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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

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
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

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

CoreLogic reports Chicago-area home price surge

CoreLogic HPI

CoreLogic is reporting that home prices nationally increased 11% year-over-year in December 2013, the 22nd consecutive month in which home prices increased year-over-year. Single-family home prices, excluding distressed properties, in the Chicago area rose 12.4% year-over-year in December, the fourth-highest percentage increase among the largest metropolitan areas. Including distressed properties, Chicago prices rose 12.5% year-over-year, ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 5, 2014

Know your condo manager, Prairie Shores Management edition

Sedgwick St

While reading a string of negative reviews on Yelp for Prairie Shores Management I locked in on the name of Richard Holtzman. Back in the 80s Holtzman was associated with a firm called Preservation Chicago Inc that had a number of failed investments in Uptown and, if memory serves (it may not), was very poorly ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 4, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

Chicago-area sales, prices rise in December

RE/MAX December sales data 2013

The following market update arrived via a news release from RE/MAX Northern Illinois: During the final month of 2013, home sales in the seven-county metro Chicago real estate market totaled 8,053 units, 9 percent more than during the same month last year, while the median sales price was $178,000, an impressive 17 percent higher than ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 17, 2014
News & trendsNeighborhoods

Chicago’s five-year housing plan

Five year housing plan

Chicago’s fifth five-year housing plan was presented to the City Council on Wednesday for approval. According to Chicago Real Estate Daily, the 2014-2018 plan will have funding of about $1.1 billion, down from the nearly $2 billion funding of the previous plan. The plan will, in theory, result in the construction, preservation and rehabilitation of ...

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

Chicago drops out of top 10 metros in foreclosure rate

Thumbnail image for Chicago drops out of top 10 metros in foreclosure rate

Miami had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation in 2013, with 3.93% of its housing units in some stage of foreclosure, according to recently-released RealtyTrac data. Among Metropolitan Statistical Areas with a population of more than 200,000, seven other Florida metros were in the top 10 in 2013 foreclosure rates. Rounding out the top ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 16, 2014
ChicagoNorth Side

Holiday food drive in Lake View needs your help

Food drive

Chicago’s Lake View neighborhood is best known as a playground for the young and affluent, but it’s also home to many families and elderly citizens, some of whom need periodic help with the most basic of needs: food. Lakeview Pantry, one of Chicago’s largest food pantries, has been helping its neighbors since 1970. This year ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on December 1, 2013
News & trendsMarket conditions

Chicago sales volume up 31% year-over-year in October

Lincoln Park aerial view

According to just-released RealtyTrac data, Chicago’s October residential sales counts were at an annualized pace of 182,767, 31% higher than in October of 2012. The Chicago metro area had the highest annualized sales rate in the nation in October, edging out Miami (171,508) and substantially ahead of Los Angeles (148,945) and New York (148,090). Nearly ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 26, 2013
News & trendsNeighborhoods

Planning Chicago a/k/a incremental opportunism

Planning Chicago cover

Planning Chicago, published earlier this year, is a look back at the history of planning in Chicago, with a focus starting in the Mayor Richard J. Daley era. You can get the gist of the book’s contents from its authors, Jon B. DeVries and D. Bradford Hunt, in the above video, which was shot at ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 25, 2013
News & trendsMarket conditions

Million dollar sales up 42 percent in Chicago

1660 N Claremont

The following market update arrived via a news release from RE/MAX Northern Illinois: Combined sales of attached and detached residences in Chicago selling for $1 million or more totaled 156 units in September and October. That was 42 percent more sales than were recorded during the same period last year. The median sales price was ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 21, 2013
News & trendsMarket conditions

High-rise rents, occupancy, absorption rates all fall

Above Aqua

After years of seeing rents rise, renters may be singing “happy days are here again,” according to Appraisal Research Counselors data reported by Chicago Real Estate Daily. The numbers: third quarter net rents in Class A buildings fell 1.9% from a year ago. Occupancy rates dipped to 92.6%, the lowest level since 2009. The downtown ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 18, 2013
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Are mom and dad moving to Wicker Park?

Damen Ave bikers

Several months ago The Wall Street Journal weighed in on the topic of baby boomers moving to trendy New York neighborhoods: Hip urban neighborhoods are aging, as a growing chunk of adults in their 50s and 60s and older give up their longtime homes and head for trendy condos. The invasion of older, moneyed buyers ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 12, 2013