What to watch for in Real Estate in 2017

What should we expect in real estate in 2017 across the Chicagoland area? Will 2017 prove to be a year full of growth in Chicago or will rising interest rates temper growth? Will rent prices decrease due to excess multi-family building or will demand rise and keep up with supply? We all have our own thoughts and opinions; I’m sure you know I have mine. However, regardless of your opinions of the future of the economy, Chicago real estate or the real estate market as a whole, here are a few things to keep an eye on in 2017 in Chicago real estate.

1) Interest Rates

The Fed raised rates in the last quarter of 2016 and is expected to do so two to three more times in 2017. Sub 4% interest rates for a 30yr fixed is no longer in our vocabulary, but how high will interest rates go? Keep an eye out for how consumers react to rising rates. While the economy appears to be very robust and we are at what is considered full economic employment, it will be interesting to see how rising interest rates affects home buyer sentiment. In order to get a feel for the market talk to Realtors and talk to mortgage brokers to see how rising rates are influencing their clients decision making process.

2) Increased programs for low down-payment buyers

In the recent year we’ve seen several new programs come out that are what I call, FHA alternatives. They’re essentially low down-payment programs or programs that give rebates or closing cost credits that allow you to purchase a place with as little as 3% down. As these programs gain more momentum and awareness it will be interesting to see a couple things

a) How long will these programs last

b) How these programs are influencing demand in certain price ranges and areas

3) Keep an eye on how rental supply will influence both the rental and sales market

Increased supply on the rental market can greatly affect both the rental market and the sales market. Rent prices have increased drastically in the past 5 years in Chicago but they’re currently peaking and vacancy rates have increased in multi-family. New buildings are offering concessions as high as 2 months free. With more than 4500 units coming to the market in 2017, will people put off buying in favor of taking advantage of rent concessions? What happens if not only concessions increase but rent prices decrease as well? This coupled with rising interest rates could have first time home buyers thinking twice.

4) Supply….

Depending on the price range you’re looking in, supply is still low relative to the amount of buyers in the market place. We’re seeing increased supply of new construction in areas such as Ukrainian Village and increased high end supply in the Near North area but besides this supply has remained low which has help prices increase over recent years. Keep an eye on two things

a) New construction has been selling at a huge premium. Watch it’s market time in 2017

b) Will we see more existing construction come on the market to compete with new construction in 2017? Existing construction has been selling much cheaper than brand new construction. With rising interest rates existing construction may be more appealing given its lower price point.

5) Everything is wonderful…keep an eye on everything wonderful

Unemployment is at all time lows. Interest rates are still at all time lows despite recent rises. Property values in prime neighborhoods are at 2006 levels. The equities markets are booming. Startups are everywhere. Getting VC funding for new companies is like taking candy from a baby. Everything is going well. Keep an eye on leading indicators in all sectors of the economy that may signal a slow down. In real estate I am specifically watching the following in Chicago

A. Market Time of both existing and new construction

B. Absorption rate (How long does it take to sell all properties on the market if no new ones come on the market).

C. Price to rent versus the price to buy the same property. Currently it makes sense to buy given the increased rental prices. If rent prices decrease this could become a slippery slope.

 

The above is not meant to be a negative outlook or a “debbie-downer” of the real estate market. Personally, I think there are some areas that are a bit over valued but others that are very much under valued. I think the Chicago real estate market is strong, however, I do believe we’re now in a normalization of the market where prices will increase minimally to moderately each year and I think we will see rent prices decrease in the coming years.

Does this mean I shouldn’t buy? No, it doesn’t mean that. In some situations some people maybe should not buy. In others they definitely should. Each persons situation is different and that is why working with a Realtor that is completely transparent and honest with you is always the best policy. Anyone who tells you that buying is always the best option is nothing more than a salesman.

 

Paul Blackburn is a licensed Real Estate Broker and Realtor with @properties in Chicago. Paul has been selling real estate since 2007 and is part of the Skowron Group which has sold in excess of $100 million in 2016 alone. For further information or questions please feel free to contact Paul directly at Paul@pblackburn.com

CHICAGO RENTAL BUBBLE ABOUT TO BURST?

The Chicago rental market has been on an upward swing since 2010. Downtown Class A rents are up 36% (on a per square foot basis) since 2009 according to Appraisal Research Counselors. But is the end near? I don’t know about you, but every time I speak with someone in multi-family or read an article regarding an apartment sale, I am feeling reminiscent of the 2005 and 2006 sales market. Before I go into a rant regarding the current state of the market, let us back up and discuss the rental market in Chicago over the past decade.

