Chicago's Hottest Neighborhoods For New Condo Construction In 2018

Chicago's Hottest Neighborhoods For New Condo Construction In 2018
2018 is shaping up to be a stronger year for Chicago
new condo construction than last year

Activity has actually picked up significantly since last year's look at Chicago's new condo construction . Last year's analysis identified a total of 1510 new condos/ townhomes that were either sold, under contract, or on the market in the preceding 12 month period. This year I count 1708, which should be no surprise given all the blatantly visible signs of new construction across the city. With condo inventory so low, building new condos and townhomes has been really attractive for developers. However, in the last few months we have seen inventory rising so that might throw a monkey wrench into the works.

I should probably also explain that, while I reference "construction", I'm actually looking at the marketing of new construction, not the construction itself because there are lags between when the construction takes place and when the units are actually marketed/ sold. And the units might not show up in the data for quite some time, as developers usually spread out the listing of the units available for sale in the larger developments.

I'm starting out with a color coded, interactive map that I created of all the units that have shown activity in the last 12 months. The map markers are color coded based upon the list price of the condo shown, with the lowest priced units flagged in red and the highest priced units flagged in purple. If you click on the icon in the upper left corner of the map it will display the legend for these price ranges. You can see a clear pattern on the map where the highest priced condos are along the lake and downtown and then the prices drop as you radiate out from there in any direction.

The map has other interactive features that allow you to pan, zoom, share, and expand the map to full screen. In addition, you can click on each of the map markers to get a bit of detail on the unit. Please note that for developments with multiple units you will only be able to see the details for a single, randomly selected unit (because the markers will be stacked on top of each other) but it will tell you how many units in total had activity at that address.

Map Of Chicago New Condo Construction

There are actually quite a few larger developments which had activity this year. Here are some of the ones with the most activity across the city:

  • Illume (or 111ume) condominiums at 111 S Peoria is a 79 unit luxury building by LG Development. 65 units had activity in the last 12 months.
  • No9 Walton at 9 W Walton is a 66 unit, 36 story super-luxury building by JDL. 46 units had activity in the last 12 months.
  • Webster Square at 540 W Webster is a 95 unit, 12 story building by Sandz Development. 41 units had activity in the last 12 months.
  • The Ronsley at 676 N Kingsbury appeared in last year's list. The 8 story building was developed by LG Development and has 41 units, 37 of which had activity in the last 12 months. Closeout pricing is in effect for at least some of the units.
  • Renelle On The River at 403 N Wabash also appeared in last year's list. The 18 story building was developed by an affiliate of the Belgravia Group and has 50 units, 30 of which had activity in the last 12 months.

To help understand where all the development is taking place and at what prices I aggregated the data by community area. Shown below are the number of units with activity for the 20 most active community areas.

Notice that the most active areas of the city are pretty much the same as they were last year, albeit in a slightly different order. West Town remains at the top of the list, followed by the Near West Side and Lincoln Park. Since the Near West Side contains the West Loop, which is infested with construction cranes, it should be no surprise that it's near the top of the list. And the Near South Side, which contains the South Loop, rose slightly from last year. But we should soon see it rise even higher on the list with the major construction projects underway there.

Chicago New Condo Construction By Neighborhood

Top 20 Chicago Community Areas For New Condo Construction

The top 20 community areas for Chicago new condo construction in 2018 looks very similar to 2017's list.

I've also looked at the average list prices of condos by community area and, as you can see in the graph below, Lincoln Park, the Near North Side, and the Loop are all averaging over $1 MM, with the Loop averaging close to $3.5 MM per unit - but that's all due to activity at the Vista Residences, which is a super luxury high rise. Also, I found it surprising that Uptown and Edgewater both had average condo prices around $600,000

Chicago new condos average prices by community area

As expected, the highest income areas have the highest priced condos.

Of course, condo prices don't tell you much without also knowing how big the condos are. So I attempted to estimate average prices per square foot by community area. It's no surprise that the highest income areas, with the highest priced condos, also had the highest prices/ square foot: Lincoln Park, the Near North Side, and the Loop, all of which are over $500/ SF. The Loop (the Vista Residences) is the highest at $1294/ SF.

Almost all the rest (the Near West Side is the exception) of the community areas came in below $400/ SF. And it's clear why West Town is at the top of the list for activity. It's a bargain, given it's proximity to downtown and it's relatively low cost/ SF.

Chicago new condos avg price per square foot by community area

"Downtown" Chicago new condo construction has the highest prices per square foot

#ChicagoCondos #ChicagoCondominiums #NewConstruction

Gary Lucido is the President of Lucid Realty, the Chicago area's full service real estate brokerage that offers home buyer rebates and discount commissions. If you want to keep up to date on the Chicago real estate market, get an insider's view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry, or you just think he's the next Kurt Vonnegut you can Subscribe to Getting Real by Email using the form below. Please be sure to verify your email address when you receive the verification notice.

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