Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Market stats for Lincoln Park and Lakeview combined - August 29, 2007

Here are the latest market indicators for attached housing (condo's and townhomes) in Lincoln Park and Lakeview (combined) in the re-sale market (new construction excluded.)

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The red columns and red line represent units for sale. Over the past two years, the trend is upwards. The green columns and green line represent units sold. The two-year trend is decreasing. This bears out nationwide and citywide statistics showing a slowdown in sales.

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Not so much to worry about as far as pricing goes. The red columns and red line indicate the median price of properties for sale, and the green columns and green line indicate the median price for properties that have sold. Both are trending upwards. Note, however, that the price for properties for sale is increasing faster than the price for those sold. This indicates a tendency of sellers to be overly aggressive in the pricing of their property.

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The trend for absorption is not good. The yellow columns and yellow line indicate the number of listings that are carried over from the previous month. You can see the trend upward for the past two years, and the steep increase since January, 2007. This carry-over combined with the slowdown in sales is a quadruple-whammy for sellers with property for sale right now.

Chicago Jazz Festival this weekend

The City of Chicago is proud to announce the lineup for the 29th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival, August 30-September 2. The festival begins with a ticketed concert at the Chicago Symphony Center on August 30 and then moves to Grant Park for three days of free music, August 31-September 2.

Opening night will feature An Evening with Herbie Hancock beginning at 7:30p.m. This Academy Award and multiple Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist and composer from Chicago is known for incorporating elements of rock, funk and soul into his songs. Ticket prices range from $16 to $46 and are available at the Chicago Symphony Center box office (312) 294-3000 or on

Friday, August 31 through Sunday, August 2, all are invited to join the festivities in Grant Park FREE music on three stages. The event opens daily at 11 a.m., with music beginning at noon on the Jazz on Jackson stage and 12:30 p.m. at the Jazz and Heritage Family Stage. Then at 5 p.m., music lights up the night at the Petrillo Music Shell for three evenings of spectacular Jazz performances, tributes and entertainment for any fan of Jazz music to enjoy.

Other notable fests this weekend...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wicked storms pass through Chicago on Thursday afternoon

A powerful line of thunderstorms passed through Chicago and the suburbs on Thursday afternoon. The storm hit the northside neighborhoods of Lincoln Park and Lakeview at approximately 3:45 pm. The most amazing aspects of this afternoon's storms were how suddenly they whipped up, and the ferocity of the winds.

The wind blew up from near calm conditions to gusty winds above 70 mph in seconds tearing off roofs, blowing construction debris all over the neighborhoods and uprooting trees. Driving around the area today, Friday, revealed more storm damange than I have ever seen before. Normally, the city proper does not receive high wind damage across a widespread area. Devastation normally seen in a tornado area is found all over the north side today.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Visit to the Milwaukee Art Museum & addition designed by Santiago Calatrava

We took a company trip to Milwaukee today to visit the Milwaukee Art Museum. The Milwaukee Art Museum was housed in a 1957 structure overlooking Lake Michigan with a postmodern addition in in 1975. Trustees of the museum solicited bids for a new entrance in 1994. Santiago Calatrava won the competition with his proposal for a 27-meter-high glass and steel reception hall shaded by a movable sunscreen. Included in the new spaces are 7,500 square meters of new space, of which 1,500 square meters are set aside for temporary exhibitions.

Although Calatrava denies any influence of nature or biology, the Quadracci Pavilion has a decidedly bird-like quality to it, especially when the wings of the Brise Soleil are open.

Regular readers will remember that our company, @properties, was named the Chicago marketing firm to handle sales for the Calatrava designed Chicago Spire located on Chicago's lakefront.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Another BIG festival weekend in Chicago

The Chicago Air and Water Show comes to town this weekend. The Chicago Air and Water Show shakes up the lakefront August 18 - 19, 2007 for the largest FREE show of its kind in the United States. This year the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights will headline the Chicago Air and Water Show along the lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street, with North Avenue Beach as the focal point. The water show begins at 9 a.m. and air show runs from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. both days. Agents and real estate shoppers should be warned to avoid having or trying to attend open houses in the Gold Coast, Old Town and south Lincoln Park.

Just because you're away from the lakefront doesn't mean you've escaped the chaos. Check out the Bucktown Arts Festival in West Bucktown.

Art, in all its forms, has been the sole focus of the Bucktown Arts fest since its inception in 1985. From its roots as a small gathering of local artisans to its current incarnation as one of Chicago’s premier gatherings of painters, sculptors, photographers and craftspeople (not to mention musicians, actors, poets, and dancers), the fest puts the spotlight squarely on that mysterious amalgam of inspiration and perspiration that delights the eye and stirs the soul.

Others include:

  • Edison Park Fest
  • Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest in the Loyola neighborhood
  • The Whole Foods Flavorfest in West Lincoln Park

Now get outside and have some fun!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Sub-Prime Mortgages - what's up?

Many thanks to Dan Green at The Mortgage Reports Blog for posting about the current sub-prime mortgage mess. A great article on how we got here and what it's all about.

...the mortgage market turned sour in a very big hurry, but credit standards are still looser than they've been historically and there are plenty of homes for borrowers-in-need (pardon the pun).

The products getting flushed right now are the high risk loans that would never have had a prayer six or seven years ago...

In Lakeview, Inventory of Condo's & Townhomes still selling

The graph above shows Market Time for attached properties (condo's and townhomes) in the Lakeview neighborhood. When I began this research I was prepared for far worse news than the information suggests. With 4.6 months supply of inventory on the market, this would indicated that the neighborhood is balanced without either an over-supply of buyers or an over-supply of homes for sale.

It's also welcome news to see that the figure for July is lower than it was for June. Activity in the neighborhood seemed to halt during June causing anxiety among home owners with properties for sale. The drop in these supply figures shows that a good chunk of the inventory still for sale will be absorbed this summer.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

BIG Party Weekend in Chicago

Get your groove on at Retro on Roscoe held in the Roscoe Village neighborhood. Check out the roster of performing artists. Other highlights include the Windy City Chili Cook Off, a Retro Car Show and one of the most popular games in Chicago history - Bozo Buckets!

Expect almost a million people to converge on Grant Park downtown for Lollapalooza - Chicago's largest outdoor concert. Lollapaloooza continues throughout the weekend, with Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Regina Spektor, Spoon and headlining sets from Muse and Interpol scheduled for today. Visit, their Jaded Insider blog and our Lollapalooza microsite for continuous updates.

Just because traffic isn't bad enough, let's throw in the Gold Coast - River North Art Fair being held along Clark and Wells Streets from Chicago Ave. to Ontario. It's billed as the third oldest in Chicago and features a variety of juried artwork, including painting, sculpture, jewelry, glass, photography and more. Includes an appearance by author and "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" Ted Allen (10 a.m. Saturday), live music, food vendors, art activities and a craft area for kids.

Oh yeah, don't forget the Cubs host the Mets this weekend.

Now get out there and have some FUN!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

TECH: New website ranks how "walkable" your neighborhood is

Check out We have been publishing static "Home Turf" maps for all our listings on our websites, and printing these handy guides to area amenities to include with our property brochures. But having the link to seems to bring the map to life. A map pops up with the address in the middle, amenities in the neighborhood gradually fill the map as a slider moves from left (not very walk-able) to right (nice and pedestrian friendly.) Fortunately, as Chicago real estate agents, all of our listings are rated "Best" just by virtue of their location in the city.

Check out some of these walkscore maps of our listings:

Definitely a fan of the new