Rental prices sharply declined toward the tail end of the first decade in the 2000s for several reasons. When the economy was still ticking along rental prices remained flat or only saw nominal increases (in some cases decreases) due to the fact that mortgages were not only easy to come by, but cheap to get. Factor in increasing property values and the ability to gain quick equity and everyone and their dog was buying a condo. It made more sense to buy at the time and home ownership in Chicago was at an all time high (71.2% in 2006). Less renters and more buyers meant lower or flat rents and more vacancy in rental buildings. Once the economy started to soften at the end of 2007 and then drastically so in 2008 and 2009, we saw rents decline even further. The other item to remember is during the 2000s very little new construction apartment buildings were built. ALL developers were focused on condo buildings. In addition, some existing supply of apartment buildings were converted into condos (10 E. Ontario, 440 N. Wabash…think American Invsco and Crescent Heights). Now the year is the end of 2009 and 2010. People either 1) cannot afford to buy, 2) cannot get a mortgage or 3) are still hungover from the crash of the market and are afraid to buy. These people then are forced to rent. Remember what I just said about no new construction of apartment buildings in the past 10 years? Remember what I just said about apartment buildings converted into condos? Well, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what happened – supply on apartments were low but demand was now high. Home ownership was dropping for the first time in decades and therefore rents started spiking.

Rent prices in 2007 and 2008 were quite low in Chicago. The rent increases of 2009 and 2010 and even 2011 were simply making up for lost time. Recovering back to where they should have been had the mortgage market not been flooded with such toxic mortgages that ended up contributing to not only the decline in rental prices but the collapse of the entire financial system. But then something strange happened…rents continued to increase and developers took note. Developers could not get a construction loan to save their lives to build a condo building, but if they wanted to build a 500 unit apartment building backed by secure rents…it was like stealing candy from a baby. Financial institutions could not wait to lend money to developers and developers could not wait to get back in the game.

Why would developers want to become landlords you ask? Are they not in the condo game? Don’t they want to sell? Well, here is a secret – developers are not in the landlord business. They have ZERO interest in being so. Once developers saw the increase in rents and what institutional investors were paying for these apartment buildings they knew they could build a building, with cheap money, partially fill it and then sell it off. Guess what – that is what almost all have done in Chicago. EnV (161 W. Kinzie), 111 W. Wacker, North Water Apartments…just to name a few, were all flipped for a big profit. Developers simply went back to what they knew how to do: build and sell.

The Chicago market LOVED it. After all there had not been any high end rental buildings built in quite some time and renters craved new construction. Each building that opened up after the next had better amenities and better finishes. Renters hopped from building to building and had no problem paying the exorbitant rents. Prices were increasing double digits year after year. Then more developers rushed in and we are sitting where we are today. The question we must now ask ourselves is “Is this market sustainable?”

Is this market sustainable? That is a good question to ask don’t you think? This was a question asked to developers in 2005 in which nearly 100% responded with “Yes….” and then gave some bullshit answer derived from misconstrued facts and skewed data. But, what about now? Will we see a market crash in rentals like we did before? Well…lets check out some facts.

Here is a list provided by Appraisal Research Counselors of new rental units added in downtown Chicago. Keep in mind we are only talking about downtown Chicago and only talking about top tier buildings.

2013: 2,750 units     2014: 2,000 units    2015: 3,100 units and projected in 2016 an additional 3,500 units and in 20017 an additional 4,500. 

This is only downtown Chicago. This does not count north side markets and this certainly does not count any suburbs.

Rents have continued to increase even as new supply has come on the market. There are many reasons for this. Millennials continue to rent as opposed to buy. Baby boomers are coming into the city and renting second homes or selling their home in the burbs and making their rental in the city their primary residence. Job growth in Chicago is steady (it is doing well, but not amazingly well) and lets face it, people love new construction. Home ownership has declined back to 1999 levels in the city of Chicago as well. These are all great factors and reasons why the market has done well, but this is not the only data that we should consider. The most important item to consider is the following: VACANCY. Vacancy is the ultimate determining factor. During the real estate boom of the 2000s the major factor that would have let you known the market was cooling off way ahead of a decline in prices was market time and number of homes on the market. We saw market time increase and number of homes on the market start to increase 1 year before pricing actually peaked. 1 full year…it goes to show you how slow the real estate market is to react to change. There are many reasons for this but the main reason is because most investors and many of us brokers in sales love to have blinders on and simply focus on only the good and not the bad. No one likes the bear in the room.

