Brandmeier’s River North Home on the Market; Rosie O’Donnell’s Sale Loss Follows Local Trend

Jonathon Brandmeier, the Chicago radio personality who took over the morning show at WGN Radio in December, has quietly had his six-story River North home for sale since June. The asking price is $5.9 million…

Jonathon Brandmeier's River North home

Jonathon Brandmeier, the Chicago radio personality who took over the morning show at WGN Radio in December, has quietly had his six-story River North home for sale since June. The asking price is $5.9 million.

There is no sign on the house, and neither Brandmeier nor the Baird & Warner agent representing the home, Laura Rubin Dresner, responded to requests for comment, but as of Monday, the home was still listed with Midwest Real Estate Data.

The 11,000-square-foot house has five bedrooms, ten bathrooms, an elevator, and, according to the listing, “the most state of the [art] movie theater imaginable” The master bedroom occupies the entire fourth floor, and there is an attached three-car garage.

Lisa Nicelli (Brandmeier’s wife) and Sunset Trust bought the house from its builder in 2007 for $4.46 million in October 2007, according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. Sunset Trust was also the 1997 buyer of a mansion in Malibu, California, that the couple sold in December.

Without comment from Brandmeier or his real-state agent, I can’t say what improvements the sellers have made to the house to merit asking 32 percent more than they paid for it five years ago. The latest S&P/Case-Shiller home-price data, released Tuesday, shows that Chicago-area home values in February 2012 were 35.3 percent below where they were in October 2007, when the Brandmeiers bought the home. (See below for more on the Case-Shiller Index) The couple’s December sale in Malibu got about half of what they initially wanted for that home.

Another celebrity property, the former home of Rosie O’Donnell in Lake View, is more in line with the experience of most Chicago home sellers these days. O’Donnell’s house closed at $2,102,750 on April 4, a 7.6 percent loss from her September purchase price of $2.25 million.

O’Donnell is not alone in selling at a loss: Zillow reports this morning that 50.1 percent of all Chicago-area homes sold for a loss in March—although, of course, most properties weren’t on the market just six months after their purchase.

In several outlying towns, including Aurora, Carpentersville, Prospect Heights, and South Holland, the sold-at-a-loss figure soared past 70 percent, according to Zillow. The figure was highest in Huntley, where Zillow reports that 89 percent of the homes sold—24 out of 27—went at a loss.

More on Case-Shiller: From the peak, September 2006, to the data released yesterday for February 2012, Chicago-area prices are down 37.8 percent—their lowest level since June 2000. They are down 7 percent from February 2011, and down 2.6 percent from last month.

The news was even bleaker for condos. From their peak in July 2006, condo prices were down 45.3 percent in February, taking them to October 1999 levels. From February 2011, they are down 10 percent, and from January 2012, down 2.5 percent.

Chicago was one of nine major U.S. cities to hit new lows, according to Case-Shiller. The others were Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Las Vegas, New York, Portland, Seattle, and Tampa. Only two cities saw bigger year-to-year price declines than Chicago: Atlanta’s home prices dropped by 17.3 percent from February 2011 to February 2012, and in Las Vegas, the drop was 8.5 percent.

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