Market Conditions: Chicago Sales Drop 15.3% Year Over Year in August

Skyline with Sears Tower Nov 2010

The Illinois Association of Realtors is out with the August home sales and it comes as no surprise to those of us following the market that Chicago’s housing market cooled off at the end of the summer.

Sales were down statewide, in the 9-county Chicagoland area and in the City of Chicago. It was the largest decline in sales in Chicago since 2011.

From the Illinois Association of Realtors:

The city of Chicago saw a 15.3 percent year-over-year decrease in home sales in August 2014 with 2,414 sales, down from 2,850 in August 2013. The median price rose to $270,000 versus $245,000 in August 2013, an annual increase of 10.2 percent.

August sales since 2007:

  • August 2007: 2923 sales
  • August 2008: 2078 sales
  • August 2009: 1927 sales
  • August 2010: 1486 sales
  • August 2011: 1787 sales
  • August 2012: 2209 sales
  • August 2013: 2850 sales
  • August 2014: 2414 sales

August median price since 2007:

  • August 2007: $305,000
  • August 2008: $297,500
  • August 2009: $229,900
  • August 2010: $200,000
  • August 2011: $192,500
  • August 2012: $200,000
  • August 2013: $245,000
  • August 2014: $270,000

The IAR blamed “tighter housing inventory and credit availability” for the slide in sales.

“August rounded out the typically hot summer market with a trend we’ve seen all year. Chicago buyers have fewer homes to choose from yet are finding their desired house in a shorter amount of time,” said Matt Farrell, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and managing partner of Urban Real Estate. “Median home prices are flourishing as a result of these focused buyers presenting their best offer despite the low inventory.”

But is inventory actually lower than last year- when it was also pretty awful? Last year’s IAR press release for August also talked about tight inventories.

And there is no indication that credit availability is any more difficult than it was 12 months ago.

Mortgage rates were actually lower this year than last, averaging 4.1% compared to 4.4% a year ago. If anything, that should have spurred the market, not depressed it. In August 2013 everyone was worried about rising rates.

Sales have been lower year over year every month this year in Chicago except one.

What’s causing the cooling in the housing market in 2014?

Illinois median home prices increase 6.1 percent in August; Home sales down amid tight inventory [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, September 22, 2014]

137 Responses to “Market Conditions: Chicago Sales Drop 15.3% Year Over Year in August”

  1. We already know that sales will be down the next two months as well because mortgage purchase applications are lower by 10% or more compared to last year every week.

    Where have the buyers gone?

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  2. There aren’t many REO’s/forclosures left so investors have left the market for now it seems. It appears as though the housing market has returned to normal levels of volume and price appreciation overall. and apparently 7+3 doesn’t = 10? ok…

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  3. Sales are down but prices on downtown condos are up….interesting.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realestate/20140923/CRED0701/140929972

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  4. lag check–last visible is 8:08.

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  5. wow i thought the lag was fixed but now its worse than ever and I can’t even see my own post from like an hour ago lol

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  6. Whatever was ‘unplugged’ today appears to make the lag worse.

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  7. “I can’t even see my own post from like an hour ago lol”

    That is not new, but it sure is annoying.

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  8. “Whatever was ‘unplugged’ today appears to make the lag worse.”

    The close to hour lag (at least, could be longer) between sonies 9:18 and your 10:13 is pretty bad. Can’t recall it being worse.

    Need to do the opposite of whatev was done, repeatedly.

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  9. can we remove the spam detector stuff? I don’t recall CC having a spam issue. Also now I have to every time authenticate myself before posing, has the setting changed?
    Finally, I suggest we remove the thumps up/down stuff. Not only it is a bit juvenile, it might be making things slower.

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  10. The drop in sales is almost entirely from having fewer distressed sales. Non-distressed sales were off only slightly.

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  11. Mike is right. That’s exactly what’s going on.

    There are a bunch of different ways of looking at inventory. At the end of August there were fewer homes for sale than at the end of last August. On a months of supply basis it was also lower.

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  12. I agree with miumiu about the spam confirmation. If I can solve x by doing the proper 32bit binary to hexadecimal conversion and then factorization using quadratic sieve AFTER ripping into some cookie cutter property on Ashland, I should not have to check an additional box confirming I’m NOT a spammer. Jeez. Cribchatter these days. Am I right?

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  13. “The drop in sales is almost entirely from having fewer distressed sales.”

    But that makes no sense because in 2012 and the beginning of 2013 (until the mortgage rates spiked in May) the market was “hot” and there were multiple bids, prices soaring etc. Those weren’t distressed sales either. Those were “normal” sales. It’s not like investors were buying up everything on the North Side of Chicago.

    I agree that they have stopped buying in the fringe neighborhoods because prices have spiked so much it makes no sense to buy, renovate and rent it out now. But in the GZ? Other than Chinese investors in the downtown high rises, the investors weren’t in those neighborhoods anyway.

    What happened to that hot market? Why aren’t there 25 people at an open house with “24 hours for offers” anymore? Remember in 2012 when we were talking about that?

    I had a friend looking to buy in LP in 2012 and they were involved in 7 multiple bid deals (lost all of them.) They literally had to leave their jobs and rush out to look at $1.2 million houses in the middle of the day or else “they would miss it” as they only had 24 hours to decide if they wanted to bid. People were waiving inspections!

    Where did THAT market go?

    (My friend, by the way, was having a baby and she and her husband decided they could make do just fine living in their 2/2 condo- which is where they still are- for now. They were SO disillusioned in 2012.)

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  14. “can we remove the spam detector stuff? I don’t recall CC having a spam issue.”

    miumiu: were you here last month when the site was shut down for nearly 2 weeks because of spam attacks? It was so bad CribChatter had to be kicked off the server. I have to have the spam detectors because my old spam filters weren’t working anymore. The computers have gotten more sophisticated. Sorry. It’s either numbers or letters and I prefer the numbers.

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  15. “wow i thought the lag was fixed but now its worse than ever and I can’t even see my own post from like an hour ago”

    No one yesterday was saying “Sabrina- the lag is fixed. There is no lag today” so I assumed the plugin I deactivated yesterday was NOT the one causing the lag. But it sounds like the lag was much better with it deactivated.

