New construction condos to quickly disappear

Do you have your heart set on all new wood flooring, stainless steel appliances, dark granite counters, and unbeatable views?  If you’re interested in purchasing a new construction condo in the Chicago area, now may be your last chance.  The availability of these condos is quickly coming to a standstill. 

According to this Chicago Tribune column, there are only 2 new buildings planned to go up in 2011: the 86-unit Ritz-Carlton Residences and the 198-unit Lincoln Park 2520.  In 2012, there are no condo projects planned at all.  This is all according to Appraisal Research Counselors’ report, which surveys the area bordered by North Avenue, Cermak Road, the Chicago River/Ashland Avenue and Lake Michigan.

In the past, on average, about 2400 new condo units are available for sale each year.  So next year we’ll see a total of 284 and in 2012 nothing?  That’s highly unusual for a city that sells thousands upon thousands of units each year. 

This information is good news for current condo owners who are hoping to sell and won’t have to compete with the amenities that new construction brings or the lower pre-construction/early construction pricing. 

It should also help stabilize the market a bit.  If all that’s available is condos for resale, those will end up selling (people need to buy), and we won’t have such a huge inventory of new, new, new … more units available than people looking.

I’ve actually been surprised at the number of new construction subdivisions I still see going up in the suburbs when I drive through.  A lot of that construction looks like it’s stopped midway, possibly because the builders have run out of money or just choose not to work in the cold.  The builders are stuck because they need to build to turn a profit but the number of people buying in this housing market has really dropped. 

If buyers can concentrate on purchasing resale condos and homes, it will help the market pick back up.  It will lessen the inventory until the market gets back on its feet and can start building new construction again. 

What are your thoughts?  Do you think it’s right that there’s nothing new planned for the city in the upcoming years?  Would you like to see inventory go down?  Please leave me a comment or visit me online.

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