What new development trends have you seen in 2015 that that will continue into 2016?
Liz Brooks: Luxury apartment buildings will push finishes and amenities to higher levels as supply starts to exceed demand. We anticipate more rental concessions in the New Year.
New condo offerings continue to grow in size, averaging 2,000 square feet or more. Condo developers continue to enhance their standard finishes to appeal to buyers coming from luxury rentals. High ceilings, expansive windows, integrated kitchens featuring high-end appliances, wood floors and quartz countertops are the new norm. Condos with outdoor spaces, including rooftop decks and terraces, continue to demand a high premium. Room count is meaningful as buyers require flexible space for home offices, playrooms, guest rooms and media rooms.
Chris Coleman: Design will continue to be a big focus for us at William Ryan Homes. We believe that builders who deliver smart designs for today’s buyers will see better conversion rates.
Janet Owen: As the Baby Boomers become empty nesters and move to the city, I see them requesting single-floor living, more casual living space and room for returning children. Many of them are opting for turnkey living and amenities.
What type of housing will there be too much or too little of in 2016?
Chris Coleman: There will be too much uninspired housing design in 2016. We want to develop the neighborhoods that people drive through and say, “These are beautiful homes.”
Janet Owen: Fortunately, Chicago offers a wide variety of housing options ranging from vintage and new condominiums to single-family homes, cooperatives, townhouse complexes, lofts and fabulous locations and neighborhoods. There is a property choice for every buyer.
Leslie McDonnell: Lots of urban or “in-town” development.
New Development Trends
Last year, Christine Lutz and Kathleen Malone got it right when they predicted that buyers would have increasingly high expectations, and they’d place a major focus on amenities like designer kitchens, contemporary finishes and more space. In 2015, new buyers in Chicagoland had their sights set on multi-purpose rooms, first-floor master suites and accessible kitchens, according to ChicagoMag.com. Sustainable home-building practices continued to trend this year, and Chicagoland welcomed the 2015 GreenBuilt Home Tour, featuring green homes selected by the U.S. Green Building Council-Illinois. From Wilmette to Romeoville, the tour emphasized Illinois’ focus on green-building approaches to design and construction geared toward energy efficiency and saving money.