    I’m still going to go through each of them to see if it’s one of the others because no one was enthusiastic yesterday.

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  16. For instance, in 2012, the new construction McMansions were selling even before being completed in Lakeview. It didn’t even matter what school district they were in.

    But this year, some of the houses are just sitting there.

    Take this one on Barry. Came on the market in July. $50k price reduction. Still waiting for a buyer.

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/1136-W-Barry-Ave-60657/home/13363800

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  17. “But that makes no sense because in 2012 and the beginning of 2013 (until the mortgage rates spiked in May) the market was “hot” and there were multiple bids, prices soaring etc.”

    You mean that’s what people were saying….that’s what you felt. You’re not looking at the data. Non-distressed sales were down maybe 4% in August.

    “I had a friend looking to buy in LP in 2012…in 2012, the new construction McMansions were selling even before being completed in Lakeview”

    More anecdotes. The fact of the matter is that market times are dramatically lower now than then and inventory is also lower.

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  18. “1136 Barry”

    That’s the central Lake View version of that Grace shack location–it’s just a totally not prime situation to be one of 5 houses on the block, and to be right next to a full lot apartment building. Plus it appears to be in Agassiz, which is also an issue. Were it on Clifton, or is Alcott or Nettlehorst, would have sold by now.

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  19. “Plus it appears to be in Agassiz, which is also an issue. Were it on Clifton, or is Alcott or Nettlehorst, would have sold by now.”

    Sorry- try again. In 2012 and even last year- it didn’t matter what school district it was in. New construction in Agassiz was selling just as quickly as the others (that wouldn’t be MY choice- but buyers didn’t seem to care.)

    But suddenly, this summer, these houses just aren’t selling.

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  20. “Were it on Clifton, or is Alcott or Nettlehorst, would have sold by now.”

    Here’s one in Burley. Has been on the market all summer. The listing says it will be completed by September 2014 so I’m assuming that it’s completed by now. Another similar home a few doors down is under contract, however. But this one is still available.

    A year ago- this would have sold months ago.

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/1503-W-Wellington-Ave-60657/home/13366205

    Something is going on on all levels of the housing market. If anything- the top end has been the hottest but even that appears to be cooling.

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  21. Here’s another one in Burley on Fletcher. This one just came on the market so we’ll see how long it lasts. But usually these were sold before completion a year ago.

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/1712-W-Fletcher-St-60657/home/58417059

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  22. Buyers LOVE new construction. Those houses should sell immediately. There are only 34 homes for sale in Lakeview between $1 million and $1.5 million right now. It’s not like buyers have a lot to choose from.

    What’s causing the housing slowdown?

    The Fed has to be just as confused. Rates are still near record lows.

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  23. “You mean that’s what people were saying….that’s what you felt. You’re not looking at the data. Non-distressed sales were down maybe 4% in August.”

    But where are the multiple bids Gary? You’re a realtor. SURELY you’ve heard of them, right? If non-distress sales were only down 4%- then last year wasn’t really “hot” right?

    Where are the “all offers due within 24 hours?”

    I haven’t seen that on a listing in over a year.

    Why not? If I was selling, I’d certainly try and do it that way. Why would I want to wait weeks to sell when I could sell within 3 days because the market is SO hot.

    Why are daily price reductions outnumbering new listings now? With inventory so tight (and I agree that it is) why would ANYONE need to reduce their price? It’s supply and demand at work. There are 1000 buyers and only 200 properties. Prices should NEVER be reduced, right?

    Again, the mortgage data supports a very weak housing market going forward.

    The weekly purchase application data is in for last week and purchase applications dropped 16% year over year. Wow. But last year- applications had already plunged by now once the mortgage rates rose. So the apps are really, really low.

    Mortgage rates DID rise last week, however, so that must have subdued some buyers. But going from 4.1% to 4.3% shouldn’t be that big of a deal for most buyers. Or is it?

    I shudder to think what happens when mortgage rates hit 5%.

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  24. OT OTT is where I roam

    1500 N. North Park went under contract in 4 hours. multiple bids over ask and the place needs work.

    so there’s my one data point.

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  25. Cross thread lag is rough–all current on the other thread, bc of comment, but last one here is 7:48.

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  26. Sabrina, there are a lot of properties on that stretch of Wellington, either on or almost on the market or sold in the last year, and I don’t think that there’s any question that 1503 will go for $1.5 or more or something like that sometime soon. 1516 is pending. There are 4 open listings on that block for large, mostly new or newish SFHs, as well as one other one, I think that the builder almost has done and 2 pocket listings. 2 more sales the last month and one SFH built during that bubble that has major problems and is being left vacant to rot. If you want to look for examples of how the real estate market is soft, large new or newish SFH in Burley, which is mostly RT3.5 (so huge houses) is not the right place to do it. The places you cited have only been on the market 6 and 20 days, and there has been a lot of high-end activity in Burley recently, but it’s still a limited pool of buyers to buy 8 places on a single block, all above $1.5M, in six months or so. And if you really care about Burley, probably before the school year starts is the time that people are thinking about buying.

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  27. Also, what does it mean to you when a housing market is “hot” and how do you measure or act up that hotness? Is it price agnostic and if so how do you correct for differences in activity based on list price? Are the changes in the data more important than the actual data? If 1503 sits all winter and sells in February for $1.65 million does that mean that this housing market is more or less hot than if it sells in November for $1.5 million, and what is the consequence to the seller / builder?

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  28. “What’s causing the cooling in the housing market in 2014?”

    I think the cooling in trade volume is due to higher prices, too near their ceiling.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/09/23/u-s-home-prices-are-now-just-6-4-below-all-time-high/

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  29. hey sabrina is your website clock set at the right time? just an idea…

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  30. Here’s a chart for Cook County house prices as of second quarter 2014:

    http://www.housingstudies.org/media/filer_public/2014/09/09/2q_2014_hp_index_single_family_subregions_line_graph.jpg

    The upward slope of the line is steep, so further price gains still looked likely in June. The floor was probably put in by institutional buyers working the reo-to-rental market. PE firms own ~200,000 houses nationwide. Blackstone owns 1,300 houses in Cook County. Presuming they bought the lows and currently enjoy positive carry, they’re probably in no rush to sell. But PE funds are not long-term owners; they’re built to flip assets within 3 to 6 years. So how can they realize profits on their 2012-13 purchases without weakening prices?

