Affordable Far North Side neighborhoods lure more buyers in 2019
Loop North News

The Home Front

(Above) 6932 North Sheridan Road in the Rogers Park neighborhood north of the Loop (Chicago Home Photos). Click on images to view larger versions.

If you are hunting for an affordable home on the north side of Chicago this spring, go far, experts suggest. Affordable homes are selling on the Far North Side better than homes in wealthier neighborhoods.

26-Apr-19 – Sales of affordably priced homes, townhomes, and condos in Edgewater, Rogers Park, Uptown, and West Ridge out-paced transactions in wealthier neighborhoods during the first quarter of 2019, according to the North Side Market Report, a new quarterly survey prepared by The Wilcox Company.

Mary Jo Nathan

“Fairly brisk sales activity took place in the northern-most neighborhoods – where existing home prices tend to be the lowest – while sales were slower in higher-priced areas, such as the Near North Side and North Center,” said Mary Jo Nathan (left), a broker associate with The Wilcox Company, who prepared the report.

“The shift in first-quarter sales activity toward the lower end of the market stems from a continued demand for moderately priced condos, while buyers’ interest in pricier condos, townhomes, and single-family homes was somewhat muted,” said Nathan.

The North Side Market Report covers nine of Chicago’s 77 communities – Edgewater, Lake View, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Near North Side, North Center, Rogers Park, Uptown, and West Ridge. North Side home, townhome, and condo sales for the quarter totaled 1,712 units, a decline of 9.9 percent compared with the first quarter of 2018.

First-quarter sales increased in just two of those nine areas. Sales transactions skyrocketed 23.4 percent in Edgewater and 12.2 percent in Rogers Park. Sales in West Ridge were flat compared to 2018 results.

Elsewhere, sales activity dipped. The number of transactions slipped 21 percent on the Near North Side, 22.5 percent in Lincoln Square, and 22.8 percent in North Center. In Lake View, transactions slipped 10.7 percent, while sales eased 6.5 percent in Lincoln Park and fell 2.4 percent in Uptown.

(Right) Kitchen of unit for sale at 4115 North Sheridan Road in the Uptown neighborhood (VHT Studios).

VHT Studios

According to The Wilcox Company, the median sales price rose in three communities during the first quarter, gaining 2.1 percent in Edgewater, 4.4 percent in Lincoln Park, and 8.3 percent in West Ridge. Meanwhile, median prices slipped in six neighborhoods. The declines were 10.8 percent in Lake View, 6.8 percent in Lincoln Square, 11.1 percent on the Near North Side, 8.8 percent in North Center, 7.2 percent in Rogers Park, and 4.8 percent in Uptown.

Experts say the first-quarter median price declines likely were caused by the Polar Vortex in Chicago and the sharp rise in mortgage rates at the end of 2018, which turned off many would-be buyers.

VHT Studios

(Left) An eight-bedroom four-bathroom Tudor-style home for sale at 2841 West Greenleaf Avenue in West Ridge (VHT Studios).

The North Side market is dominated by sales of attached homes, primarily condominium apartments but also townhouses. Here is a breakdown of median condo, townhome, and detached single-family home resale prices for the nine neighborhoods in the first quarter of 2019...

Edgewater. This lakefront neighborhood posted median condo and townhome prices of $224,700. Detached homes in Edgewater sold for a median price of $700,000.

Lake View. Condos and townhomes sold for median prices of $325,000. Detached homes sold for a hefty median price of $1.565 million.

Lincoln Park. Condos and townhomes sold for median prices of $505,000. Detached homes sold for a hefty median price of $1,562,500.

Lincoln Square. Median condo and townhome prices were $289,900. Detached homes sold for a median price of $740,000.

Near North Side. The neighborhood posted median condo and townhome prices of $371,000. Detached homes on the Near North Side, including the wealthy Gold Coast, sold for a whopping median price of $2.365 million.

North Center. Median condo and townhome prices in North Center were $444,000. Detached homes sold for a median price of $1.16 million.

Rogers Park. Condos and townhomes sold for median prices of $171,750. Detached homes in the lakefront neighborhood sold for a median price of $417,500.

(Right) Den with door to patio at 6932 North Sheridan Road (Chicago Home Photos).

Chicago Home Photos

Uptown. Condos and townhomes sold for median prices of $255,550. Detached homes sold for a median price of $727,000.

West Ridge. The Far North Side neighborhood posted an extremely affordable median condo and townhome price of $140,000. Detached single-family homes in West Ridge sold for a median price of $352,500. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

Of the 1,712 homes sold during the quarter, only 10.2 percent were detached single-family homes. Condos and townhomes accounted for 1,537 units sold.

Sales data analyzed by The Wilcox Company was collected by Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC, the regional multiple listing service.

“Demand for affordably priced condos and townhomes is driven more by basic economic factors such as mortgage interest rates and employment levels, both of which were at supportive levels in recent months,” Nathan said.

Mortgage rates up after dipping in March

On April 25, benchmark 30-year-fixed home loans averaged 4.2 percent nationwide, reported Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. A year ago, the 30-year-fixed mortgage average was 4.58 percent.

Sam Khater

“After dropping dramatically in late March, mortgage rates have modestly increased since then,” noted Sam Khater (left), Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “While this week marks the fourth consecutive week of rises, purchase activity nationwide reached a nine-year high, indicative of a strong spring home buying season.”

Many buyers in the affordable segment of the market are first-time purchasers seeking the long-term stability offered by homeownership, Nathan observed.

“On the other hand, more expensive residences are typically purchased by buyers who already own but want something better suited to their current situation,” she said. “However, a wide range of factors, from rising property taxes to the uncertainty surrounding the recent city elections, could encourage a delay in their buying decision.”

 More info: The Wilcox Company

By Don DeBat | Loop North News |


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