Chicago is a condo city but don’t underestimate suburbs
Loop North News

The Home Front

(Above) 94,000 square foot clubhouse at the 5,400-unit Sun City in Huntley, Illinois, about 50 miles northwest of the Loop. (Click on images to view larger versions.)

3-Sep-17 – Everyone views Chicago as the dominant condominium city in Illinois, but don’t short-change the seven suburban collar counties, a comprehensive new annual report reveals.

Chicago currently has an estimated 11,336 condo and homeowner associations containing 221,580 housing units. However, a whopping 40,904 of Illinois’ 54,000 condominium and homeowner associations containing 348,159 residential units are located outside the Windy City in Chicago-area suburbs, according to a new comprehensive directory, the 2017 Association Evaluation Report on Illinois Condominiums and Homeowner Associations.

Launched in 2012, Association Evaluation, LLC, a Chicago-based real estate data analysis firm, has more than 54,000 Illinois condo associations and HOAs in its database. Its research revealed that 677 condo associations in Chicago have more than 100 units. It found 24 newly formed Windy City condominium associations in 2016. The projects contain 17 to 406 residential units in buildings that are currently in the development pipeline or recently sold out.

Sara Benson “High-rise condos may create much of Chicago’s world-class downtown and North Lake Shore Drive skyline, but only about seven percent of the residential units are found in these properties,” observed Sara Benson (left), president of Association Evaluation, LLC.

An estimated 40 Windy City high-rise condos – including the iconic 758-unit Lake Point Tower and the landmark 703-unit John Hancock Center – contain more than 500 units, and about six percent of condos are housed in buildings with 100 to 499 units.

According to Benson, most high-rises in Chicago – and the highest concentration of luxury buildings – are located in communities along Lake Michigan, including Gold Coast, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Loop, New East Side, Old Town, and River North.

Other popular condominium neighborhoods include Edgewater, Near South Side, Near West Side, Rogers Park, South Loop, Uptown, West Ridge, and West Town.

Photo by Steven Dahlman

(Above) John Hancock Center (middle of photo) and Lake Point Tower (at right), from DuSable Harbor. Photo by Steven Dahlman.

In 2016, some 17,345 condominium and townhome units were sold and closed in Chicago, compared with only 11,144 detached single-family homes, said Benson, a veteran Gold Coast Realtor and also president of Benson Stanley Realty, based at 980 North Michigan Avenue.

Association Evaluation noted that HOAs are rampant in Chicago suburbs where gated townhome and condo communities abound. The directory notes the sprawling Sun City community, built by Del Webb in far northwest suburban Huntley, encompasses 5,400 units.

The research also revealed that Illinois’ condo and HOA associations contain nearly 760,000 residential units.

Chicago condo numbers

  • 11,336 condo/homeowner associations in Chicago, containing 221,580 housing units.
  • 677 of those condo associations have more than 100 units. 40 contain more than 500 units.
  • Seven percent of residential units are in high-rise condos.
  • Highest concentration of luxury residential buildings is in communities along Lake Michigan.
  • 24 new condo associations in 2016.

The data was gathered by Association Evaluation from physical reviews and Google rooftop checks of thousands of condo and HOA properties, combined with an analysis of Secretary of State records.

“For the second annual Association Evaluation Report, our team of research experts scoured hundreds of sources to pinpoint and profile every condo and homeowner association throughout Illinois – both large and small,” said Benson.

“Our research team exhausted all available resources to obtain this information,” said Michael Reilly (right), chief operations officer of Association Evaluation. “Various quality control checks were administered to ensure the accuracy of the data. In some cases, on-site physical reviews of the premises were conducted.” Michael Reilly

Here is Association Evaluation’s breakdown for condo and HOAs in Chicago and seven area counties...

• Cook County, including Chicago, has a total of 21,923 condos and HOAs containing 338,592 residential units. Some 18,753 of the associations – 70 percent of the condos and HOAs – have less than 20 units, while 3,170 have more than 20.

• DuPage County has a total of 7,384 condos and HOAs containing 88,754 housing units. Some 6,550 of the associations contain less than 20 units, while 834 have more than 20.

• Kane County has a total of 7,228 condo and HOAs containing 45,914 residential units. Some 7,101 of the associations have less than 20 units, while only 127 have more than 20.

• Lake County has a total of 6,578 condo and HOAs containing 50,638 housing units. Some 6,274 of the associations have less than 20 units, while 304 have more than 20.

• Will County has a total of 4,817 condo and HOAs containing 23,724 residential units. Some 4,781 of the associations have less than 20 units, while only 36 have more than 20.

• McHenry County has a total of 3,133 condo and HOAs containing 16,222 housing units. Only 30 of the associations have more than 20 units.

• Kendall County has a total of 1,166 condo and HOAs containing 5,895 residential units. Only 11 of the associations have more than 20 units.

Illinois condos undercounted by national organization

Community Associations Institute, a national trade group, listed a total of 18,500 condominium and HOAs in Illinois in 2015, placing the state in fourth place nationwide.

“Our research team was surprised to learn that thousands of Illinois condominium and homeowner associations were uncounted by CAI,” Benson said. “Apparently, thousands of smaller condo associations and HOAs are not registered with the State of Illinois simply because they are self-managed by volunteer owners.”

Benson estimates that up to 80 percent of existing units are self-managed or controlled by developers.

“With 54,000 individual records, Association Evaluation has compiled the most comprehensive database of condo associations and HOAs available in Illinois,” Benson noted.

Association Evaluation is marketing its condominium and HOA data to service providers such as attorneys, property management companies, landscapers, and remodeling and repair tradesmen, including roofers, plumbers, and contractors.

Prices for the new and currently available 2017 Chicago and Illinois lists – that can be sorted by zip code, city, year of construction, property management company, and number of units in the association – start at $2,500. The data file is sent electronically via email. Clients have a choice of either a .csv or .txt file.

 More info: Association Evaluation

By Don DeBat | Loop North News |

Published 3-Sep-17 1:14 AM

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