So, here is a fun fact for you. Apartment occupancy rates on a national level decreased for the first time since 2009 last quarter. Specifically in Chicago Class A (top tier luxury rental buildings) occupancy rates went from 94.2% in the 3rd quarter of 2014 to 93.7% in 2015. This may not seem like much of a change, only half a percent but it is drastic. In 2006 for instance, due to many apartment buildings being converted to condos, occupancy was at 97%. In 2007 and 2008 we saw occupancy dip to 91%. We are really only dealing with a small percentage range of occupancy between the lowest occupancy we’ve seen in a while and the highest. Therefore, a half a percent year over year is something to take note of.

So we have looked at occupancy and we saw it decline a nominal amount. What else should we be considering? Well, let us consider new units projected. Perhaps, if not many new units are coming online then the market will be fine.

Well, in 2016 and 2017 a total of 8,000 new units will be coming to market. This is more than 2013, 2014, and 2015.

During this winter I’ve seen more buildings offer concessions than I have in several years. I’ve seen rent prices at some buildings in downtown down 20% from their summer prices PLUS 1 month or 2 month concessions offered. Some will say “but prices always decrease in the winter.” While this may be true; what I would like to note is the amount prices have decreased this winter is more than years prior and the level of concessions have increased more than years prior.

Continue to bear with me here!

Restaurant Theory:  Pretend a new hot restaurant has opened up. During the “Hot” time of 6:30pm to 9:30pm getting a table is impossible. But you really want to try this restaurant so you go at an off peak time, maybe 5pm or 4pm or 10pm. You walk in and you notice how crowded the restaurant is during that off-peak time. You think wow, this restaurant is doing very well! Once that restaurant starts to loose its luster and is no longer as desirable any more, the first sign would be 4pm diners will stop dining. People will no longer wait until 10pm to eat dinner or want to start at 4pm because either 1) They don’t feel that inconvenient time is worth it or 2) They’re able to snag  reservations during peak times. Now, if you were just looking at the number of tables full between 6:30pm and 9:30pm you might think that restaurant is doing very well. You might think that the sky is the limit and this restaurant needs to expand! But what you’ve failed to realize is that there is already a sign right in front of you that demand is starting to taper off and that would be the fact that less diners are there during the less desirable times. If you only looked at the peak times then your understanding of the restaurant would be mistaken.

Obviously the rental market is very different from the restaurant business, but basic observations of supply and demand can be looked at in the same way. It is important to understand the leading indicators in the rental market. These leading indicators are occupancy rates (vacancy rates) and rent prices and concessions during the slow months of the year.

My Thoughts

If you’ve made it this far thank you for reading through my long winded blog. I’ll keep my thoughts short. The rental market party is over, plain and simply. It may take another 3 quarters for us to start to see price adjustments in the downtown market, but we will see price adjustments eventually. As occupancy rates continue to slide, especially among buildings that are now owned by institutional investors, they will have no choice but to lower rents or increase concessions to attract renters. I believe this will be most prevalent at the end of 2016 / beginning of 2017 as we head into next winter and see the new 2016 supply hit the market. Overall, I do not see a CRASH in rental pricing, but I do see a decrease on the horizon and I would not be surprised if we see rents decrease in Class A buildings by 10% over the next 2 years.

Gut rehabs the next wave in Chicago Real Estate?

New construction condos in Chicago are few and far between. Large scale new developments were mostly halted in 2008 and even though demand for new construction is high in Chicago banks are not willing to take the risk and offer developers construction loans on a 300 or 400 unit condo project. With the majority of new buildings in Chicago at least 5 years old the question is “What is next for Chicago condos?”

Gut Rehabs

With no new construction condos in the downtown neighborhoods many are turning to older buildings and buying “dated” units with the plans of gutting and rehabbing the units with all of today’s modern finishes and conveniences. Newer construction buildings (built between 2003 and 2008) are still selling at a premium as the finishes are “nice” and still acceptable. However, over the past decade tastes in finishes have changed a great deal. Those wanting the most updated and modern look in the downtown neighborhoods are really left with only one option: Do It Yourself….well hire it out but still “rehab your unit.”

