As a follow up to my annual review of new single family home construction in Chicago I’m now looking at where the new condos and townhomes are being built in the city. This analysis is based upon condos and townhomes that are either currently listed for sale or have been sold (closed, contingent, or pending) in the last 12 months. When I did this analysis last year at this time I came up with 1813 units. This year I have 1692 units so there has been some slowdown in activity.
Keep in mind the limits of my methodology. Large developments don’t necessarily list all their available units for sale on the MLS because they don’t want them accumulating market time. Also, with an extended construction timeline a unit might not close for more than a year after it goes under contract.
So let’s start by taking a look at where these condos and townhomes are located.
Map Of Chicago New Condo Construction
The interactive map below has all the units on them but, because there are often multiple units at a particular address, you can’t really see all those units on the map – their balloons are on top of each other. Which one is on top is somewhat random. You can click on each balloon and see some basic information about that particular unit.
The balloons are color coded based upon their list price with the more expensive units in purple and the cheaper units in red. The upper left corner of the map has an icon that allows you to see the legend for these colors. You can also pan, zoom, and share the map or expand it to a full screen.
There is a clear pattern with the most expensive condos near the lake and downtown. As you move out from there prices go down
Looking at the underlying data by address I can give you an idea of where the largest developments are and this year they are not downtown:
- 5748 N Hermitage in Andersonville (Edgewater) is a 4 story, 39 unit Candea Development building. It was in first place this year with activity in 31 units. So far they have closed on 19 units with another 6 sold but not yet closed.
- The Hampdens at 2753 (Hampden 53) and 2773 (Hampden 73) N Hampden Ct are a pair of 6 story luxury buildings in Lincoln Park. Hampden 53 has 15 private elevator units, all of which have now closed except for 1 unit, and Hampden 73 has 30 units, all of which have closed except for 2 units. Between the two buildings there was activity in 28 units this year.
- The Alcove condos at 1648 W Division in Wicker Park (West Town) is a 7 story, 43 unit building by Vermilion Development. There was activity in 25 units this year but I only show one unit sold on the MLS. In addition they have 12 townhomes.
- Triangle Square Condos at 1701 W Webster is a 7 story Belgravia Group development in Logan Square with 66 units, 20 of which had activity this year. In total 25 have been sold thus far according to the MLS.
- Cirrus Condos at 211 N Harbor Dr is the only condo building in the top 5 that is downtown. This is a joint development of the Magellan Group and Lendlease in Lakeshore East that is 47 stories with 350 units. Thus far I am only showing 1 unit sold on the MLS with another 18 listed for sale.
There are several other very large downtown buildings that popped up on the list but they haven’t had much activity in the last 12 months.
Chicago New Condo Construction By Neighborhood
If we roll up all the new condo construction activity to the neighborhood (I really mean community area) level we see that once again West Town is blowing away all the other areas with more than twice as much activity as the next highest area. As was the case last year, activity is concentrated on the north and west sides in higher income neighborhoods closest to downtown. The most significant change this year is that Logan Square and The Near North Side dropped a little in the rankings.
Looking at the average list prices, which ignores the sizes of the units for the time being, you can see that the Near North Side and the Loop have the most expensive units by far as you would expect, given that that’s where the prime real estate is. If you look at the list you’ll also see that, in terms of proximity to the Loop, West Town offers the best value, which explains why new construction is so popular there.
The two most expensive areas this year are a little cheaper this year than last. The Near North Side moved up to the number one slot with an average list price of $2.5 MM while the Loop dropped to $2 MM from above $3 MM last year. But the top 4 areas are all above $1 MM. You have to go to the South Loop in the Near South Side to fine average prices below $500 K at 1802 S State. To find average prices below $400K you’ll have to go to McKinley Park or Woodlawn.
But the true “cost” of a condo needs to adjust for the size of the unit by looking at the cost/ SF. This is an imperfect measure because not all of the MLS activity shows square footage of the units. So I base the averages upon just those units that report their size. That’s fine as long as there’s no bias in the units that report size vs. those that don’t.
On that basis the pattern is pretty much the same as it was last year with the Loop having the most expensive units, followed by the Near North Side. A square foot in the Loop is cheaper this year than last and Edgewater moved up one notch. It’s surprising to me that Edgewater and Uptown remain more expensive than West Town. Again, that highlights the value to be found in West Town. And, frankly, those 18th street condos in the Near South Side are an even better value given their proximity to the Loop and only a 7 minute walk to the nearest L stop.
#ChicagoCondos #ChicagoCondominiums #NewConstruction
Gary Lucido is the President of Lucid Realty, the Chicago area’s full service real estate brokerage that offers home buyer rebates and discount commissions. If you want to keep up to date on the Chicago real estate market or get an insider’s view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry you can Subscribe to Getting Real by Email using the form below. Please be sure to verify your email address when you receive the verification notice.