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North Side Home Sales Still On A Roller Coaster Ride

Resale home sales on Chicago’s North Side continued a roller coaster ride in May, with prices still trending upward while mortgage interest rates hovered near 7 percent.

Combined May 2024 used home sales volume for Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North Side, and North Center fell by 1.3 percent compared with the same month in 2023, according to the June 2024 Market Analysis for Chicago’s North Side, co-authored by Realtors John Irwin and Jackie Lafferty of Baird & Warner.

“While there are many positive indicators, they vary by neighborhood, price point, and property type,” said Irwin. “The market seems to be moving in the right direction, but progress is slower than anticipated.”

On June 13, Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey reported that benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates averaged 6.95 percent, down slightly from 6.99 percent a week earlier. A year ago, the 30-year rate was 6.69 percent.

“Mortgage rates continued to fall incoming data suggests the economy is cooling to a more sustainable level of growth,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Top-line inflation numbers were flat but shelter inflation, which measures rent and homeownership costs, increased, showing that housing affordability continues to be an ongoing impediment for buyers on the house hunt.”

The 15-year fixed-rate loan on June 13 averaged 6.17 percent, down from 6.29 percent a week earlier. A year ago, the 15-year fixed mortgage averaged 6.10 percent.

The survey is focused on conventional, conforming, fully amortizing home purchase loans for borrowers who put a down payment of 20 percent and have excellent credit.

Baird & Warner’s June monthly market analysis detailed the following real estate comparatives in the Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North Side, and North Center neighborhoods:

Home sales. While home sales volume dropped slightly in May, three of the four neighborhoods reported increases, with only Lakeview dropping – by 13.9 percent. Sales also increased in homes priced over $1 million, while the number of homes priced under $1 million posted decreases in May.

The number of homes that went under contract in May 2024 decreased 3.5 percent. However, contracts on the Near North Side and in Lincoln Park increased, while they decreased in Lakeview and North Center.

Home prices. North Side median home prices rose by 5.1 percent in May, with three of the four neighborhoods reporting increases from 11.2 percent for Near North Side to 8.1 percent for Lakeview.

North Center was the only neighborhood to report a decrease, of 3.8 percent, in median home prices.

May home prices varied by price point and were the reverse of inventory results, Irwin noted. The number of homes priced from $500,000 to $2 million dropped to 22.9 percent from 30.1 percent. Homes priced under $500,000 rose 3.1 percent while homes priced over $2 million rose 5.3 percent.

“Traditionally, low inventory levels can significantly drive up prices, but this has not been the case on Chicago’s North Side,” noted Irwin (left). “While year-to-date prices have risen 8.3 percent, they are lower than the Chicago suburbs and many cities across the country.”

Despite low inventory levels, Irwin said “buyers are still very price-conscious and would rather wait for new homes to come on the market than overpay. Pricing must reflect the true value of the home.”

Listings. Falling inventory levels seem to be the only consistent trend on the North Side, dropping an additional 14.2 percent in May in all four neighborhoods.

Homes priced between $500,000 and $2 million reported the largest drop in listings. The decrease in inventory levels in homes priced under $500,000 and over $2 million were minimal.

Buyer demand. “Buyers are out there, although showings and open house attendance seem to have slowed in the past few weeks,” Irwin said.

Many buyers, he said, are looking for homes in “turnkey” condition.

“Updated kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, and paint colors are very important, as many buyers do not want to do the updates themselves,” said Irwin. “Sellers should consider completing renovation work before they list their homes.”

Said Irwin, gazing into Baird & Warner’s crystal ball, “The market is improving but there are many twists and turns. Buyers and sellers should do their homework before moving forward.”

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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