    Lower interest rates.

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  31. The top tranche (AAA-rated) of a recent single-family rental bond was sold at a yield of ~ 1.20% (110 bps over 1-month libor), reviving memories of the go-go years 2003-06.

    But a yield of 1.20% is 120 bps higher than 1-month Tbills, which have been trading at negative yields.

    http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/news/reo/progress-residential-prices-its-first-single-family-rental-bond-1042675-1.html

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  32. lag check–can see Wojo’s 3:45 without ‘log in’.

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  33. “But PE funds are not long-term owners; they’re built to flip assets within 3 to 6 years. So how can they realize profits on their 2012-13 purchases without weakening prices?”

    If they make the business “work”, they have other exit options that don’t weaken prices, as it doesn’t involve sales to individuals.

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  34. [afternoon lag, I guess not that much bc I can see the 3:45 pm post, though cannot see the subsequent @fo posts]

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  35. hmm. Now you’ve got me thinking that all these houses will never come back on the market for resale but will remain rentals forever.

    “If they make the business “work”, they have other exit options that don’t weaken prices, as it doesn’t involve sales to individuals.”

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  36. “hmm. Now you’ve got me thinking that all these houses will never come back on the market for resale but will remain rentals forever. ”

    No way, the entire business plan is to sell the rental streams to private investors (but the fund makes most of the money from favorable tax treatment of real estate, not rents); and then eventually sell the homes at the top of the next bubble.

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  37. “But where are the multiple bids Gary?”

    Still happening for investment properties and estate type sales. Those things tend to be underpriced. Lazy realtors.

    “If non-distress sales were only down 4%- then last year wasn’t really “hot” right?”

    Yes it was. And this year is hot too. I measure hot by how quickly properties sell and the overall price trend – not anecdotal data.

    “Where are the “all offers due within 24 hours?””

    Last August 29 properties in the city of Chicago sold with the words “offers due” in them. This year 13. Pretty small number in both cases. But even if I accept the fact that it’s declined it can be totally explained by higher list prices this year. Sellers want more and know they are not going to get multiple offers.

    “Why would I want to wait weeks to sell when I could sell within 3 days because the market is SO hot.”

    Because when you do it that way you don’t get the best price. Half your buyer pool never even knows it’s on the market.

    “With inventory so tight (and I agree that it is) why would ANYONE need to reduce their price? It’s supply and demand at work. There are 1000 buyers and only 200 properties. Prices should NEVER be reduced, right?”

    Totally incorrect. Anything that is overpriced needs to have its price reduced. Just because inventory is tight doesn’t mean that some properties can’t be overpriced.

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  38. “Yes it was. And this year is hot too. I measure hot by how quickly properties sell and the overall price trend – not anecdotal data.”

    Wait a minute. Sales have fallen every month this year except for one and the market is still hot?

    Come on. You can’t be serious Gary.

    Falling sales are always a sign of bad things to come. And while I haven’t checked the inventory numbers for Chicago (which still is tight)- in most parts of the country inventory is starting to rise (while sales drop). It’s still not anywhere near 12 months or whatever it got to at the peak. But it’s up off the 4 month supply level and is at like 5 or 6 months. Still a sellers market at those levels- but inventory is rising nationally.

    Chicago may just be a lag- but it inevitably will happen here too.

    So what makes a “bad” market for you Gary? Falling prices? (which has only happened one time in the last 50 years in Chicago) or what?

    For the people who own a townhouse down the street from me (and who have listed it 4 times this summer)- it sure doesn’t seem that great. But apparently that’s all just “anecdotal.”

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  39. “Last August 29 properties in the city of Chicago sold with the words “offers due” in them. This year 13. Pretty small number in both cases.”

    You can’t compare last August to this August because last August the market wasn’t hot either. The “hot” market was in 2012 when the price increases happened. It continued into the spring of 2013 until the middle of May when the mortgage rates went from 3.5% to 4.5% in the span of a month.

    I did posts on CribChatter about those properties in Lakeview and Bucktown where you had to have your offer in within 24 hours. I haven’t seen one of those in a long, long time.

    It’s been dead ever since May 2013 with falling sales- which will continue until the end of this year (and probably beyond as mortgage rates are set to rise again.)

    Look at the homebuilder spring sales. Spring 2013 was strong but spring 2014 was a complete disappointment. While they saw some growth- it was more like 3-5% instead of 10-15% from the year before. The trajectory has been down over the last 18 months.

    What a crappy housing market this is. My condolences to anyone who is buying right now. Slim pickings and prices back at the peak.

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  40. “So how can they realize profits on their 2012-13 purchases without weakening prices?

    Lower interest rates.”

    Well- we’re not getting that. So what’s their end game then? Who do they sell to when rates are 5% or 6%? Yellen has said that monetary policy will be “normalized” by 2020. They have 5 years to dump everything- but really only 2 years. Many economists expect the Fed fund rate to be 2.5% by the end of 2016. That’s rates closer to 6%.

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  41. Sales have fallen almost entirely because of a decline in distressed sales so I’m not too worried about that. And inventory is low so it’s no surprise that sales aren’t taking off.

    Yes, a bad market requires longer market times and/ or falling prices. We have neither right now.

    And, yes, the townhome down the block from you is totally anecdotal data. In general market times are short.

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  42. “The places you cited have only been on the market 6 and 20 days, and there has been a lot of high-end activity in Burley recently, but it’s still a limited pool of buyers to buy 8 places on a single block, all above $1.5M, in six months or so.”

    I get it that this is just a sliver of the market (and a rich one at that.) But anyone who looks at real estate in Chicago day after day can see the changes that have happened since 2012 to this market.

    The 30 people swarming the $1.2 million house in Blaine is now just 5 people at the open house. When it used to sell in 48 hours, it is now taking 9 days. When there used to be multiple bids, there is now only 1. When there used to be NO price reductions, there are now 3 before selling. When they used to not have to stage a property, now they do. When they used to sell these new construction homes before completion, now they are selling them only after they have finished.

    I can go on and on.

