University Village Mid-Rise Lofts: 2011 Was A Tough Real Estate Market

At the southern end of University Village, just north of the railroad tracks, are 4 mid-rise loft/ condo buildings. At the eastern end are the newer construction loft buildings at 811 and 833 W 15th St. Just west of them are the converted loft buildings at 1524 and 1525 S Sangamon. Each of these 4 buildings has just under 100 lofts which are of similar size and price to the walk up condos in the rest of University Village. The biggest difference is that these are lofts and the assessments are a bit higher at close to $400/ month.
The north facing lofts on the higher floors of these buildings offer some fairly spectacular and protected city views – especially at night. I actually have a similar view from the rooftop deck of my own townhome in University Village which would be roughly equivalent to a 4th floor condo in these buildings. But these condos have this view right outside the main living area whereas I have to climb up to my roof to see this.
University Village city night view
Unfortunately, the University Village real estate market has not been kind to the owners of these units. Actually, it’s no worse than the rest of the Chicago real estate market for condos in this price range where most of the sales are distressed and prices have fallen around 35%. Here are some of the details.

811 and 833 W 15th Street

811 W 15th St. University Village, Chicago
Only 7 loft units sold in the 811 and 833 W 15th St buildings in 2011. Of those 6 were distressed and sold around 30% below their prior purchase price. The spreadsheet below summarizes these sales. Yellow highlights the distressed sales.

Currently there are 4 more units for sale and 7 more are under contract.

1524 and 1525 S Sangamon

1524 and 1525 S Sangamon, University Village, Chicago
Only 6 of these units sold in 2011, 4 of which were distressed. Prices were down as much as 52% from the prior sale but someone got away with only a 7% loss (there could be extenuating circumstances).

Currently there are only 2 units left on the market with an additional 4 units under contract.

One Other Observation

With only 7 units closing out of close to 200 that is very low turnover. It equates to people staying in place for an average of over 28 years! This probably reflects the fact that many people are just stuck in their condos and can’t move because they would have to bring money to closing or won’t have enough down payment to buy a new place – assuming they don’t want to do a short sale. Such are the times we live in.

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