Chicago Condo sales stall downtown in third quarter - Chicago Real Estate Artists

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(Crain’s) — Downtown condominium developers looking for reasons to be optimistic didn’t find many in the third quarter.

Downtown developers closed 229 sales in the quarter, up slightly from 196 in the second-quarter but down from 251 in the year-earlier period, according to a report from Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm.

Psychology may be the biggest force working against condo developers as would-be buyers, worried about prices falling further, wait out the market. The eurozone crisis, contentious debt-reduction talks in Washington, D.C., and volatility in the stock market haven’t helped, either.

“There’s always the herd mentality in purchasing real estate,” said Gail Lissner, Appraisal Research vice-president. “Right now, there’s a widespread reluctance to make the purchase, and renting becomes an easier decision.

Pricing continues to be an important factor in motivating those reluctant buyers, Ms. Lissner said. Once again, developers who cut prices were among the sales leaders in the third quarter….

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