    The market has changed. It is slowing. All the signs are there. In fact, they’re all flashing really big. I’m not saying it’s 2009 all over again. But housing markets aren’t stocks. They change slowly- over the course of months. What happened last spring, clearly didn’t happen this spring. And next spring will be different again.

    We had a huge price increase in a short period of time in 2012. Rates have gone up (and will be going up further.) Not many who are buying/selling right now have ANY history of dealing with rising rates. All most people have known their whole lives is falling rates. We have no idea what is going to happen.

    But if last year’s 1% rise in mortgage rates (and subsequent sales declines) are any roadmap- the next few years are going to be very rough for the housing market – both in Chicago and nationwide.

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  43. “The “hot” market was in 2012 when the price increases happened. It continued into the spring of 2013 until the middle of May when the mortgage rates went from 3.5% to 4.5% in the span of a month.”

    So price increases are a hot market. I’d agree with that. Though short market times could also be a hot market. But when prices are going up rapidly list prices are going to lag and that’s when you get multiple bids. When list prices catch up the bids go down. Doesn’t mean the market is less hot.

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  44. Oh…and I just checked the days on the market for properties for sale – not just sold – and those are down as well. 89 days vs. 116 a year ago. All those condos/ SFHs/ townhomes “down the street” are outliers.

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  45. “Oh…and I just checked the days on the market for properties for sale – not just sold – and those are down as well. 89 days vs. 116 a year ago. All those condos/ SFHs/ townhomes “down the street” are outliers.”

    Gary- does this include all those properties that unlist and relist (as my neighbors down the street have done- 3 times)? Because in their “days on the market” it now says 9 days when it’s really been 69 days.

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  46. And what does it say for those properties that AREN’T selling within days?

    What’s wrong with them? Are they just priced wrongly? There is NOTHING on the market. It should be selling immediately. Everyone is looking to buy. For goodness sakes.

    I don’t get it. I lived in San Francisco. I saw “hot” markets. Chicago is dead right now. Inventory is low so it seems like things are still good. But they’re not.

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  47. “The 30 people swarming the $1.2 million house in Blaine is now just 5 people at the open house. When it used to sell in 48 hours, it is now taking 9 days. When there used to be multiple bids, there is now only 1. When there used to be NO price reductions, there are now 3 before selling. When they used to not have to stage a property, now they do. When they used to sell these new construction homes before completion, now they are selling them only after they have finished.”

    Yeah, because sellers are smarter now and asking higher prices.

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  48. Lag check–Gary’s 9:23 (top one on the front page sidebar) visible.

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  49. wojo–“Now you’ve got me thinking that all these houses will never come back on the market for resale but will remain rentals forever.”

    All of them? No way. Some of the PE buyers will certainly sell to individual buyers. But I think that other PE buyers may be planning/hoping for an ipo or a apartment reit buyout.

    HD–do you know someone at the management level at all of PE SFH buyers? Sure sounds like it.

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  50. “Gary- does this include all those properties that unlist and relist (as my neighbors down the street have done- 3 times)? Because in their “days on the market” it now says 9 days when it’s really been 69 days.”

    It is my understanding that it does. When a property has been off the market less than 90 days they add the times together.

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  51. “Are they just priced wrongly? There is NOTHING on the market. It should be selling immediately. Everyone is looking to buy. For goodness sakes.”

    Yes, they are priced too high for the market. Is it your belief that in a hot market you can overprice a property and still sell it quickly?

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  52. LAG Update – I see Gary’s 10:32 post here and on the front page!

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  53. I see your 10:33 post and don’t have to log in my name and e-mail again, yay

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  54. “don’t have to log in my name and e-mail again”

    closed my browser, re-opened, and same thing. First time in months.

    w drinks for free at cc gtgs.

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  55. Wow!

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  56. >> w drinks for free at cc gtgs.

    I’ll take it! If there’s one thing I’ve never said no to…

    BTW- on the question of whether this market is hot or doomed or if the Fed is ruining everything or what, everybody needs a longer term view. And to quit using unspecific language like “hot”.

    From where I sit we are still working through the results of the 2001-2007 bubble. In 2012 (when I really started thinking about this because I bought my current place then), I thought it was pretty likely that we were going to experience a lot of volatility in the real estate market over the next 5-10 yrs as the market worked through 1) getting excess owner occupied units out of the market through conversion to rentals; 2) a shortage of rental housing based on underlying demand drivers; 3) price setting in the presence of large price fluctuations — 30% drops from 2008-2012 in many cases; 4) significant long term uncertainty in the macro-economic situation — who here can tell me what the correct natural unemployment rate is right now? or the labor participation rate? there is no consensus on these as far as I can tell, and that means underlying demand drivers of owner occupied housing are highly uncertain– things like the right ratio of own vs. rent or rate of household formation or natural # of units sold annually are just tough to know.

    Add to that, even in a stable market, it takes real estate a very long time to find it’s correct price- the numbers are low, the lots are all distinct, and transactions take months so information travels very slowly.

    So what’s going on now? A recent big run up in prices, with — what seems to me — a promise of a lot of new units on the horizon (anecdotally, there are several new houses under construction on my street, plus all the downtown apartments being built, some of which will convert to condos if the developer believes the market will support), elimination of shadow inventory and REO properties which represented an expectation for “deals”. And you’re in the peak of a volatile cycle with downward prices likely in the near future — and hence slowing sales now — unless local macroeconomic conditions improve sufficiently.

    My guess is we’ll see falling prices soon and then another rapid rise. No clue on timing or magnitude- there’s way too much uncertainty here. But probably everything will be less drastic than what we’ve experienced recently. We’re still finding the right price and inventory level and will be for the next few years at least, I think. And could easily be longer. Anybody who buys now has to be prepared for that volatility, as I was when I bought in 2012.

    And can we please stop using highly idiosyncratic markets as a standard to measure Chicago by? Particularly San Francisco, where the market is so dominated by idiosyncratic factors like extreme zoning restrictions so as to be completely inapplicable to almost any other market.

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  57. “San Francisco, where the market is so dominated by idiosyncratic factors like extreme zoning restrictions”

    plus rent control. plus a quite small area of ‘prime’ building locations. Not so different from NYC, and Manhattan particularly.

