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North Side Home Sales Rebound In 2019, But Still Lag Behind 2018

Buoyed by strong home sales in the neighborhoods of North Center, West Ridge and Lincoln Park, residential transactions across the North Side of Chicago turned in a stronger performance in the second quarter of 2019 than in the first quarter of the year.

However, home sales continued to lag behind the sales pace of 2018, according to the quarterly Chicago North Side Market Report prepared by The Wilcox Company.

There were 3,172 home sales in the nine North Side neighborhoods during the April-June quarter, down 7.6% from the total posted during the same quarter a year earlier. Median sales prices rose 0.7% to $370,000.

The North Side Market Report tracks home sales in Edgewater, Lake View, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Near North Side and Gold Coast, North Center, Rogers Park, Uptown and West Ridge based on data collected by Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC, the regional multiple listing service.

Overall home sales activity increased in just three neighborhoods in the second quarter, gaining a hefty 11.5% in North Center, and solid 7.6% in West Ridge and 5.7% in Lincoln Park.

In the six other neighborhoods, sales activity fell from a whopping of 18.8% in Edgewater to a negative 3.7% in Uptown. Sales also declined 5.4% in Lincoln Square, 6% in Rogers Park, 10.1% in Lake View and 17.7% on the Near North Side.

“The North Side market fell back into a more typical pattern, with North Center and Lincoln Park leading the way, as both areas saw sales of single-family homes and condominiums and townhomes increase during the quarter,” noted Mary Jo Nathan, the Wilcox broker associate who analyzed the data.

“The Chicago Market is still a very good market, but sellers must understand it has made an adjustment in recent months,” noted Janice Corley, managing broker of RE/MAX Premier on the Gold Coast. “Properties must be tight and have all the bells and whistles—move-in ready condition by today's standards, painted, clean and no clutter. Most importantly the property must be priced correctly, not based on the last 12 months but on the last six months of the market evaluation.”

Corley said inventory is still low, which explains the decrease in number of units sold and the increase in the median sales price in some neighborhoods.

“As we head to the end of the summer market, it's crucial that sellers get serious about staging their property and pricing it to get the home or condo sold this year,” Corley advised.

“Buyers want to buy now with today’s low mortgage rates, but they also want to make sure if they have an asset to sell within three years, not five years or longer, which is exactly why they have to buy at the right price. Buyers do not want to get stuck in an upside-down situation again.”

Condo sales dominate

The Wilcox Co. reported that attached residences, primarily condos and townhomes, continue to dominate the North Side market, accounting for 90% of all sales in the second quarter.

However, attached home sales fell 7.9% to 2,855 units in the second quarter compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for the quarter was $342,500, representing a minimal increase of 0.7%.

“Even though the inventory of for sale condos has been rising, there is still something of a shortage that can be seen not only on the North Side but also across the entire metropolitan area,” said Nathan.

The average time that a North Side attached home sold during the second quarter was on the market before finding a buyer was 75 days, while the average for North Side single-family homes was 106 days. “Condos that are properly priced and in nice condition sell quite quickly,” she noted.

Sales activity for the quarter was up in three communities, led by North Center with an 11.4% increase to 147 attached units. Transactions were also up 3.7% in Lincoln Park and 0.8% in Lincoln Square, while sales in West Ridge were unchanged at 106 units. Condo and townhome sales fell 17.4% on the Near North Side and Gold Coast. The sales decline was 13% in Edgewater, 9.8% in Lake View, 5.7% in Rogers Park and 3.5% in Uptown.

The median sales price skyrocketed 9.8% in West Ridge, spiked 8.1% in Lincoln Square, and rose 5.7% in Lincoln Park. Median prices were lower elsewhere although only Rogers Park, where prices fell 8.5%, and Edgewater, down 6.5%, had declines of at least 4% or more.

North Side home market

Sales of single-family homes totaled 317 units in the North Side market during the second quarter compared with 332 units a year earlier.

The median sales price of those homes was $1,035,000, 1.8% higher than a year ago, and average market time increased by 4 days.

Sales activity rose in three communities, gaining a hefty 28.9% in West Ridge, 16.9% in Lincoln Park and 11.8% in North Center. Three other neighborhoods recorded minimal single-family home sales for the quarter. Sales fell by one unit in Rogers Park and Uptown, and by four units in the Near North Side and Gold Coast.

More significant decreases occurred in Edgewater, where sales fell a whopping 60% to 14 units. In Lincoln Square, sales fell 20.4% to 43 units, and Lake View was down 11.8% to 45 units.

Rogers Park led the list of neighborhoods recording an increase in the median sale price. Its median rose 21.4% to $500,000. Other increases were in Uptown, up 17.9% to $1,057,500; North Center, up 10% to $1,177,500; West Ridge, up 8.9% to $410,000, and Lincoln Square, up 3.6% to $712,500.

Lower medians were recorded in the Near North Side and Gold Coast—down 37.7% to $1,155,943. The median price fell 16.1% to $1.25 million in Lake View, down 12.2% to $631,000 in Edgewater, and down 2.1% to $1.665 million in Lincoln Park.

For more housing news, visit Don DeBat is co-author of “Escaping Condo Jail,” the ultimate survival guide for condominium living. Visit

“The book is Escaping Condo Jail by Sara Benson and Don DeBat. I would say that anybody thinking about buying a condo, or even anybody serving on a condo board, or anybody who has any connection to a condo, this is must reading—all 600 and something pages. Thanks a lot for a great book!”


Steve Sanders, “Your Money Matters” WGN TV, December 22, 2014

By Don DeBat

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