Considering the cold spell we’ve been having in Chicago, seeing the luxury condos that closed in December was a welcome surprise. During the month, a total of 61, $1 million-plus condos sold, reaching a total sales volume of $95 million. Twelve of those properties fell into the “ultra-luxury” category, priced between $2 million and $3 million.
Square Footage, Discounts Key to Top Condos Sold
As we’d expect, the top five condos (by price) had one common denominator: close to 3,000 square feet or more, and going all the way up to 4,800 square feet. I have consistently recommended to my clients purchasing luxury property to aim for that amount of square footage at a minimum, as that is what helps high-end Chicago condos retain their resell value.
Many buyers are coming from the suburbs and trading their single-family home for something with less upkeep. But even as they are consolidating their belongings and trading in yard work for the convenience of assessments, many of them don’t want to find themselves cramped for space if they are moving from a 4,000 or 5,000 square foot home.
Another important note about the top condos that sold is the difference we see between asking price and list price. The buyers of the most expensive condos sold were able to obtain the properties for anywhere from $200,000 to $395,000 off their respective list prices. This is likely due to a few things: it was the end of the year, and many sellers are eager to make a deal and close the sale; and these buyers were able to offer cash, which helps negotiations in their favor. But in the end, the final purchase price appears to have worked in the buyer’s favor.
With that, let’s take a closer look at what the top properties had to offer those year-end buyers:
1201 S Prairie Ave, Unit 2301
Original list price: $3.395 million
Sold price: $3 million
This half-floor condo on the 23rd floor boasts 5 bedrooms and 5.1 baths, making it a great alternative to the single-family home. The property has captivating views of Grant Park, Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline—a must for a luxury condo in the city. Inside, you’ll find a top-of-the-line kitchen with Ernestomeda custom cabinets, Wolf and Subzero appliances; a generous master suite with two walk-in closets and a marble bath with heated floors, steam shower and freestanding tub. Other features include wide-plank herringbone floors, motorized shades and surround sound throughout. And for what you don’t find in the unit itself, you’ll find in the building: The Grant has a 24-hour door staff, indoor pool, gym, sundeck, lounge, catering kitchen, children’s playroom and theater room.
180 E Pearson Unit 6402
Original list price: $2.875 million
Sold price: $2.8 million
Spanning 2,975 square feet high on the 64th floor, this 3 bedroom, 3 bath Chicago condo in the Water Tower Residences has been renovated into an exquisite home. The Water Tower Residences sit atop the Ritz-Carlton hotel, ensuring its residents privacy, discreet service and top security alongside access to the hotel’s renowned five-star amenities like room service, spa, gym and pool.
340 E Randolph St, Unit 4503
Original list price: $2.95 million
Sold price: $2.73 million
Spectacular views are the cornerstone of this downtown building, with unobstructed southern views from every room, including vistas of Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain and Grant Park. This 45th floor 4 bedroom unit spans 2,750 square feet and includes $200,000 in upgrades from the developer: bamboo flooring, extra built-in cabinets, designer lighting, electric shade, top-of-the-line appliances, and a remodeled master bath. The purchase even included two side-by-side parking spaces. 340 E Randolph is a full-amenity building that includes a spa-quality, 4,000 square foot exercise facility, sauna, steam room, lap pool, sky garden atrium, full-service business center and a 24-hour doorman.
1500 N Lake Shore Dr, Unit 20B
Original list price: $2.95 million
Sold price: $2.6 million
This iconic Gold Coast co-op has been meticulously renovated. Its 3,150 square feet include a spacious adjoining living and dining room with expansive lake views, high ceilings and beautifully finished hardwood floors throughout. Other features include a cozy lacquered library that overlooks the lake; a master bedroom with huge walk-in closet; new windows, electric, plumbing and zoned air conditioning with humidity control. The building is full-service, with 24-hour door staff, valet parking, guest parking, an on-sit engineer and is pet-friendly.
25 E Superior St, Unit 4401
Original list price: $2.75 million
Sold price: $2.55 million
Ah, the Fordham. This is a one-of-a-kind, half-floor penthouse in a one-of-a-kind building. Located just steps from Michigan Avenue, this 44th floor Chicago condo offers a generous 4,800 square feet of luxurious space. The property is bright and sunny throughout, with oversized windows in each room that bring in spectacular views of the lake and city in all directions. The floor plan is ideal for entertaining, with a large, open chef’s kitchen, a master bedroom with large bathroom and dressing room, plenty of closets, high-end appliances and more. The Fordham is a full amenitiy building with 24-hour door staff, theater, party room, indoor pool, sun deck, fitness center, sauna, massage room, wine cellar, humidor room and a dog run.
Even though December is a busy, busy time—wrapping up the end of the calendar year, holidays, travel—it’s also proven as a great time to take on making a home purchase, as shown by last month’s sales. These opportunistic buyers were able to work the timing in their favor for big discounts off the asking prices of the city’s top Chicago condos for sale.
If you’re considering a purchase this year, I’d recommend getting started before spring is in full swing. With less competition from other buyers, there’s a good chance that we can negotiate a good deal on a home before the real estate market season is in full swing.
For more information on what’s on the market now or to get started on your home search, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org