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  58. There are a handful of idiosyncratic markets which I would be wary of comparing individually to Chicago (or anywhere else)- SF, LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Detroit, Boston, NYC, DC, and Miami.

    To me SF is the most extreme because — from what I can tell — the entire metro area is strongly influenced by extreme zoning restrictions and the influence of tech money. The amount of undeveloped land on the peninsula is always shocking to me.

    But most of these metro areas are big enough that if you consider the entire area, you’ll even out a lot of the idiosyncrasies especially when you look at changes vs. absolute levels- e.g., in NYC- yeah, the entire area is overrun with finance money, and Manhattan has the specific zoning issues, but you can always live in Brooklyn or Queens or Staten Island; or in a different direction, Westchester or White Plains or Fairfield, etc. DC has the federal government which distorts everything, but the zoning restrictions are mostly limited to the district itself– a most folks live in the MD and VA suburbs.

    To be trite about it, all real estate is local. But if you tell me real estate is hot (sorry) in Denver, I might think maybe Chicago will catch up soon. Maybe even if you tell me things are picking up in Vegas or Phoenix, I’ll have some notion of what could happen in Chicago. If you tell me it’s hot (sorry again) in SF, I’ll just stare at you blankly.

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  59. “The amount of undeveloped land on the peninsula is always shocking to me.”

    Underdeveloped, certainly. But *UN*? Excluding, of course, designated parks, open space preserves, stanfurd, etc.–what’s the huge amount of un-developed land?

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  60. oh, and Bay Meadows, too, which is, of course, in the process of redevelopment, at a (yet again) “under” level of density.

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  61. Uh, the designated parks, open space preserves, etc. Specifically south of SF on 280 down to Redwood City or north on 101 through Marin. The point is not that parks or preserves are a bad thing, just that the extremely limiting zoning restrictions aren’t confined to the city itself, but extend throughout the entire metro area. In my mind, that contrasts with Manhattan, DC, and Boston, where I think the near-in communities have done a better job providing the necessary density to support the metro areas as a whole when the densest areas have failed to do so. So I’d expect local distortions, in, say, the GZ of DC proper, but farther outside in the metro area, I’d expect the distortions are less significant or at least consistent with the whole federal government being there. And taken as a whole, things are more evened out than they are in SF. FWIW- these are mostly my impressions; for various reasons I know something about each of these areas, but not nearly as much as I do about Chicago. Give me better data and I’m more than happy to adjust my thinking.

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  62. “the designated parks, open space preserves,”

    But that open space is a big part of what makes metro EsEff as desirable as it is. Fill that all in, and you have North LA.

    Not to mention that that isn’t just a quake prone area, it’s the actual fault line.

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  63. If all that space is the fault line and therefore can’t be developed (have no idea if that logic holds) then feel free to change my statement to underdeveloped from undeveloped and I won’t argue the point any longer. And we can talk about the low rise suburban sprawl down 101 all you want.

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  64. “we can talk about the low rise suburban sprawl down 101”

    That’s all horrible, horrible stuff.

    As far as the fault line, it’s not really “can’t”, but it does change the economics more than a bit.

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  65. >>“we can talk about the low rise suburban sprawl down 101?
    >>That’s all horrible, horrible stuff.

    That’s why I always drive up 280…

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  66. “Not to mention that that isn’t just a quake prone area, it’s the actual fault line.”

    When I worked in Silicon Valley, my work colleagues and I would actually look at the geological maps to try and figure out how “safe” or “unsafe” we were in our office building in case of a big quake. We were located in between 280 and 101- not far from the Stanford campus.

    We took one look at those maps and laughed our butts off because the ENTIRE peninsula is in the liquification zone with the exception of anything to the west of 280. We were going to be doomed in the big one no matter where we were.

    Good times.

    Most of that area used to be farms. They have no real idea how bad it will be in a big quake centered close to the area (either on the San Andreas or on one of the east bay fault lines like the Hayward.)

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  67. “To me SF is the most extreme because — from what I can tell — the entire metro area is strongly influenced by extreme zoning restrictions and the influence of tech money. The amount of undeveloped land on the peninsula is always shocking to me.”

    Think about what went on in Silicon Valley. It really didn’t exist until the late 1970s. And it didn’t exist as we know it today until the early 1990s (when people really started moving/working there in bigger numbers.) It was a bunch of farms! Yes- it also had protected land in state parks and whatnot along the coast because no one wanted to live down there. The population of Palo Alto was like 15,000 and that was a “big” city.

    Most of the land that CAN be developed now has been. That’s why the sprawl goes well east now (across the bay) and well to the south. Heck, people are “living” in Santa Cruz and actually commuting to San Jose and other parts of Silicon Valley. Santa Cruz was NEVER meant to be a commuter town for the peninsula. Those people are nuts.

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  68. “To me SF is the most extreme because — from what I can tell — the entire metro area is strongly influenced by extreme zoning restrictions and the influence of tech money. The amount of undeveloped land on the peninsula is always shocking to me.”

    Actually- this is false. The “entire metro area” is NOT strongly influenced by the influence of tech money. Marin and anything north of the Golden Gate Bridge is NOT tech money. Ditto with Vallejo/Richmond and that area. It’s simply too far to get to Silicon Valley. It would be insanity to do that commute. But now that some tech companies have moved to SF itself, I’m sure some workers have ventured further north. But the predominance of tech money is still in the southern portions of SF and the peninsula. Actually, if you ask around Pacific Heights or the Presidio Heights area or the Marina- there’s very little tech money there either. It’s just too far to commute.

    People forget that SF is the financial capital of California. Schwab is there. Bank of America used to be there- but still has a big presence. Wells Fargo is there. Most of the “money” in north and even west of San Francisco is financial and law firms.

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  69. “From where I sit we are still working through the results of the 2001-2007 bubble.”

    What if the bubble never ended?

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  70. “I see your 10:33 post and don’t have to log in my name and e-mail again, yay”

    Hooray! It IS the cache. Okay- at least we’ve found the problem (thanks to w. Cheers to w.)

    I’ll have to mess around with it later this weekend but for now- it looks like the lag has been temporarily solved.

