Lissner Reports Thing Are Looking Up

by Muriel Glick, SOAR member/Communications Task Force

“Chicago’s downtown real estate market is looking up, so it’s time to stop postponing putting your property on the market,” advised Gail Lissner, senior vice president of Chicago-based Appraisal Research Counselors during her presentation at SOAR’s Residential Network meeting on “Downtown Chicago Housing Trends”

Sixty-five SOAR members and guests attended the meeting on May 15 at the 44th floor party room of the Residences at John Hancock to hear Lissner explain that indications for consumer confidence in real estate is based on an increase in condo resale volume, stabilization of sales prices and absorption of existing inventory. “With only 750 unsold units in our area, property inventory is at its lowest level since 2008,” Lissner pointed out, likely accounting for the year-to-date increases in sales activity of 15% and median prices of 14%.

In addition we’re seeing ‘re-launches’ of never-sold properties, giving units a ‘newer image and greater appeal to today’s home buyer.’” The current 95% rental occupancy, up 5% since last quarter, is also a positive trend for the area and one that will likely remain strong and eventually drive new development or conversions to meet increased rental demand. For the future, Lissner foresees a trend towards “boutique developments”—40-unit residences that are easier to sell out than a 400-unit building.

During the question-and-answer period, Lissner urged residents in older buildings (built more than five years ago) to appeal real estate taxes because savings could be significant and to make a building more salable by sprucing up common areas.

Established in 1968, Appraisal Research Counselors is the largest commercial appraisal firm headquartered in Chicago. It is both a national firm dealing with investment grade property and a neighborhood firm appraising commercial, multi-family and single family properties for local and regional lenders.

View Gail's presentation.