In 2016, we’ve seen two major things at the top of luxury buyer’s wish list for a new home purchase: new construction and square footage.
And that was exactly what many of them got last month. September luxury condo sales were unusual on the high end, with a number of ultra-luxury properties at the top of the list. Twelve properties sold for more than $2 million, with the highest sale clocking in at a whopping $8 million. And these homes are selling quite easily—it’s clear that the upper bracket of luxury real estate no longer has to be on the market for a year before finding the right buyer. These homes are selling in just a matter of days.
Looking at the top five most expensive sales last month, four out of five of them offered exceptionally large square footage—4,000 square feet on the low end, and all the way up to 8,000 square feet for a unit at 50 East Chestnut in the Gold Coast. We also saw another sale at 4 East Elm, a new construction building in which every residence is a spacious half floor.
I always find that the magic number for square footage is 3,000 square feet. Buyers who are moving into Chicago are often looking to downsize, but still retain some of the space they had in their home in suburbs. Their effort to “downsize” is often less focused on small-space living, and more in the added conveniences that come with condo living, building amenities and a great location close to everything.
Whether it’s a condo or a single-family home, when shopping for a larger-sized property, it is very important to understand the layout and “flow” of the home, not just the size. There are a number of nuances in certain floorplans that can make a home feel much smaller than indicated on the listing sheet.
For my clients, I always do the research beforehand so that I can establish the square footage of a property before taking them to see it in person. I have worked on a number of large condos and can make suggestions on existing floorplans on how they can be modified to make the most of the space and maximize resale value down the line.
Total sales volume for Chicago luxury condos sold in September reached $90.0 million. Much of that was thanks to a number of high-priced, ultra-luxury properties at the top of the list. Let’s take a closer look at the 5 most expensive sales last month, starting at the top:
159 E Walton Pl, Unit PH
Original list price: $8.5 million
Sold price: $8 million
This double-floor penthouse is a historic space in the iconic Palmolive Building, offering comprehensive views in every direction. This Chicago condo spans 7,880 square feet, with three terraces totaling 600 square feet. The top floor boasts soaring, 14-foot ceilings, while the 36th floor features a gracious living space. The rest of the unit has been configured to include a theater room, card room, billiard room, office and a service kitchen for the patio. While the unit was move-in ready, the nature of the space also offered the new buyer the opportunity to make it their own.
11 E Walton St, Unit 4002
Original list price: $5.15 million
Sold price: $5 million
This 4,000 square foot unit is a rarely available home in one of the city’s most prestigious residences, the Waldorf Astoria. A north/east exposure offers panoramic, unobstructed lake views into the sunny, open floor plan with contemporary design weaved throughout. An eat-in kitchen includes custom cabinetry, stainless steel Subzero and Wolf appliances, a wine refrigerator, an incredible bar with glass sink, stone countertops and more. The home theater could be converted to a fourth bedroom or left as-is. The luxury master suite includes an exercise room, infinity jetted tub, oversized steam shower and large walk-in closet. In addition to sought-after building amenities like a 14,000 square foot spa, fitness center, concierge and in-room dining, this Gold Coast condo also includes an additional coveted feature: a parking spot.
11 E Walton St, Unit 3201
Original list price: $4.79 million
Sold price: $4.79 million
There weren’t too many details on this sold-before-print condo available beyond its 3 bedrooms and 4,000 square feet. Units in the Waldorf Astoria aren’t often available, and this was the second lucky buyer to land one last month.
50 E Chestnut, Unit 601
Original list price: $4.5 million
Sold price: $4.55 million
This is a one-of-a-kind duplex in a coveted Gold Coast Building. This spectacular space offers a generous 8,000 square feet, six bedrooms, and stunning finishes throughout. Spanning two full floors, the condo allows for spacious rooms, great entertaining space and a gorgeous cook’s kitchen. There are also four private balconies and access to a huge building terrace. Just one block off of Michigan Avenue, this location is just steps from all of the wonderful offerings of the Gold Coast.
4 E Elm Street, Unit 20S
Original list price: $4.225 million
Sold price: $4,239,954
The new kid on the block, 4 East Elm, has been the darling of luxury condo sales in 2016. The building is now over 80 perfect sold and closed for its half-floor, new construction properties that many luxury buyers have fallen in love with. Each unit has an elevator entry, luxury finishes and most have expansive lake and city views as well. It’s location at State and Elm streets—in the heart of the Gold Coast—is hard to beat, and the building itself boasts a bevy of amenities like an outdoor pool, whirlpool, sun deck, fitness center, screening room, clubhouse lounge and 24-hour doorman.
There are a number of new construction properties on the market now that I’d love to introduce you to. If you’re in the market for a Chicago luxury condo, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.