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  71. “Yes, they are priced too high for the market. Is it your belief that in a hot market you can overprice a property and still sell it quickly?”

    Yes. Every single property that comes on the market in San Francisco sells- and rather quickly. Even those that are overpriced. (or what is perceived as overpriced.) In 2012, everything was selling nearly immediately (even duplex downs!) here in Chicago- and even overpriced or with NASTY appliances that were 20 years old. That’s how hot the market was in 2012.

    But not now.

    I see things I think are pretty decent just sitting there. They will sell- of course. But they’re not selling like they did two years ago.

    There’s a big slowdown going on. With real estate- it’s about subtle shifts and changes. It usually doesn’t happen overnight. Suddenly there are more listings coming on and it’s taking longer to sell things. And there are more price reductions than 6 months ago and that’s when you know that this isn’t a hot market anymore.

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  72. “It is my understanding that it does. When a property has been off the market less than 90 days they add the times together.”

    Who’s they? The MLS?

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  73. “Yeah, because sellers are smarter now and asking higher prices.”

    Actually- that $1.2 million house in Blaine would also have been listed for the same amount in 2012. Prices haven’t gone up that much on those luxury houses in the last two years (if anything.) They’ve reached the limit there too.

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  74. I love running CribChatter right now because this market reminds me so much of what was happening in 2007-2008 as things slowed and so many people didn’t want to believe that the market was changing (and that prices were no longer going up.) Even month after month of declining sales didn’t convince people that we were in the midst of a housing bust. It took like 2 more years (and a BIG drop in prices) before many people would admit it.

    Remember Steve Heitman on here in 2008 arguing that Lincoln Park prices would NEVER decline? Lol.

    Good times.

    Where is Steve anyway?

    Oh wait- he came back for the burst of activity in the last year and now has disappeared again. A telling sign.

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  75. >> It was a bunch of farms!

    I know folks who hated Atherton because neighbors kept riding horses through their back yard!

    >> What if the bubble never ended?

    Really?

    >> Actually- this is false. The “entire metro area” is NOT strongly influenced by the influence of tech money.

    Really? No tech millionaires have bought in Marin? Folks near Marin have never been pissed that tech millionaires have bought in Marin? Nobody in Richmond is pissed that tech millionaires have bought in Berkeley? Ok…

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  76. “Really? No tech millionaires have bought in Marin? Folks near Marin have never been pissed that tech millionaires have bought in Marin? Nobody in Richmond is pissed that tech millionaires have bought in Berkeley? Ok…”

    Tech millionaires are NOT living in Berkeley. You’re kidding- right? You’re going to work at Facebook on the peninsula and live in Berkeley? Have you ever BEEN to the Bay Area?

    Only the secretaries or low level employees live 2 hours away. If you’re one of the lucky “millionaires” (of which the numbers are greatly exaggerated- by the way)- but if you are- you aren’t living way up in Marin or over in the East Bay. That’s why prices remained relatively “affordable” for so long in some of those areas (although Marin was ALWAYS prime with the lawyers/doctors/finance people. It had better schools than SF too and better weather.) When former Mayor Newsom left town- where did he go? Marin.

    Tech money really didn’t change the real estate scene in the 1990s or in the last decade in the East Bay or the North Bay. That is “old” money in the North Bay or in suburbs like Orinda. Those are lawyers living in Piedmont. You know- partners at the big firms. Those aren’t techies driving up that market.

    Now- in recent years (the last 4 or 5)- with some of the tech firms actually putting their headquarters in SF- that has opened up more areas that people can live and still do that commute. But if you read the housing blogs about the bay area- you aren’t seeing many people complaining about the tech money in Marin.

    It’s NOT like the peninsula- where that’s all there is (outside of some rich lawyers.)

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  77. “In 2012, everything was selling nearly immediately (even duplex downs!) here in Chicago- and even overpriced or with NASTY appliances that were 20 years old. That’s how hot the market was in 2012.

    But not now.”

    That’s not what the data says.

    “Who’s they? The MLS?”

    Yes.

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  78. “That’s not what the data says.”

    You can keep rah-rahing how great it is while sales drop every month. Be my guest.

    I’m sure you’ll be doing the same once prices start to drop again too.

    Differences of opinion make the world go around.

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  79. >> Have you ever BEEN to the Bay Area?

    Nope, never. Never been to Berkeley, Palo Alto, or SF. Right.

    Oh, and I’m sure I can find neighborhoods in Staten Island where NO finance money has had an influence. Guess finance doesn’t drive prices in NYC.

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  80. Oh- I’m sure there’s some tech money everywhere. Just like there is Schwab money and Fisher Investment money on the peninsula. There’s also the Sand Hill Road money.

    But it’s not the driving force for housing prices (or demand) in Marin or the East Bay (at least up until some of the tech companies started moving into SF.) Like I said- too far to commute. Most “techies” still work. Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t live in Marin. Neither did Steve Jobs. Neither does John Chambers. There’s millions of people in the Bay Area. Doctors, lawyers, people working at Pixar etc. It’s not all tech everywhere.

    All of my friends now live in the East Bay. None of them work in tech. None of them had bidders on their homes from technology companies. It was lawyers and “normal” people. That’s why you live in the East Bay!

    And as far as Staten Island is concerned- you really think “finance” money is pushing up prices there? Come on. Give me a break. The $10 million a year hedge fund manager isn’t living there. But maybe his secretary is. Maybe SHE is pushing up prices in Staten Island. So I guess “finance” is the culprit there too.

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  81. “The population of Palo Alto was like 15,000 and that was a “big” city”

    You’re talking about before WW2? Why?

    “There’s also the Sand Hill Road money.”

    Sand Hill Road money *IS* “tech money” to almost everyone. They didn’t get rich investing in quick serve restaurants and the like.

    But I do agree that ‘tech millionaires’ buying in the Berkeley hills isn’t a real driver of anything; the irritation is much more influenced by the ‘kids’ working for the tech companies making $200k and buying in Berkeley/Oakland, etc bc they’re priced out of the City and the peninsula.

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  82. Who gives a flying fuck about SF real estate, not me!

    How about we talk about the influence of tech money on the prime zones in our own city? Have you seen how much shit they are building on the near north side just from the announced goose island hub and merchandise mart?

