What Goes Down Must Come Up

Prices rise in some city neighborhoods

Homeowners in a handful of Chicago neighborhoods can pop the cork on the champagne they’ve been saving for the housing market recovery. Meanwhile, there are still a number of areas where residents might want to reach for something harder.

Homeowners in a handful of Chicago neighborhoods can pop the cork on the champagne they’ve been saving for the housing market recovery. Meanwhile, there are still a number of areas where residents might want to reach for something harder.

A top-line review of year-over-year price changes and current inventory levels in 21 city neighborhoods (see chart below) paints a picture of a city still grappling with the 5-year-old housing downturn. But what might be surprising are signs of a turnaround in a number of Chicago communities, as well as recent data showing rising prices throughout the greater Chicagoland area.

Nowhere is the ground more solid than in North Center, located northwest of Wrigleyville, where the average price increased an eye-popping 13% year over year for the period ended 8/31. The big jump can be attributed to North Center’s great fundamentals (schools, housing stock and transportation) and a resurgence in single-family new construction. Other neighborhoods where prices have been trending up are Lakeview, Logan Square/Bucktown and Near North, which includes River North and the Gold Coast.

On the other side of the coin are areas like Uptown and the South Loop, where average prices registered substantial declines and inventories remain high. In between are neighborhoods like Ravenswood, Forest Glen and Hyde Park, where prices are down slightly but inventories are vastly improved.

Big picture, the latest S&P/Case Shiller home price data for Chicago shows an improving market with two consecutive months of price increases (three for condominiums). And if Chicago as a whole is up on a monthly basis, that’s good news even for neighborhoods that are down on an annual one. Let’s hope the positive trend continues.

Of course, stats don’t tell the whole story. It’s important to look beyond the numbers and to remember that factors affecting price, market time and market fluidity vary not only from neighborhood to neighborhood, but also from block to block and even building to building.

In every neighborhood, homes are selling if they’re priced, presented and marketed properly. So contact me if you have questions about buying, selling or anything related to real estate. And remember, I always appreciate your referrals.

YEAR-OVER-YEAR PRICE CHANGE AND CURRENT INVENTORY FOR 21 CITY NEIGHBORHOODS:

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