Many older buildings have also started modernizing their hallways, amenity floors, lobbies and elevators. These capital improvements along with a cheaper price point, which allows buyers to customize their own units, are allowing old buildings to give new ones a run for their money.

If I am thinking of buying in an older building and customizing a condo; what should I look for? What should I watch out for?

 

Buy in a building that is not afraid to spend money:

It is important to buy into a building that is constantly modernizing itself. Buildings that haven’t completed any capital improvements in over 20 or 30 years are not and will not be able to compete in the market place. Updated hallways, lobbies and amenities are key. While these updates do cost money and may mean higher assessments, you will see a greater return on your investment in such buildings. Buildings that choose not to update will eventually have to (at some point new elevators and new fitness equipment will be a must) and that cost may come as a special assessment anyway. In the meantime however those buildings start to develop a reputation of “old and tired.”

Structural obsolescence caused functional obsolescence!

Consult the building engineer, an architect and a great contractor on exactly what you are able to do with your unit before buying. Many older buildings may have large living spaces but small bathrooms and small kitchens. Current trends are open, expansive kitchen spaces, large closets and well sized bathrooms. Make sure plumbing, electrical and structural walls are able to be modified to allow the reconstruction you so desire. You can update a unit all you want, but if the floor plan is poor then you will not see a good return on your investment. Many times a small change in the floor plan will earn you your greatest return.

Take advantage of what old buildings have to offer!

Location, Location, Location. Many times older buildings have some of the absolute BEST locations and BEST views in the city. Take advantage of this! If you are interested in a building on Lake Shore Drive then make sure you have a great view of the lake. If you are interested in a building in the heart of the Gold Coast then get a south view so you can see the entire skyline and the lake. This may seem like a no-brainer but you’d be amazed at how many people look at only the price tag when they’re rehabbing a unit versus looking at the entire package of what a unit has to offer.

Wider is better!

One of the biggest downside to some of the newer construction buildings are the long and narrow floor plans. Many times this is done to maximize the number of units in a building. Many older buildings have wide floor plans. Wide floor plans are almost always preferred as they offer much more window space. In addition, newer buildings have taller ceilings (9 or 10ft) whereas many older buildings only have 8ft ceilings. A wider floor plan, which allows for much more light will make ceiling height feel taller versus a long narrow floor plan which will make a unit feel “closed in.”

Assessments

Older buildings typically have higher assessments simply because they are less efficient and more costly to maintain. It is very important to see how an association is spending their money. High assessments are not necessarily bad so long as you are getting something in return such as a building that is constantly updating and modernizing itself. A building that has high assessments because they are always “fixing things” versus “improving things” is a building that you will likely want to stay away from.

 

Paul Blackburn is a licensed Illinois Realtor and Broker with @ Properties in Chicago. He can always be reached via phone or e-mail at Paul@PKBlackburn.com

When Should I start Looking for a New Apartment to Rent? In Chicago

One of the questions I ALWAYS get asked, whether by friends or by clients, is “When should I seriously start looking for a new place to rent?” How many days before I need to move should I start shopping?

In Chicago the best time to start looking for a place to rent is roughly 60days out. Privately owned condos come on the market for rent at various times. If you’re looking for August 1st for instance you may see a privately owned condo his the market anywhere from June 1st or sooner or you may see them come on the market at the end of July. A great rule of thumb though is to start looking 60days out. Make sure when you are looking that you are only looking at units that fit your move in date. The rental market is extremely hot right now so owners have absolutely zero incentive to keep a place vacant for a tenant. For instance if a place is available for August 1st, owners will not hold it for September 1st.

With all this being said though it is never too early to start looking online! You can always look online and even have a Realtor send you listings in order to start to get an idea of what your money can buy you. This is extremely important in the current rental market as places rent fast (typically in a few days). Looking online for a while before actually shopping for a place will allow you to understand what a great deal is as soon as you see it and then you can jump on it!

3750 N. HALSTED – New Development Barry & Halsted in Boystown

There is a new buzz around Lakeview and that buzz is centered around a vacant lot, used for parking, at 3750 N. Halsted. For those of you trying to picture this space it is the lot just south of the iHop on the corner of Barry & Halsted. The development is proposed by JDL Development and is proposed to consist of 347 Condo Quality RENTAL units in addition to 369 parking spaces and 46,000sf of retail space.

