rental buildings because so few owners had stuck around to live there after the market crashed. When I would go to show condos in the South Loop, some buildings had so many units for rent and sale that they’d designated a special room for dozens of lockboxes filled with keys, so REALTORS® could let themselves in.

At the bottom of the market — which turned out to be the summer of 2012 for the South Loop — median sales prices in two of the area’s main zip codes, 60616 and 60605, had plunged about 40 to 50% over the peak in 2009.

What a mess. But the turnaround has been sharp, and now prices are within 13 to 17% of their previous highs. In other words, the South Loop is well on the road to recovery.

In practical terms, this means that the median home price is now $298,525 in zip code 60616 and $361,000 in 60605. Which means that an investment in the South Loop is now looking like less of a gamble and more of a sure thing. Sellers will finally be able to unload properties bought at the top of the market, and buyers will find a neighborhood whose restaurant, bar and retail scene is growing hotter by the day.

Written by Sue Fox // Please leave a comment.