Alexandra Ronan and Justin Zamarripa recently married after meeting at work on a project together. Then they bought their first home, a condo in Bronzeville.
“We were originally going to offer something less than the list price but once we knew that there was so much competition to get this place, we upped it above the asking price,” Zamarripa said.
“It was a lot,” Ronan said. “It was pretty busy. Our realtors are a great husband and wife team, Mr. and Mrs. Faulkner.”
Arnett Faulkner, principal at Howell-Faulkner Group, closed the deal. She and Greg primarily sell on the Gold Coast and Near South Side – and they say the market is hot.
“Because of the multiple vacant lots, there’s opportunities to develop… for new development, both commercial, mixed use and also residential use,” Greg Faulkner said.
“There’s new townhomes, new condos, affordable housing, single-family homes,” Arnett Faulkner said. “Much more affordable then what you would pay on the North Side.”
Starting a year before the pandemic, the ABC7 Data Team looked at property values from 2019 to early 2022. It found Near North Side properties tend to sell for more and are more often on the market. But Near South Side properties have had larger property value increases over the last three years, with the largest increase in the Oakland neighborhood. South Side properties also spend less time on the market.
And real estate on the South Side may benefit from new developments. Among them is a $3.8 billion redevelopment of the former Michael Reese Hospital site, with its own Metra stop.
There’s also the nearly $1 billion Obama Presidential Center, where President Obama has reportedly asked Tiger Woods to take on the Jackson Park-South Shore Golf Project. While it’s far from a done deal, Woods came back with a plan that combines the two courses into one championship course designed to bring PGA events.
Sandy Reynolds invited me to her condo in the South Loop.
“I want the diversity of a neighborhood,” Reynolds said. “And it’s still gentrifying, if you will, I mean, in terms of restaurants and kind of entertainment within the neighborhood.”
Reynolds moved there after selling her Kenwood home for $2.3 million. In 1991, she purchased it for $595,000. Her $3.2 million condo is among the priciest in the South Loop.
“It seemed like a great opportunity to buy here and really have, you know, some investment value there as well,” Reynolds said.
Antje Gehrken, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors, said the market in Chicago will likely get some breathing room in the near future, meaning interested home buyers won’t have to decide so quickly and the bidding wars should calm a bit.
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