If I thought the high end of the Chicago single family real estate market was tepid in 2018 then 2019 was actually pretty cold. I define the high end as anything over $4 MM and there were only 9 of those sales last year compared to 14 in 2018. And Chicago's most expensive home sold last year for a mere $6.2 MM vs. one that sold for $7.5 MM in 2018.
Although most of these homes were in Lincoln Park there were two exceptions, with one in Lake View and one in the Near North Side. The Lake View home was #6 on the list and located on a double lot at 2856 N Hermitage overlooking a park. With 10,000 sq ft of space it sold for $4,297,000, net of a $4997 concession. Tough negotiation? I don't know but it was listed at $4.25 MM and I seriously doubt there was a bidding war so maybe furniture or a cute baby were thrown in? And the sellers did really well on the deal because they bought it for only $3.65 MM in 2011 (but it was built in 2005?) when it was listed for $4.495 MM.
The one that sold in the Near North Side was actually #3 on the list and located on a 22 x 100 lot at 105 E Bellevue. Listed at $5.999 MM, it sold for an even $5 MM, according to the MLS, in February after being on the market for 289 days, starting at $6.8 MM. However, it was recorded with a sale price of only $4.8 MM?!?!?!? And we don't know who bought it because it was recorded through a land trust.
This is the house that had been bought in March 2013 for $2.125 MM by Bill and Giuliana Rancic and then totally gutted. It claimed to be 7213 interior sq ft across 4 levels with 2 outdoor spaces totaling 885 sq ft which means they really packed it in on that lot! However, the old listing only showed it as having 4600 sq ft so someone got it wrong.
The house has 5 bedrooms, 5 full baths, 2 half baths, 4 fireplaces, and a 2 car attached garage. Property taxes were shown at just under $46,000 but that was based on the original purchase price. In 2018 the valuation got kicked up to $2.4 MM but eventually Kaegi is going to catch up with them.
The house obviously has some interesting design features but the most unusual aspect is the dressing room one floor above the master bath with an opening to the bath below. They even had chairs up there so they could watch each other take baths. Hollywood people.
From the rooftop deck you can definitely tell you're in the city since you are surrounded by high rises but you can see the lake peeking out between some of the buildings. The family room leads out to a deck above the garage that looks pretty cool.
If I can digress for a minute...this was a $6 MM listing and I had to go to the floor plans to figure out what I was looking at since none of the photos had captions. Seriously?
#2 on the list was a 13,000 sq ft home at 1939 N Howe on a 66 x 125 lot with 8 bedrooms, 9 full baths, 2 half baths, 3 fireplaces, and a 3 car garage. Property taxes were shown as just under $137,000.
They have been trying to sell this home since October 2016, starting at $9.2 MM. Finally, it sold in September for $5.5 MM after 4 price cuts and one change in realtors. The final list price was $6.25 MM, which just goes to show you that, when it comes to homes in this price range, nobody really knows what they are worth - or, alternatively, their value is determined by whatever buyer just happens to be in the market for a home like this at that time. Those buyers are recorded as Bohao Pan and Yang Han. There is a trader named Bohao Pan that works for Jump Trading in Chicago and I'm guessing they are one and the same person.
This home was contemporary at some point in the past but, even though I could have moved right in and been very comfortable, now those finishes are dated for today's buyers. The nicest feature of the home is the central courtyard surrounded by overlooking terraces but I think I would have had the sellers power wash the courtyard stones.
Again, no photo captions?
The single most expensive single family home sale in Chicago in 2019 was a 9300 sq ft new construction home on a 36 x 124 lot at 1821 N Howe with 7 bedrooms, 8 full baths, 1 half bath, 4 fireplaces, and a 3 car garage that closed for $6.2 MM. It was built by Environs Development which owned 5+ adjacent lots with this approximate address which they were going to build a luxury condo building on. However, they eventually tried marketing bigger single family homes at higher prices but then scaled back their plans. For instance, the original listing at this address was for a $10 MM home on a 50 ft wide lot. They also marketed a $14 MM home on a 75 foot wide lot at 1823 N Howe and a $13 MM home on a 66 foot wide lot at 1819 N Howe for a while but pulled those listings. 2018's second most expensive home was built on a 33 x 124 portion of this plot with the address 1825 N Howe and sold for not-quite $6.8 MM.
Here is the MLS description for this home:
Introducing 1821 Howe. Offering every imaginable space for gracious living, construction is now complete on this breathtaking residence from Environs. Situated on a 36-foot lot & a half on prestigious Howe Street and comprising 9,300 square feet, the home features a five stop Elevator, attached 3 car heated Garage, His and Hers Master Bathrooms and ample gathering spaces for elegant entertaining. Thoughtfully designed to seamlessly blend light-filled interiors with open-air living, the highlight of the home is a 3rd Floor Lounge that flows to a covered Veranda with outdoor fireplace and steps up to a 4th Floor Penthouse Skydeck with panoramic skyline views. This incredible home is appointed with state-of-the-art finishes, gorgeous fixtures and contemporary amenities, all selected with the most discerning eye by Chicago’s most highly regarded Design/Build firm. Move right in to this exceptional residence.
The 2019 assessed market value for this home is around $6.7 MM so the property taxes will be around $134,000. Public information on this home is not complete so I have no idea who bought it.
And with this listing we are 3 for 3 for no photo captions. Sad.
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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.