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  83. >> Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t live in Marin.

    I think we’re talking past each other and saying different things. I’m not arguing it’s Mark Zuckerberg who’s driving up prices in Marin because of all the real estate he’s buying there. I believe the tech influence is from two sources- directly from retired tech millionaires (at least I assume so- I’d rather live in Marin than Palo Alto), and indirectly from all those professionals who find the city (or the rich suburbs on the peninsula) to be over priced because the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world are buying real estate there.

    And of course, tech is not the sole driver of anything, and not the most important factor in many of these areas (I go back to highly restrictive zoning). But it is a factor and an idiosyncratic one.

    But I’ve spent far too long arguing this– the original point was we shouldn’t be talking about SF at all because it’s not relevant to Chicago. So, apologies to all for going down this rabbit hole; I should know better.

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  84. “Most of the “money” in north and even west of San Francisco is financial and law firms.”

    What industries do you think that these firms focus on?

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  85. “What industries do you think that these firms focus on?”

    Oh- so EVERYTHING in that town can be attributed to “tech” now? Not Chevron? Not Schwab? Not Clorox?

    There are a LOT of businesses in the Bay Area- most there well before the techies. The big law firms in San Francisco have been there since the 1920s.

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  86. “and indirectly from all those professionals who find the city (or the rich suburbs on the peninsula) to be over priced because the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world are buying real estate there.”

    Yes- it IS a rabbit hole. Of course Zuckerberg and company have priced people out of the peninsula. But that has been happening for nearly 20 years. In 1998 when I was there- people were completely priced out except for a few cities like San Bruno (joy!). None of us EVER contemplated moving to the east bay or north of the south side of San Francisco. The commute would be a nightmare. Never even crossed anyone’s minds- except for secretaries making 2 hour one way commutes from down by San Jose.

    Although I did know a techie who lived with his family in Pacific Heights and who had a car and driver take him back and forth every day down to Palo Alto. He also had an apartment for during the week near work. He quit after two years and took a job in San Francisco.

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  87. I don’t like to use this word, but people in California are retarded

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  88. Did anyone else see the news in the Tribune over the weekend that Gone Girl novelist Gillian Flynn sold her Ukrainian Village house (where she wrote her novels) and moved to East Lincoln Park?

    She has children aged 4 and 1 so I wonder how much the schools played a part in that.

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  89. “She has children aged 4 and 1 so I wonder how much the schools played a part in that.”

    Hmmmmm, I wonder how much her new wealth played a part in that? You were expecting another Nelson Algren?

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  90. Well East lincoln park IS the -only- place in Chicago worth living according to some here

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  91. “She has children aged 4 and 1 so I wonder how much the schools played a part in that.”

    I suppose walkability (or a few minutes by car) to Lincoln Elem and Parker/Latin (and Park West Co Op, etc.) can’t hurt. I also seem to recall there being some other things around there that children might enjoy walking to. Oh, right, I forgot: living a block or two from the park/lakefront sucks! That weather tho! The dreadful zoo/nature museum/park/beach vortex of gloom! And it’s bordered by LV, greater LP, OTT and, gasp…the GC! Clearly G. Flynn’s skills as a writer do nothing for her real estate or quality of life decisions, because only a sucker would do what she’s doing. I only hope that she can afford a place in ELP THAT CONTAINS NOT A SINGLE STAIR, BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE FOR PARENTS AND GROCERY SHOPPERS TO CLIMB ANY STAIRS!

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  92. “She has children aged 4 and 1 so I wonder how much the schools played a part in that.”

    I think the fact she made $9mm last year played a big part in that. Maybe I’ll see her in the ‘hood!

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  93. Grow up Anonny. All of those things are accessible to everyone who lives in Chicago regardless of where they live. Having them within walking distance doesn’t make them any more special.

    Ive lived for 13 years on the third floor. It has had its moments of absolute suck. And I don’t even have kids. I can’t even imagine doing it with kids, much less the worry about a toddler taking a header down the stairs.

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  94. “Hmmmmm, I wonder how much her new wealth played a part in that? You were expecting another Nelson Algren?”

    Of course, she made a ton of money off this book and movie and good for her. Before, she was a middling writer married to a lawyer. They weren’t doing too badly, though, as it’s not exactly “cheap” to own in Ukrainian Village either.

    But if you were suddenly rich- you might make different choices as far as schools and whatnot. I know I would. I’d move to the area where the neighborhood school was good.

    Why are all the married Blackhawk players over in the “three B” neighborhoods- Blaine, Bell and Burley? It makes sense.

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  95. “The dreadful zoo/nature museum/park/beach vortex of gloom! And it’s bordered by LV, greater LP, OTT and, gasp…the GC!”

    The hottest park in the city, and the one that will be a HUGE tourist attraction, is opening up in not far from her “old” neighborhood in Bucktown/Logan Square. The Bloomingdale Trail is just going to be fantastic.

    Not everyone cares about Lincoln Park, but maybe that’s just me.

    Actually- that new Maggie Daley Park in Millennium Park is also going to be fabulous. That will also rank up there- for kids.

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  96. There’s a LOT going on in Chicago housing right now. I can’t wait to get to some new posts the rest of this week.

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  97. “But if you were suddenly rich- you might make different choices as far as schools and whatnot. I know I would. I’d move to the area where the neighborhood school was good.”

    Different choices? So LP elementary is a consolation prize? Maybe instead of making that walk of shame to LPE, she’s planning on sending her kids to Parker then – not a bad school I’m told, nor a bad thing to be able to walk there too. But maybe her decision to move to ELP had little to do with schools anyway; she sold a restored vintage townhouse (and bought another old house) so I’m just guessing that she’s a fan of vintage townhouses and ELP is full of them, as most of the area is landmarked. That’s a very attractive draw for people who like undisturbed blocks of residential architecture in a totally established and monied neighborhood, and a curse for people who want bigger and new.

    “Why are all the married Blackhawk players over in the “three B” neighborhoods- Blaine, Bell and Burley? It makes sense.”

    It also makes sense that I have yet to read about a sports celebrity raising their kids in a wonky Victorian townhouse in an area known for it’s landmarked historical preservation. Hockey players and celebrated authors… water seeks it’s own level.