The project has unfortunately gained the attention of some in the neighborhood who do not want it built. They feel the project is too big and the amount of rental units will saturate the rental market in Lakeview. Others are concerned about the amount of increased traffic while those at the buildings on Grace are concerned about having their views blocked.

If you stand in the vacant lot and look north you’ll find two buildings which are equal to or greater in height than the proposed development. If you look to the east you’ll find countless buildings such as 655 Irving Park, 3660 Lake Shore, 3930 Pine Grove…the list goes on. The idea of “flooding” the market with a supply of rentals does not hold water. 3750 N. Halsted is with in the 60613 zipcode and just north of the popular 60657 Lakeview zipcode. Combined these zipcodes are comprised of roughly 110,000 residents. Many buildings were built along lake shore drive in excess of 347 units at a time when population in these zipcodes were much much less.

Many have shouted that they would like to see more family development in the area. Larger units, perhaps 3 bedrooms, maybe town homes. However, at the end of the day, the demand and NEED in the area is for smaller units which the majority of the development is comprised of. When we look at buildings such as 655 W. Irving Park we see small 1 bedrooms and large studios rented in a matter of days. When we look at market times for all of lakeview we find that the market times for Studios and 1 Bedrooms are nearly half that of large 2 Bedroom and 3 Bedroom rental units.

There are also complaints regarding the 46,000 square feet of commercial space. The most common complaint is “there are so many vacant store fronts already, why do we need more commercial?” While on the surface this may sound like a legitimate argument it actually is not. Many of the vacant store fronts are in older buildings and they’re smaller spaces. Furthermore it is very difficult for a small retail shop or any business that needs foot traffic to open up amidst an empty area. Right now, without this development the area is…blahh. There are not many things around, but the area has phenomenal promise with some great restaurants being only a block to the north or a block to the south away. Having 46,000 square feet of retail space open in this area can easily create an anchor location. An “anchor” store or location is one in which people see as a destination spot. They GO TO IT specifically. Such a store in this location would be great as it would increase foot traffic on this slower part of Broadway and Halsted which will actually increase the ability for landlords of smaller vacant store fronts to lease out their space.

Lastly, one of the most important things of any new development is QUALITY. The last thing we want is a developer to walk in, build something, sell it off and leave WITHOUT caring about the quality of the building a couple years down the road. JDL Development is not that kind of developer. They’re known for building very high quality developments in some of the most desirable parts of Chicago. Furthermore, JDL does not plan to “flip” this building like many other developers are currently doing with apartment buildings. They actually plan to OWN IT AND HOLD IT after the development is built.

The building will not be cheap and it will not be poor quality. It will more than likely rent at a premium compared to everything else due to the amenities, location and features. All units will have In Unit Washer / Dryer, they will have Granite and Stainless Steel and the list goes on. Unlike buildings in the area such as 655 Irving, 3660 Lake Shore, 3930 Pine Grove and others, 3750 Halsted will have 9′ ceilings and will FEEL like a condo building, not like a typical rental development.

This development will bring hundreds of jobs to the area while it is being built. It will continue to employ people after the construction is complete and it will also bring roughly 1 Million Dollars of tax revenue to the city.

Paul Blackburn is an Illinois Licensed Realtor and Associate Broker with @ Properties in Chicago. He can be reached with any questions, comments or to inquire about his services at Paul@PKBlackburn.com

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RENT PRICES SKYROCKET IN LAKEVIEW/BOYSTOWN

We all have read or at least heard the stories regarding residential rent prices going up, but by how much? In one of my last blogs I reported that the downtown rental market saw an increase of just over 13% from the same time last year (February through April). However, many of my recent Lakeview clients have started to become frustrated with the lack of good inventory on the market. So, I decided to run my own numbers for Lakeview and this is what I found:

2010 from March 1st to May 15th: 384 Units Rented with an Average Price of $1,554.31

2011 from March 1st to May 15th: 468 units Rented with an Average price of $1,797.15

This is a year over year increase of a whopping 15.6%, a significant difference from the increase downtown. However, what about other areas such as Lincoln Park? Then what about areas further north such as Uptown and Edgewater? Everyone says that Uptown and Edgewater are cheaper to live in than Lakeview but are the same things happening to prices up there?

