When it comes to investing in real estate, the folks in Chicago get it. And those who turned out for our two-day FDIC Chicago auction got some great deals on homes, condominiums, office condominiums and other real estate that should produce excellent returns in the next few years.
Over two days, we had about 240 attendees, including 122 who came to bid in person. Another 36 participated online. We sold 79 out of the 81 properties offered. Most of those — 74, in fact — were residences and commercial properties. As I’d noted when we first announced the auction, this sale consisted heavily of improved residential and commercial properties.
Across the board, the properties sold for prices that afforded the bidders with some excellent values. While many real estate prices have been firming up for several months, they’re still at levels that enable investors to earn excellent returns, and we had a number of properties that were ideally suited to the needs of smaller investors, who figured prominently in the auctions.
Let’s face it: When it comes to any investment, half the battle is buying at the right price. For a smaller investor, that means finding a property within your means. But whether you’re investing $50,000 or $5 million, it also means investing at a level where the rental income provides a suitable rate of return, or at which you’ll be able to make a profit down the road.
Our auctions of bank-owned properties during 2012 have presented just those types of opportunities. Bidders have been acquiring properties at prices that won’t last forever. At the same time, crowds at our auctions have been growing, resulting in solid results for the financial institutions and others for whom we’re helping reduce inventories.
We’ve had great year, and it’s given me a lot of satisfaction to help our sellers reduce their holdings while providing avenues for investors to build portfolios that will make them a lot of money. I have every confidence that 2013 will bring more of the same.