While it’s hard to believe it is already December in retrospect it has been one heck of a year for me, my clients, and Chicago real estate. In 2015 I helped place more first time buyers then ever before and helped wonderful seller clients say goodbye to their beautiful Old Town three flat and hello to retirement and high rise convenience. None of these deals were easy and they were all packed with emotion, giving me an opportunity to shine. By focusing on solving problems with creative solutions and overcoming challenges I have been able to grow my business organically and exponentially, allowing me to reach others just outside my network. Real estate investing is a serious sport and without the right support and advocacy mistakes can be far reaching.
Property Values: Across the city Chicago saw property values rise in 2015. Not by a lot, but a healthy sustainable increase. A few up and coming neighborhoods however witnessed property values rising higher then ever before. This includes neighborhoods along the new Bloomingdale/606 Trail, along with Logan Square, Avondale, and a few others further north. Of course all Chicago markets are hyper local. See me if you are curious how things are going in your current neighborhood or your neighborhoods of interest.
Rentals: 2015 was no doubt an exciting year for renters. The downtown market saw an influx of luxury apartments open their doors, with amenities no one knew they needed. With 1000s of new options to confuse prospects I was able to step in, steer the boat based on their needs, and guide them to only the best options. In an age where time = money my service has proved invaluable for those that are either less familiar with the market, new to town, or don’t have the time to run around in circles.
Buyers: While buyers are coming out of the woodwork in droves credit requirements still remain rather tight, limiting mortgage products to only those that are well qualified with manageable debt/income ratios. As for down payments, 5-10% seems to be the norm these days, even for conventional loans. A majority of first time buyers are still holding onto the idea that they need 20% down which is holding them back from possible investment opportunities. This is why it’s important to partner with a knowledgeable and reputable broker that can help you explore your options or plan for a purchase down the road.
Investors: With a stabilizing market comes less opportunity for investors looking to buy and hold. Subsequently there seems to be less cash offers then right after the market bust. The exception to this would be Chinese investors who continue to show a healthy appetite for Chicago real estate in good areas near good schools. If you are thinking about investing there are still deals to be had out there, they are just far and few between. Ask me how a few of my clients this year were able to score great investment properties in multiple offer situations (hint: they didn’t pay all cash).
Developers: I feel like I am watching the city change as if I was playing SimCity on fast-forward rabbit mode. Cranes are everywhere downtown, mostly for luxury high rise apartment rentals or spacious ultra luxury condominiums. Outside the city center builders are all about smaller condo developments, usually 2-3 bedroom simplexes/duplexes, alongside some really custom single family homes. In a nut shell everything going up is being designed for upper echelon buyers and renters.
And that’s it, 2015 in a wrap. As for next year, I think we can expect a repeat of this year. Property values should see slow but steady price gains. Renters will continue to be bombarded with new options which may eventually reach a glut in 2017. Buyers, particularly Millennials will continue to pick up in pace as couples tie the knot and begin family planning with the mentality of putting down roots. Arm chair investors will continue taking the back seat in many neighborhoods as developers demolish, repurpose and design new apartments, condos, and single family homes for Chicago’s more affluent residents.
Questions, comments, or curiosities? Email me at Jake.email@example.com or fill out my contact form.