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North-Side Market On Fire Because Of Inventory Shortage

Chicago’s North Side resale housing market is on fire this spring because of a shortage of single-family home inventory and near record low mortgage rates.

“Buyers are lining up for open-house showings, and brokers are seeing multiple offers above asking prices,” noted Realtor Sara E. Benson, president of Chicago-based Benson Stanley Realty.

A recent West Town single-family home open house attracted more than 20 potential purchasers. Benson noted that one serious buyer bid up the sale price to $990,000 from $949,000 for the contemporary-style 5-bedroom, 3.5-bath home.

“Two trends dominated the North-Side market during the first quarter of 2021,” said Mary Jo Nathan, who compiles the quarterly Chicago North Side Market Report for the Charese Team at Compass Roscoe Village. “Demand for homes was exceptionally strong in almost every category, so multiple offers became the norm. Single-family homes are in extremely short supply.”

First-quarter North Side home sales reached their highest level since 2007, with 2,315 transactions closed in a highly competitive market, she said.

Combined sales of detached and attached homes on the North Side were up 32.4% compared with the first quarter of last year. The median sales price gained 3.4%, rising to $377,500.

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

“The inventory picture for single-family homes is reasonable in three areas: Near North, Lincoln Park and Lake View, but elsewhere properties are scarce,” Nathan said.

Overall, single-family home sales during the quarter totaled 208 units, an increase of 14.9% over the first quarter of 2020. The median sales price for those homes was $1,047,500, an increase of 6.9%. Average market time fell 54 days to 103 days.

Nathan reported that the inventory of existing single-family homes for sale on the North Side at the end of the quarter fell 32.1% compared with the same time last year.

Sales of single-family properties were especially strong in Lincoln Park, where 49 sales represented a 63.3% increase. The median sales price rose 35% to $1,785,000. Lincoln Square and North Center also posted solid sales increases.

In four of the nine North Side communities there were less than 10 single-family listings on the market on April 1.

Strong demand for condos

Demand for attached homes, which are primarily condominiums but also include townhomes and co-ops, was also strong. Unit sales of attached homes were up 34.5% for the quarter to 2,107 units, with a median sales price of $345,000, which was a 1.5% increase.

“It was good to see attached home sales increase on the Near North Side, where the market slowed when some buyers seemed hesitant to purchase high-rise units during the early months of the pandemic,” said Nathan. “After three consecutive quarters of falling sales, the Near North Side attached market registered a 3.5% increase in the first quarter of this year.”

Attached-unit sales were up in all nine North Side areas, led by gains of 60.2% in Edgewater, 57.7% in Lincoln Park and 53.1% in Uptown.

Pricing delivered more uneven results, with the median price falling slightly in Uptown, Lincoln Square, North Center, Lake View and Near North. Median prices rose 35.9% in Rogers Park, 17.8% in West Ridge, 14.5% in Edgewater and 7.1% in Lincoln Park.

Mortgage rates at 2.97%

On April 22nd benchmark 30-year fixed home-loan rates slipped to 2.97% from 3.04% nationwide, reported Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. A year ago, the 30-year fixed loan averaged 3.33%. Lenders are charging an average of 2.29% on 15-year fixed loans. A year ago, the 15-year fixed mortgage average was 2.86%.

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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