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The Home Front
Chicago’s North Side housing market – on a respirator gasping for air since late 2020 – is breathing again.

2-May-23 – The market began 2023 much as it ended 2022, with first-quarter sales down by roughly one-third when compared to the pandemic-fueled buying surge that shaped the market from mid-2020 until the second half of 2022, according to the new Chicago North Side Market Report.

North Side home sales totaled 1,683 units during the first quarter of 2023, which was 32.5 percent less than in the same period last year, noted Mary Jo Nathan, a broker in Baird & Warner’s North Center office at 4037 North Damen Avenue, and author of the report.

During the final quarter of 2022, sales in the North Side market were down a hefty 34.2 percent from the comparable period in 2021.

However, home prices showed greater resilience. The median price of all attached and detached sales came in at $380,000 for the first quarter, a minimal dip of only 1.1 percent compared to the same quarter in 2022.

The quarterly report tracks sales of single-family and attached homes in the neighborhoods of Edgewater, Lake View, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Near North Side, North Center, Rogers Park, Uptown, and West Ridge.

Mary Jo Nathan

“Rather than comparing the current market to the 2020 pandemic sales boom, it makes more sense to look at the years just before that, when we had low interest rates but a greater inventory and less pressure on buyers,” said Nathan (left).

First-quarter home sales on the North Side averaged 1,730 units in 2019 and 2020, just before the pandemic, which is 2.8 percent more than in the first quarter this year, according to Nathan.

“That seems like a more realistic yardstick against which to measure what we’re seeing this year,” she said. “And I believe even that decline would be largely eliminated if there were more homes on the market.”

The inventory of homes for sale at the end of March was just 1,656 units, which is 27.3 percent less than one year earlier.

“The continuing shortage of listings has encouraged multiple offers for many properties,” explained Nathan. “Attached listings were down 30.1 percent from a year ago, while detached listings, though still scarce by pre-COVID standards, had a welcome increase of 19.2 percent.”

Sales of single-family homes down along with prices

Sales of single-family homes across the North Side tumbled an amazing 34.9 percent in the first quarter to only 149 units, and the median sales price plummeted 11.5 percent to $1,062,500. The time it took to find a buyer for homes sold during the quarter was 91 days, up from 86 days a year earlier.

Single-family sales activity receded in eight of the nine community areas that make up the North Side Market, with Rogers Park registering an increase of 37.5 percent to 11 sales, while adjacent West Ridge recorded the smallest sales decline of 6.9 percent. Two other areas saw declines of less than 20 percent – Edgewater was down 16.7 percent and North Center was down 19.4 percent.

The steepest sales drop was in Lincoln Park (right) at a whopping 57.1 percent decline, while both Lake View and Lincoln Square saw sales plummet 50 percent from a year ago. Sales fell 40 percent on the Near North Side and 37.5 percent in Uptown.

As for median prices, the picture was more mixed, with gains in five areas and declines in four. Lake View led with an increase of 9.3 percent to $1.529 million. Lincoln Square prices rose a solid 8.2 percent to $1.1 million.

Photo by Jon Bilous

On the Near North Side and Gold Coast, median prices rose 5.3 percent to $2.5 million. In Lincoln Park, prices rose 3.8 percent to $1.65 million. Edgewater eked out a gain of 0.2 percent to $977,000.

In Uptown, the single-family median price plummeted 18.5 percent to $885,000. In Rogers Park, prices fell 12.2 percent to $553,000, while they slipped 10.6 percent in West Ridge to $380,000, and down 7.4 percent in North Center to $1.25 million.

Condo/townhouse market did little better

The attached home market, which consists primarily of townhouses, co-ops, and condominiums, recorded 1,534 units sold during the first quarter of 2023, a hefty 32.2 percent decline. The median price of an attached North Side home rose 0.5 percent for the quarter to $356,750, while average market time fell 10 days to 94 days.

Wikimedia Commons

Attached-home median prices rose in three of the nine North Side neighborhoods. Lincoln Square (left) posted a 12.3 percent gain to $332,500.

Lake View’s median rose 5 percent to $391,250, while in North Center the median of $512,000 was up 4 percent. Edgewater’s median was unchanged at $245,000.

Medians were lower in five areas, noticeably on the Near North Side and Gold Coast, which is the largest attached market. There the median slipped 9.5 percent to $410,000. Uptown recorded an 8.1 percent decline to $240,000, and Lincoln Park, at $490,000, was down 7.5 percent.

Elsewhere, the median in West Ridge fell 3.2 percent to $150,000, and in Rogers Park it slipped 2.1 percent to $188,000.

North Side Median Prices – 1Q 2023