First, lets start south in LINCOLN PARK:

2010 from March 1st to May 15th: 273 units rented with an Average Price of $1,831.95

2011 from March 1st to May 15th: 304 units rented with an Average Price of $2,053.52

This is a year over year increase of 12.1%

If we head north to UPTOWN:

2010 from March 1st to May 15th: 87 unit rented with an Average Price of $1,393.36

2011 from March 1st to May 15th: 126 units rented with an Average Price of $1,393.40

Virtually no change at all! While more units were put on the MLS for rent, rents remained stable.

Again, if we head even further North to EDGEWATER:

2010 from March 1st to May 15th: 73 units rented with an Average Price of $1,158.22

2011 from March 1st to May 15th: 109 units rented with an Average Price of $1,188.86

This is a 2.6% increase from the same time last year. A very modest increase, something that can be expected in a healthy economy.

So the question is, why are certain areas seeing rent increases and others not? Well, I believe there several factors.

Areas such as Lincoln Park and Lakeview are very desirable. As incomes start to increase again for those who have jobs, these are the first areas people want to live in and move to. For those who are new to Chicago, these are the areas where all the restaurants and bars are. These are the areas where many Chicago transplants may have friends and family living. It is a natural area to look for a place to rent if you are new to Chicago, if you are moving out from your parents home, etc.

What I believe is fueling the demand and increase in the # of rentals for Edgewater and Uptown are area residents who want to get more for their money. Uptown and Edgewater have nowhere near the amount of bars and restaurants that Lincoln Park and Lakeview do, however, they do offer very nice communities and a much great value for the dollar. I believe throughout the year and into 2012 we will see a steady increase in rent prices in Edgewater and Uptown, however, nothing in double digits. Furthermore, I believe we will see continued growth in rent prices in Lincoln Park and Lakeview, however, we are starting to near a ceiling. 15.6% growth in Lakeview is simply not sustainable, especially when there are neighboring communities, along the same transportation routes for a fraction of the cost.

The last contributing factor are the sales prices are condos in these areas. Areas such as Uptown and Edgewater saw a great decrease in prices over recent years, while Lincoln Park and Lakeview simply did not. Therefore, rents have more room to increase in Lakeview and Lincoln Park because housing did not decline to levels that entice renters to give up their flexibility and buy a home. However, in Uptown and Edgewater there are many properties that have declined in price 20%, 30%, and even more in price and the perceived value of buying in these areas versus renting are greater. 


WATERVIEW TOWER – 111 W. Wacker Might be Apartments?

Photo by Stephen J. Serio - Crain's Chicago Business

All those who know downtown Chicago know the above building. The site that was once to be a 90 story luxury tower comprised of luxurious residents and the ever so sought after Shangri-la Hotel has been left only partially started. It has been an eyesore in the downtown landscape for more than 2 years. Several attempts to convert the building to a hotel and office space have failed and there is a new developer that is trying to step up to the plate to see if they can turn their plan for the building into Reality.

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Related Midwest has signed a LOI (Letter of Intent) to enter into a joint venture agreement with the current owners of the property (the original developer’s creditors). Related has a plan for the 111 W. Wacker site that is now “all the rage.” Related would like to turn this site into apartments. The location is fantastic for such a building that it would appear to be a no brainer right? What is holding them back?

Two basic items: Financing and Construction. Converting any existing structure away from its original use can be very expensive. Related may look at the costs to convert this half started structure to apartments and simply walk away. Only research will tell. Secondly, financing can be a concern. While financing has opened up in the past 18 months, and especially so for apartment developers, it is still difficult to come by. Related, however, has an excellent track record and should have no problem obtaining financing. But, we have all heard that before.

What is shocking to me, are the amount of developers moving into apartments. Do you remember the boom times when every developer started building condos? Thousands were coming on-line…well we are seeing something similar here. Crain’s reports that three apartment buildings in the greater downtown area are currently under construction with another 11 in the planning stages. If all 14 projects are able to obtain financing and come to fruition, these buildings would mean that more than 5100 new apartments will hit the market. That is a relatively large number I think. I wonder if the current demand will be sustainable in order to absorb the massive influx of supply.

Since the beginning of 2009 more than 4000 units have alrady hit the market and demand has still outpaced supply. However, what is the tipping point and when will it tip? The big money doesn’t appear to see any end in site. 1 W. Superior place just sold for $320 Million, which equates to $396,000 per unit. The property was last sold in 2007 for $218 Million. Not a bad return in only 4 years huh?