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For @properties, earnest money deposits on condos have tripled since last December—not a bad way to sign off on 2011, considering the boost also comes in the middle of this typically lagging month. But all that activity doesn't mean prices are rising yet. (So as hard as it is, resist putting on the little party hats for now.)
Thad Wong, Moxie Wong, and Emily Sachs Wong
@Properties' Thad Wong (with wife Emily Sachs Wong, dog Moxie and the rest of the family in what could be a modeling shot for the Brooks Brothers catalog) takes this sweet ride out for quality time with the kids (and a little extra advertising) whenever weather permits. He tells us the spurt of condo sales comes a month early: 60% of the company's revenues usually arrive in the first four months of the year. There's just a lot of pent-up demand. For those with savings and good credit—well anyone can tell now is the time to buy, Thad says.
Lincoln Park 2520
He tells us new construction will wait until the market burns through existing inventory. The South Loop is the most troubled, with plenty of units available and more under construction. In Lincoln Park, though, only one condo building is going up: Lincoln Park 2520 (above) from Ricker-Murphy Development, Walsh Construction, and GE Capital, and that's the first luxury condo development the submarket has seen in quite a while. Thad hears it's even locking in buyers while under construction. Move-in should begin fall 2012.