ML - Michigan Avenue

2013 - Issue 8 - December

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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BROKERS' ROUNDTABLE FROM LEFT: Brokers Deborah Ballis, Pamela Raia, and Elizabeth Ballis know how to capitalize on the winter real estate market. Winter Heat RISING PRICES ARE TURNING THE TABLES ON THE TRADITIONALLY SLOW SEASON'S REAL ESTATE MARKET. BY LISA SKOLNIK A Where does this price increase leave the luxury housing market for now? Elizabeth Ballis: Busy, just like the rest of the market. But there used to be real segmentation, with the first quarter starting out high, April to June a little less so, the summer modest, and fall and early winter really slow. Now there's little segmentation, just clients looking to buy because there's such a shortage of properties. Deborah Ballis: That also makes this a great time to go on the market. High-end sellers who would normally wait until after the holidays are going on now thanks to the shortage. The key as a seller is to take advantage of that lack of inventory. Pamela Raia: Luxury buyers are trying to take advantage of those really high-priced homes that languished over the summer. They're not new anymore, so a buyer will use this as an opportunity to make an offer under ask, and often get it. How is pricing right now? PR: The luxury market has definitely come down from before the crash. At Baird & Warner, we now consider anything over a million to be luxury. But downtown, it's $1.5 million or more. Either way, properties aren't taking a hit when 132 they're new to the market in the winter now. DB: But the type of housing and location count, too. Luxury condos and co-ops start at $750,000, while [single-family] homes start at $1 million— but a million-dollar home in a hot neighborhood isn't necessarily luxury. Obviously, you get a bigger hit of luxury the farther out you go in the neighborhoods, and Bucktown and West Town are seeing more luxury single-family homes being built. We have a house going up at 2053 North Fremont Street by Middlefork Development for $3.45 million, and interest is incredibly strong— despite the time of year. EB: Building is back, and location can drive up the price of lots, especially in Lincoln Park. We just helped a client buy a potential teardown in DePaul for $30,000 over list, closing at $1.325 million, and there were six offers that first day. Basic lots cost $1.2 million and up in Lincoln Park now. But in this case, the buyer is going to rehab it. It will prob- ably sell for close to $4 million when it's done. So deals are just humming along, despite the time of year? PR: Not really. Even though deals are being made so quickly that we're literally writing them on the spot or in the car, they're falling apart more quickly than ever. EB: Buyers are so challenged to find something that they spend 20 minutes in a place, write a contract, and then back out because they can't sell the home they own fast enough. It's becoming common to go through several contracts on a property before you actually close on it. So you have to get to a place fast, and be prepared to roll with the punches? EB: This is absolutely true. Elizabeth Ballis (312343-4545) and Deborah Ballis (312-286-0300), Coldwell Banker, 1959 N. Halsted St., coldwellbanker Pamela Raia, Baird & Warner, 5430 W. Devon Ave., 312-446-3148; MA PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATRINA WITTKAMP ccording to the latest stats from the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, "Average home prices across the United States are back to their spring 2004 levels." Chicago led the most recent monthly gains with a 3.2 percent increase. This news prompted Michigan Avenue to do a temperature check of Chicago's luxury market with some of the city's big-ticket brokers: mother-daughter team Elizabeth and Deborah Ballis of Coldwell Banker, and Pamela Raia of Baird & Warner. MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 132_MA_HP_Brokers_Winter2014.indd 132 11/20/13 10:30 AM

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