The Loop: From hot to…?

What the old Yo staff said about The Loop and the New East Side / Lakeshore East in a 2007 write-up of Chicago’s hottest ‘hoods:

Median condo: $325,000

The average condo price in the area rose to $485,712 during the last 12 months, up more than 90 percent from the average of $252,971 recorded during the same period five years earlier. Values are likely to continue their upward march as residential flavor builds alongside world-class amenities ranging from Grant Park to Monroe Harbor to the Harold Washington Library.

Sure, the Loop wasn’t exactly a gamble. Not surprisingly, its market doesn’t begin to compare with the disasters we’ve seen with Washington Park and East Garfield Park. Can we still call it “hot,” though? Can we still call any place “hot” right now?

Anyway, the price of a condo listed in The Loop today has gone up significantly in the past three years, to a median of $465,000 and an average around $658,000, according to Redfin. (We define the Loop as being the area bounded by the lake, the river, and Jackson Street, or all of 60601, 60602, 60603, and parts of 60604 and 60606.)

Among the closings Redfin has recorded in the past 12 months, the median and average prices are even higher: $500,000 and $662,000, respectively.

Most of the homes on the MLS right now are one-bedroom / one-baths (median price: $289,900) and two-bedroom / two-baths (median: $512,000). The average list time across the board is 108 days; for the upper half of the market, it’s 209 days, and for $1 million-plus homes, it’s 217 days.

Today buyers are flocking to nearly 30 developments in the Loop / New East Side, among them Modern Momentum, The Legacy at Millennium Park and Vetro. Lake Shore East, which will include nearly 5,000 new homes on a 28-acre site between Millennium Park and the river, west of Lake Shore Drive, is about a third complete. Its one low-rise component, the Parkhomes, broke ground in May, and Aqua, its architectural centerpiece, started construction in February.

MoMo (or The Residences at Joffrey Tower, as it’s now called), located at 8 E Randolph St, is down to just a couple of developer-owned units. Counting those alongside a handful of resales, one-bedrooms in the building currently range from the $240s to the $290s, and two-bedrooms from the $460s to $540s.

Most of the listings at the Legacy, 60 E Monroe St, are unsold units, although nine are resales (many of which are listed at prices higher than their late 2009 / early 2010 closing prices). One-bedrooms are priced from the $290s to $580s, two-bedrooms from the $560s to $1.18 million, and three-bedrooms from $1.15 to $4.26 million. Redfin’s records show at least 124 closings in the building since last winter.

I covered the latest at Aqua and the Parkhomes last month. Vetro, 611 S Wells St, doesn’t actually fall within our boundaries for the Loop, but it is within the greater Loop community area, which stretches all the way down to Roosevelt Road. As you may remember, Vetro was the tower that got the auction ball rolling in early 2009. Only one home is listed there at the moment, and it’s a short sale: unit #1406, a 1,343 square-foot two-bedroom priced in the $310s.

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