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Illinois ranks third in seriously underwater mortgages

RealtyTrac

RealtyTrac today released its U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report for the first quarter of 2014. Thirty percent of all Illinois homes with a mortgage were seriously underwater, i.e. had a combined loan amount secured by the property at least 25 percent higher than the property’s estimated market value. Illinois ranked third behind Nevada (34%) ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 17, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

North lakefront MLS-listed rentals on the rise

Aerial view

The number of MLS-listed homes and condos available for rent in six north lakefront ZIP Codes from Lincoln Park to Rogers Park is 16% higher than it was six weeks ago, and 35% higher than at the same time two years ago. The 668 units currently available for rent represent only a 3% increase since ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 16, 2014

Ask American Realty’s Dan Dantuma about his drug arrests

Dan Dantuma

American Realty’s Dan Dantuma had 135 repetitive ads on Craigslist as of mid-morning yesterday. More than 80% of them were for a single apartment, a junior 1-bedroom at Gold Coast Galleria, 111 W Maple. Reading the same ad over and over and over again prompted me to learn more about Dan, and an online search ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 11, 2014

State Street Properties’ amazing Craigslist apartment spam

State Street Properties

With just over 2,500 ads, State Street Properties isn’t Craigslist’s most prolific apartment ad spammer, but it ranks among the worst of them and shares some verbal tics with the typical Craigslist rental spammers. Landlords and management companies don’t typically resort to superlatives to describe their apartments. If you see an “amazing” or “awesome” or ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 10, 2014

Where have all the iMove agents gone, short time passing?

iMove Chicago

We’ve written repeatedly about iMove Chicago, a rental service that advertises frequently on Craigslist for new leasing agents and brokers. We had saved records of the names of 41 agents and brokers (other than Erickson Ocasio and Rusty Payton, the principals) who were employed at iMove Chicago between January 2012 and January 19, 2013: Andrew ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 9, 2014

Craigslist spammer of the day: Andy Trejo and iQrentals

Facebook Trejo

We haven’t written about Andy Trejo before, but he’s been on our radar for well over a year, and his company names have been on our Chicago rental service do-not-call list. The LinkedIn screen cap on the left, above, dates to January of last year. The one on the right is current. The LinkedIn profiles ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 7, 2014

An update on Chicagoland Property Group’s spam-family Walker

SoNo East Walker Craigslist

In the coming months we’ll be continuing our efforts to make it easier for you to identify and avoid some of Craiglist’s worst apartment ad spammers. We’ll call them out by company and individual names and build a reference list. On Monday we questioned whether the more than 4,500 ads placed by Chicagoland Property Group ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 4, 2014

The Villas at Great House break ground at Sailrock, South Caicos

Sailrock South Caicos

Sailrock in South Caicos has begun construction on the Villas at Great House, the primary resort component associated with Sailrock. The first phase of the project, which will be completed In 2015, will consist of Beach Front Villas, Ridgetop Villas and the Great House. This low-density resort, set on 42 acres, embraces the spirit of ...

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Posted by sponsored post on April 2, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

Illinois home prices and sales volume up in February

RealtyTrac

RealtyTrac released its February 2014 U.S. Residential and Foreclosure Sales Reportearlier today. Here are some of the metrics for Illinois: The number of homes sold in February rose 20.4% year-over-year. Illinois’ sales volume increase ranked 7th highest among the states. The median sales price increased 14% year-over-year to $152,500. Illinois had the 8th highest increase ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 27, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

Redfin agents predict a competitive market

Redfin agent survey

Redfin recently polled 435 of its agents, and 65% of them expect the home purchase market this year to be more competitive than it was in 2013. The number of homes available for sale in the Chicago area in 2014 is 29% below the 2013 level, and agents foresee bidding wars. At the very least ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 26, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

Examining the risk of another housing bubble

Aerial view Uptown

CoreLogic just released its March MarketPulse report (PDF). The report examines the risk of another housing bubble in light of large price gains in many markets in 2013, looks at the relationship between high-end home sales and the health of the financial markets, points out that this year is widely expected to be the trough ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 26, 2014

Chicago rental agent pleads guilty

Jerome Bressert guilty plea

Last October we wondered whether Jerome Bressert was Chicago’s sleaziest rental agent – a category that has tons of competitors vying for the top spot. We posed our question based on ads that Bressert had placed on Zillow for properties that won’t do business with him, and not solely on his arrest records . When ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 25, 2014
News & trendsArchitecture & design

Jeanne Gang, on building communities through architecture

Jeanne Gang

There have been recent rumors that architect Jeanne Gang may be involved in a new tower at Lakeshore East, where Aqua has made quite a splash. Last May Gang spoke at TEDx Midwest on the topic of how architecture contributes to building community. Her compelling presentation has flashes of humor, a focus on an expanded ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 24, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

The outlook for rental housing

JCHS

If you’re trying to understand the outlook for rental housing you’ll want to spend some time with the wealth of data and analysis provided in America’s Rental Housing (pdf), a report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. A brief summary from the report: By virtually all rental market indicators, the recovery from the Great ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 21, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

Million dollar home sales up 40% year-over-year

2700 N Paulina Chicago

The following market update arrived via a news release from RE/MAX Northern Illinois: Winter winds and frigid thermometer readings couldn’t cool the activity level in the luxury home segment of the metropolitan Chicago real estate market during the first two months of 2014. Compared to the same period in 2013, the number of $1 million-plus ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 20, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

Metro-Chicago sales down, prices up in February

RE/MAX data

The following market update arrived via a news release from RE/MAX Northern Illinois: Residential sales in the seven-county metropolitan Chicago real estate market during February followed a pattern similar to that established in January, with prices rising but the pace of sales slowing when compared to the same month last year, according to an analysis ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 14, 2014

Meet the guys who wash your windows

Window washer

There are times when you see them almost nose-to-nose, but there never seems to be a way to get to know them. They’re the guys who rappel down your building to wash your windows, and you can meet them and learn a bit about their lives in this award-winning documentary video. Are they always guys? ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 14, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

Chicago foreclosure rate plummets year-over-year

Tastee-Freez

RealtyTrac today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for February 2014, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 112,498 U.S. properties in February, a 10 percent decrease from January and down 27 percent from February 2013 to the lowest monthly total since December 2006 — a ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 13, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

Chicago-area home prices up 12.6% year-over-year in January

CoreLogic HPI

CoreLogic released its January 2014 Home Price Index yesterday: In Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 12.6 percent in January 2014 compared to January 2013. On a month-over-month basis, home prices, including distressed sales, decreased by 0.3 percent in January 2014 compared to December 2014. Excluding distressed sales, year-over-year prices increased by ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 5, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

Chicago still ranks high in foreclosures

Chicago aerial

Chicago ranked fourth among the 25 largest US metro areas in the percentage of mortgaged homes in foreclosure in January, according to data recently released by CoreLogic. The percentage of Chicago-area homes in foreclosure, 3.4%, declined a modest 2.1% year-over-year. Another index that housing troubles are not yet behind us is that 7.4% of Chicago-area ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 28, 2014