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Chicago North Side Spring Resale-Home Market Is Lava Hot

Chicago’s North Side spring resale single-family home market is lava-hot despite the illegal firearm lead flying through the air in some Windy City neighborhoods.

Home sales volume spiked into record territory across Chicago’s North Side during the April-June quarter of 2021, a feat achieved despite a shortage of single-family listings.

Combined sales of attached and detached homes totaled 4,470 transactions, which is the most since at least 2006 and likely an all-time high for the second quarter, according to the quarterly Chicago North Side Market Report prepared by Mary Jo Nathan of the Charese Team at Compass Roscoe Village, 2044 W. Roscoe St.

It was not surprising that sales were up sharply over last year’s second quarter when the pandemic lockdown that began in March significantly slowed spring home sales, said Nathan, a 20-year brokerage veteran. Second quarter sales this year came in 110.6% above the same period last year. More notably, they were also 40.9% higher than in the second quarter of 2019.

The North Side Market Report analyzes MLS data and tracks home sales in nine community areas: Edgewater, Lake View, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Near North Side, North Center, Rogers Park, Uptown and West Ridge.

“The comparison with 2019 gives a good sense of just how strong demand has been, and it also partially explains why inventory levels remain quite low by historic standards,” explained Nathan.

“If you combine the on-market inventory at the end of June with the homes sold during the second quarter, the total last year was about 5,500 units. This year it was around 8,000 units, so there were many more homes on the market, but they didn’t stay there. Most sold quickly,” Nathan said.

Aside from the big jump in sales volume, the overall market looked fairly placid in the second quarter. The median price of all homes sold was $395,000, up just 0.9% from the same period last year but a record for the quarter. The average time it took a home to find a buyer was 80 days, down from 86 days a year earlier.

However, that picture is somewhat deceiving, according to Nathan, because the attached and detached markets delivered strikingly different results on home prices and market times during the second quarter, even as the sales volume in both categories increased by similar percentages.

Detached single-family home sales on the North Side were up 108.4% to 448 units, while attached sales—condominiums, townhomes and co-operatives—which have long dominated the North Side market, rose 110.8% to 4,022 units. In both categories, the increase in second quarter sales was about 40% when compared to those same months in 2019.

“Sales of smaller, less expensive condos were depressed more by the pandemic than were sales of larger units, but now those smaller units are selling well again, and that has changed the mix and impacted the median,” she said.

Demand for attached units was especially robust in Lake View, with 989 sales, a gain of 104.3%; Near North, with 964 sales, a gain of 123.1% and Lincoln Park with 636 sales, a gain of 117.1%. Yet, the biggest winner was West Ridge, where 148 sales represented an increase of 155.2%.

Every North Side neighborhood also saw an increase in the median sales price of detached homes compared to the second quarter of 2020, with Near North enjoying the largest gain at 85.2% to $1.88 million.

The median price was up 37.6% in Rogers Park to $622,500, up 30% in Lincoln Square to $945,750, up 17.6% in Lake View to $1,354,950, up 16.1% in Edgewater to $900,000, up 14.4% in North Center to $1,150,000, up 13.3% in Lincoln Park to $1,700,000, up 9% in West Ridge to $425,000 and up 8.6% in Uptown to $1,020,500.

Mortgage rates falling again

Affordable home-loan rates in recent months also buoyed the market. Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey reported on July 15th that benchmark 30-year fixed home loans nationwide slipped to 2.88%, down from 2.90% a week earlier. A year ago, the 30-year fixed-loan average was 2.98%.

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

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