Another year is behind us, and what a year it was! While 2017 and beyond promise to be eventful in myriad ways, it probably makes sense to focus solely on what’s ahead in the world of condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners’ associations for the moment. In effort to ascertain to what we can look forward, we reached out to various real estate professionals - from brokers to property managers to attorneys and more - in the greater Chicagoland area and asked them what they felt to be the definitive moments of the last year and change, how those moments will reverberate in the year ahead, and for what else associations should be looking out as they manage the day-to-day operations of their communities.
A Trip to the Market
The recession of the late aughts has never wandered far from our collective mind, and its effects are still being felt in a recovering real estate market, if less so now than it has in previous years. This, coupled with the fact of a new presidential administration in the White House may see some changes big and small in the near future.
“I wouldn’t say that we are in a ‘post-recession’ as much as we’re in a holding period,” says Matt Silver, partner at Urban Real Estate and president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®. “The biggest challenges to the national and local economies are continued and robust job growth, favorable tax preferences and significant reform. Locally, property tax increases, city government and state deficits, and lack of budget will continue to have repercussions for the near future.”
Silver also does not see demand for urban residential real estate ebbing anytime soon. “There’s not a slowdown in sight, there,” he notes. “And people want to buy, as it’s still less expensive than renting. The amenities associated with city living, including public transit, parks and commercial and retail offerings, will continue to drive people to trade up or down while reeling in those who miss city life. That said, the suburbs offer amazing opportunities as well, and they seem to play off one another in concert. And it’s important to note that, while amenities are a strong driver in both the rental market and luxury real estate, the vast majority of buyers in the $200k-$600K range are more interested in lower monthly assessments.”
In regard to pricing and availability, Silver observes that “there’s an overwhelming interest among millennials to own a home of their own, spurred, no doubt, by ever-increasing rents. The housing market in the years to come will get a lift from these first-time buyers, so long as there’s enough new and existing supply at entry-level prices for them to engage with the market.”