Buyers keep walking from downtown contracts

In his latest column, Sun-Times real estate writer David Roeder addresses the rising “walkaway” rate — the number of buyers who fail to close on homes — in downtown condo developments.

Hard data for walkaway rates is hard to come by, but Roeder’s sources say the rate has hit 40 percent, and they refer to two downtown high-rises that they say have particularly high walkaway rates.

The consultants won’t name projects most affected by walkaways. Others said they include a tower at 235 W. Van Buren and a building called R+D659 at 659 W. Randolph. Both have gone through several price reductions. Their developers could not be reached.

Roeder wasn’t able to reach the developers of either of those buildings, but it wasn’t so difficult for him to find a developer to discuss low walkaway rates on the record.

Less vulnerable to walkaways are high-end multibuilding sites such as Lakeshore East downtown and Central Station south of the Loop. Gerald Fogelson, chief executive of Central Station developer Fogelson Cos., said his walkaway rate is about 15 percent.

Fogelson tells Roeder that repeated price reductions affect the early crop of buyers, because they “can’t find an appraisal to justify their deals.”

(Visited 44 times, 1 visits today)