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Showing posts from February 18, 2009

Jones Day: Block Shopper's Chop Blocker ?

Blockshopper has been around Chicago for several years now, and recently rolled out a significant expansion of both its local and national coverages. I first wrote about them a year ago.

The beauty of the site is clearly in the eye of the beholder. If you want to know (even more about) who bought the house up the street (and what they paid), the site is just the cat's pajamas. If you just bought a house and want to hold on to a hopeful thread of a delusional belief that there is still a conceptual right to privacy in such matters, the site is a veritable nightmare.

At the end of the day, you really have to hand it to the folks who launched the website. They only publish data already available to the public at large, so its not like they are creating anything new or showing the world anything that the world doesn't already have access to. They are simply aggregating it in a way that no one has before them.

What can the common man do? Not much. Which is why we have lawyers.

Credit …

More Good News for Buyers - for the rest of us? not so much...

Downtown 2008 4th quarter condo sales cratered. As the kids might say, Duh!
Lets try to quantify that. According to Crain's, quarterly sales were actually negative 253 for the quarter.Put another way, more buyers walked away from contract than signed new ones. For the entire year, only 644 new construction condos sold. Compare that to 2007 when 3,724 units sold or 2005 (the market peak) when 8,162 units closed.
So where is the good news for buyers? Another 4,734 condos are expected to be completed this year downtown. This is on top of thousands of other condos that are completed but haven’t yet sold.
Developers are going to be stressed to the max, trying to sell off unsold units. Their lender's are going to start pressuring for loan repayments. The likelihood of developer defaults and foreclosures seems pretty strong.
Then consider the folks who did not walk away from their downtown condo contracts. A great many were "investors" who wanted to buy and flip. Those specu…