Gold Coast faces 12-year luxury supply glut

Excess inventory may not push prices down in tony neighborhood

Homes in the Gold Coast (Getty)
Homes in the Gold Coast (Getty)

The Gold Coast has seen some of Chicago’s priciest home sales in recent years. But buyers of big-ticket properties aren’t making much of a dent in the tony neighborhood’s inventory.

As of mid-March, 14 homes asking $5 million or more were listed in the area. It would take nearly 12 years to sell those properties based on the current rate of sales, according to Crain’s.

That’s in stark contrast to the broader Chicago area, particularly the suburbs, where homes are selling faster than they did a year ago. As of December, inventory in the Chicago market was the lowest it had been since 2008.

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The Gold Coast, which encompasses 18 blocks from Lake Michigan to Walton Street and North Avenue, saw three of Chicago’s highest price home sales in 2007. To this day, J.B. and M.K. Pritzker’s $14.5 million purchase of an Astor Street mansion remains the priciest in the neighborhood. Since then, new condo towers have been built in the area.

Now, the pandemic has pushed upper-end buyers into suburban markets including Winnetka, Lake Forest and Hinsdale. Last year, five of the Chicago area’s 10 priciest home sales were in Winnetka.

But homeowners and brokers in the Gold Coast don’t expect values to fall — though some properties have been sold at a discount.

Compass’ Katherine Malkin, who works with high-end properties downtown, told the publication that these homeowners “have an asset sitting on the southeast corner of their balance sheet, and they’re not going to accept a loss on it. They’re comfortable holding it until somebody comes along who values it as much as they do.”

[Crain’s] — Danielle Balbi