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As Home Sales Slump, Sellers Are Asking: Where Are The Buyers?

October 29, 2019

With a shortage of buyers touring listings this summer, many Chicago home sellers were left scratching their heads, as the market for single-family homes slumped in several North Side neighborhoods, experts say.
 

Total third-quarter home sales activity increased only in Lincoln Park, where it gained 11.1%, and was unchanged in Rogers Park, reported the quarterly Chicago North Side Market Report prepared by Realtor Mary Jo Nathan of Compass.
 

 

The North Side Market Report tracks home sales in Edgewater, Lake View, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Near North Side, North Center, Rogers Park, Uptown and West Ridge.
 

Seven communities posted declines in home sales activity ranging from a whopping -22% in Edgewater to -3.8% on the Near North Side. Other results were -16.2% in Lake View, -12.9% in North Center, -8.8% in Uptown, -7.3% in West Ridge and -4.6% in Lincoln Square.
 

There were 2,640 home sales in the nine community areas that make up the North Side during the July-September quarter, down -7.4% from the total posted a year earlier, but better than the -7.6% decline in the second quarter.
 

The median sales price of homes, townhouses and condominiums rose only 0.9% to $355,000, slightly up from the 0.7% increase for the second quarter.
 

Median single-family detached home prices ranged from a low of $345,000 in West Ridge and $545,660 in Rogers Park, to $725,000 in Lincoln Square, $747,500 in Edgewater and $950,625 in Uptown.
 

In luxury neighborhoods, median detached home prices ranged from $1,082,500 in North Center and $1,232,500 in Lake View, to $1,075,000 on the Near North Side and $1.6 million in Lincoln Park.   
 

“While total third quarter sales effectively tracked those of the second quarter, there were some changes worth noting,” said Nathan, who is affiliated with the Charese David Team based at 2044 W. Roscoe St. “Although the single-family sales activity led the market in the second quarter, attached home sales were the stronger component of third-quarter results.”
 

The sales data cited by Compass is collected by Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC, the regional multiple listing service.
Condos are selling

 

Attached residences—primarily condominiums and townhouses, accounted for 89.7% of all home sales on the North Side during the third quarter. Attached sales totaled 2,367 units—down 6.8% from the same period in 2018, while the median price gained 2.8% to $330,000.
 

Condo and townhouse listings sat on the market an average of 72 days before finding a buyer—14 days longer than the same period last year. Average market time increased to some extent in all nine community areas, topped by a 20-day increase in Lincoln Park, one of the only neighborhoods to post an actual increase in attached sales, gaining 12.6% to 358 units. Attached sales rose 6.4% in Lincoln Square to 100 units.
 

The eight other communities all saw declines in attached sales compared with the same quarter in 2018. Sales were off -0.7% in Rogers Park, -3.1% on the Near North Side, -6.5% in West Ridge, -8.7% in Uptown, -15% in Lake View, -22% in Edgewater and -22.7% in North Center.
 

The median condo and townhouse sales prices rose in five areas: 20.6% in Edgewater, 7.3% in Uptown, 3.2% in North Center, 1.9% in Lake View and 1.2% in Lincoln Square. Elsewhere, the median price fell -11.2% in Lincoln Park, -5.3% in West Ridge, -5.1% in Rogers Park and -3.7% on the Near North Side.
Single-family home slump

 

Third-quarter sales of detached single-family homes on the North Side were down -12.8% compared to the same period last year, while the median sales price for this segment rose 5.4% to $988,237, and average market time declined by one day to 101 days. Nathan said that result reflects the shortage of moderately priced inventory across the North Side.
 

 

Sales activity rose in three neighborhoods: 10% in Rogers Park, 4.5% in North Center and 2% in Lincoln Park. Among the six communities where sales activity fell, four had declines of more than 20%, including Near North, down -55.6%; Lincoln Square, down -32.4%; Lake View, down -28.8% and Edgewater, down -21.4%. Sale also were off -10% in Uptown and -9.3% in West Ridge.
 

Median prices also showed a wide variation in performance though five communities had increases, including gains of 48.9% in Rogers Park, 28.5% in Uptown, 15.6% in Lincoln Square, 2.4% in North Center and 0.3% in Edgewater.
 

The median price in Lincoln Park was unchanged at $1.6 million, while the median was off -4.2% in West Ridge, -8.7% in Lake View and an amazing -58.4% on the Near North Side.
 

“The big price decline on the Near North Side reflects the fact that only four homes sold there during the third quarter and all were outside the Gold Coast portion of that community, where sales prices for detached homes are typically well over $1 million and often are multiples of that number,” Nathan explained.
Gold Coast auction

 

To stimulate the market for a swank Gold Coast mansion at 1316 N. Dearborn, RE/MAX Premier Properties has partnered with auctioneer, Rick Levin, to auction the home on December 3, with a minimum bid of $3.35 million. The owners spent $6.9 million to buy and remodel the 6,500-square-foot home. RE/MAX anticipates three or four bidders and a final sale price above the minimum bid.

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

 

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“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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