Hottest Chicago Condo / Townhome New Construction Neighborhoods 2019

Hottest Chicago Condo / Townhome New Construction Neighborhoods 2019
The Vista Tower is just one of several high profile
condo buildings under construction in Chicago

I'm finally getting around to this follow up post on Chicago new construction. A couple of weeks ago I looked at single family homes and now I'm taking a look at condos and townhomes. As with my last post I'm using a slightly different methodology that includes more legitimate properties than my previous method. I came up with 1813 units but if not for that change I would be reporting on a slight decline in activity since I checked last year.

The way I do this is to look at all the condos and townhomes that are either currently listed or sold (closed, contingent or pending) in the last 12 months. Keep in mind that some of these buildings will sell units and have others for sale over a period of several years. And not all the available units within a development are necessarily listed at all times. Agents for these developers often hold them off the market, knowing they can sell them off of an identical but listed unit, in order to keep them from racking up market time.

Let's start by looking at where these new condos are located.

Map Of Chicago New Condo Construction

The map below contains color coded balloons in each location where there was activity with one or more units. The lowest priced units are flagged in red and the highest priced units are flagged in purple. Clicking on the icon in the upper left corner of the map will display the legend for these price ranges. You can see a clear pattern on the map where the highest priced condos are closer to the lake and downtown and then the prices drop as you move out from there in any direction. If you look at the data you will see that you actually have to move out pretty far - mostly south - to get a condo below like $400 K.

The map has 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.

The developments with the most activity in the last 12 months were:

  • Renelle On The River at 403 N Wabash keeps appearing on these lists - presumably because the units keep dribbling out. The 18 story building was developed by an affiliate of the Belgravia Group and has 50 units, 38 of which had activity in the last 12 months. A number of these closed so I don't expect the building to appear towards the top of the list next year.
  • Three Sixty West at 360 W Erie in River North is another Belgravia development with 38 3-bedroom units, 34 of which had activity in the last 12 months. Looks to me like they are at least 80% sold at this point.
  • The Hayden at 1109 W Washington in the West Loop was designed by Booth Hansen and built by Sulo Development. It has 28 units, all of which appear to have been sold at this point. 27 of these units had activity in the last 12 months.
  • Triangle Square Condos, yet another Belgravia development at 1701 W Webster, is in West Lincoln Park, though they are trying to convince everyone that they are in Bucktown for reasons I don't understand. This early stage development is a good example of how these numbers work - or don't. There are 66 units in the building and I think only 13 have sold thus far. Yet, only 24 are showing activity in the last 12 months because they're not all in the MLS.
  • The Vista Tower at 363 E Wacker was designed by Jeanne Gang and is being developed jointly by Magellan and Wanda. The activity in this building ia also a bit under-reported. It will contain 406 condos and 210 hotel rooms but it's only showing activity with 24 units in the last 12 months. This is partly due to the fact that a lot of the units were sold more than 12 months ago (but haven't closed yet) and others are not on the market.

 

Chicago New Condo Construction By Neighborhood

Aggregating the activity by neighborhood we see that West Town is again at the top of the list this year but is blowing everyone else out of the water. It has twice as much activity as the next most active neighborhood (Lincoln Park). In general the activity is concentrated closest to downtown and in the higher income neighborhoods. It's obviously skewed north of downtown. The Near West Side, which contains the West Loop, has dropped a few rungs in the rankings as activity has slowed down a little from last year.

New Chicago condos by neighborhood

West Town remains, far and away, the most popular neighborhood in Chicago for new condo construction.

When you look at the average list price of condos across neighborhoods you can see some of the appeal of West Town. Besides being really close to downtown it has much cheaper prices than some of the other popular areas. Well, cheap is relative. The price of the average new condo with activity in West Town was just under $700K. All these areas are pretty expensive. The top 4 all average above $1 MM and the Near North Side averages above $2 MM, while the Loop averages above $3 MM! You have to go all the way down to Albany Park to hit an average below $500 K and all the way down to McKinley Park to get below $400 K.

New Chicago condo prices by neighborhood

No surprise that the most expensive new condos in Chicago are either in or very close to downtown.

Of course, average price doesn't tell you much because size matters too. So I can attempt to calculate an average price/ Sq Ft by neighborhood. I say "attempt" because a lot of units don't have their square footage listed. So my estimate is only good to the extent that the units with square footage are representative of the units without square footage.

Summarizing the result by neighborhood we see that the prices/ SF do sorta parallel the unit prices above, suggesting that it's the price/ SF driving those differences above. For instance the Loop is not quite 3 X as expensive as Lake View. But we also see that West Town dropped down a few notches from the previous ranking. What that probably means is that West Town units are probably a little larger on average than units in other areas - and it's the cheapest neighborhood per SF for an area so close to downtown.

Anyway, those are some huge differences across neighborhoods in what you pay for a square foot of space in Chicago! The top 4 neighborhoods are head and shoulders above the rest.

Average new condo price per SF by neighborhood

And you pay a significant premium for close proximity to downtown/ to live in a high income neighborhood

#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 or get an insider's view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry 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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