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Chicagoland roundup: Condos and townhomes ascendant, Arlington Heights eases zoning and more

by Timothy Inklebarger

Attached homes under contract on the rise

Chicagoland home sales are lower in 2019 than the prior year, but a report by the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors shows that sales may eventually increase from 2018, particularly among condos and townhouses.

Attached homes under contract increased in May 2019 by 10.1 percent over May 2018, according to the report. Detached homes under contract in May 2019 also were up 5.5 percent from the same month last year.

“As we’ve seen for the last several months, lower-priced homes are selling quicker than more expensive ones, which may be why we’ve seen an increase in the number of attached homes that went under contract,” Michael Gobber, president of the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors Board of Directors, said in a press release.

Areas that saw increases in homes under contract include: Arlington Heights (a 21.4 percent increase); Aurora (11.1%); Bloomingdale (25.0%); Des Plaines (19.2%); Mount Prospect (17.9%); Naperville (11.0%); Oak Lawn (54.6%); Orland Park (14.0%); Schaumburg (17.8%) and Wheeling (77.8%).

“We know many first-time buyers have student loan debt, which typically attracts them to lower-priced single-family detached homes in Chicagoland suburbs,” Gobber said. “But attached homes in suburban areas can also be favorable to first-time buyers because they often have walkable neighborhoods, offer easy commutes downtown, require little maintenance and can come with attractive amenities. Buyers who are interested in an affordable first home should keep an open mind and consider attached homes as well as detached.”

Arlington Heights eases zoning for town center

Village trustees voted unanimously at their June 17 meeting to ease zoning standards to make way for a town center at Arlington Heights’ southern gateway, according to a story in the Daily Herald newspaper. The zoning change allows for taller buildings, fewer parking spaces and smaller sidewalk setbacks.

The 17-acre overlay district is slated for multifamily buildings, restaurants, entertainment venues, offices and possibly a hotel, according to the Herald. Jeffrey Bernstein, principal and co-president of Chicago commercial real estate firm Bradford Allen, which owns several properties in the overlay district, said he believes there’s enough critical mass to begin working on development plan.

Housing coalition looks at renters in Cook County

The National Low Income Housing Coalition has released its “Out of Reach 2019” report, which shows that 43 percent of Cook County households are renters.

That’s compared to the state of Illinois, which showed 34 percent of households in Illinois are renters. Fair-market rent in Cook County came in at $1,044 a month for a one-bedroom apartment, while four-bedroom apartments were at $1,844. Meanwhile, Illinois’ fair-market rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $912 and for a four-bedroom $1,645.

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