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  98. “Different choices? So LP elementary is a consolation prize?”

    Um…no. She wasn’t living in LP elementary before, was she? She was living in crap-school elementary district before. So if you had a chance to move to a neighborhood with a better school (when your oldest child was 4)- wouldn’t you?

    I would. And that happens on CribChatter all the time (only most actually leave the city because they can’t afford the areas where there are good neighborhood schools.)

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  99. “most actually leave the city because they can’t afford the areas where there are good neighborhood schools”

    Can’t or don’t want to.

    An acquaintance recently bought in NT bc they didn’t want to take on the everything that comes with spending $1.5+ in the city, and then having the HS crapshoot. It’s not the decision I would make, but it is still easy to understand.

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  100. “Um…no. She wasn’t living in LP elementary before, was she? She was living in crap-school elementary district before. So if you had a chance to move to a neighborhood with a better school (when your oldest child was 4)- wouldn’t you?”

    You’re trying to draw conclusions and make generalizations based on the actions of a bestselling author with a hit movie about to come out and a series deal with David Fincher and HBO. Don’t.

    Also – anyone know where she bought? People saying vintage place but I don’t see where it says that. Wondering if she bought one of those mansions over on Burling / Orchard area.

    Regarding the Bloomingdale Trail – I’m sure it will be amazing. That doesn’t change the fact that WP/Bucktown is a nightmare traffic wise with marginal public schools and few (any?) private options. I’m pretty sure if budget isn’t a limiting factor the vast majority of parents would choose LP / LV. And doesn’t the data show more people moving to the city rather than away from it? Why are you saying most families are choosing the burbs?

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  101. True, Bucktown does not have great public schools but it is very convenient to British. There are tons of British families there and many tend to be fans of modern architecture that can’t be had/built in East Lakeview/ELP. You can have modern in the three B’s area — Blaine, Burley, and Bell — but if you prefer private Bucktown makes sense as it is a shorter commute to the Loop.

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  102. “. I also seem to recall there being some other things around there that children might enjoy walking to. Oh, right, I forgot: living a block or two from the park/lakefront sucks! ”

    kudos to anonny for being consistent. does bob ever post anymore?

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  103. The burbs are for graveyards. Anyone with money is moving to the walkable areas of the city. This trend has just begun and will continue for the next 25 years.

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  104. “And doesn’t the data show more people moving to the city rather than away from it? Why are you saying most families are choosing the burbs?”

    Only the rich people yoss. Regular, middle class people like HD and anonny opt for the suburbs because:

    1. Your money goes a lot further (i.e. more space)
    2. Public schools are better

    For the rich who can afford private from kindergarten all the way through high school (and their kids actually get into one of those schools)- it doesn’t much matter. But if you have a $400,000 budget and you want a house- you’re pretty much leaving the city if you want GZ amenities but can’t afford it. (i.e. you’re NOT going to buy, in, Albany Park or Mayfair etc.)

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  105. “An acquaintance recently bought in NT bc they didn’t want to take on the everything that comes with spending $1.5+ in the city, and then having the HS crapshoot. It’s not the decision I would make, but it is still easy to understand.”

    Good for them. Too many people think THEIR kid is a genius. When the odds of your kid getting into a top magnet high school are slim to none.

    So if your choice is Lane Tech or New Trier- which would you choose? I’d choose the sure thing NT and let my kids grow up with their group of friends etc.

    That’s another thing that sucks about the city schools. Your kids can go to school with another kid down the block through 8th grade and then they’ll go to different high schools. Bummer.

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  106. By the way, mortgage purchase applications declined last week 11% year over year. They’re now running about 30% below historic norms.

    The decline in apps basically guarantees slower sales the next 2 months- unless the all cash investor buyers suddenly decide to get back in the game.

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  107. Wait, anonny moved to the suburbs?

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  108. “middle class people like HD and anonny ”

    LOL they aren’t middle class (both lawyers iirc)… GTFO!

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  109. “Regular, middle class people like … anonny”

    Oooh, that’s gotta burn.

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  110. “Good for them. Too many people think THEIR kid is a genius. When the odds of your kid getting into a top magnet high school are slim to none.”

    You have zero direct experience with CPS, right? Maybe I just hang around mostly with smart people with smart kids, and that’s who my kids go to school with, but I don’t know any people with kids actually in CPS high school who aren’t pretty happy with it. Even the ones who are just in the regular high schools.

    I do know a bunch of people who moved to the suburbs because they were scare of CPS, and the biggest advantage those kids seem to have over mine is better access to weed, pills and molly. And for the ones in New Trier boundaries, crushing feelings of inadequacy and immense pressure, both academic and in the traditional “peer pressure to do bad shit” sense. Starts around 7th grade or so.

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  111. “And for the ones in New Trier boundaries, crushing feelings of inadequacy and immense pressure, both academic and in the traditional “peer pressure to do bad shit” sense.”

    Yeah your non genius kid is really going to suck shit at New Trier, I can imagine the crushing drug use as feelings of inadequacy and consumerism run rampant there.

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  112. “Regular, middle class people like HD and anonny opt for the suburbs…”

    Oooh indeed; nothing burns a working-class-kid-turned-striver like that!

    But seriously, what gave the impression that I live in a burb? I’m in a SFH, but I’m in what’s among the more “urban” parts of my city. I can no longer walk outside my home and hail a cab (I have to call one), but that’s only an option in limited areas of Chicago.

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  113. “You have zero direct experience with CPS, right?”

    It’s pretty easy to tell the difference here on the CC–those with zero direct experience this century crap all over it, and those with direct experience have generally positive things to say.

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  114. “Regular, middle class people like HD and anonny opt for the suburbs…”

    Is the burn more from being called “middle class” or being lumped in w HD?

    I was a little afraid the writer here http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/30/travel/a-100-weekend-in-chicago.html?ref=travel was not going to make it to the greatest place in chicagoland, but thank goodness he got there eventually.

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  115. “But seriously, what gave the impression that I live in a burb?”

    When you are in the rumpus room, how do you tell the difference?

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  116. Why does CPS get such a bad rap? Isn’t Lincoln Elem among the best in the state? If you take out free lunch kids from the stats aren’t most of the GZ schools and some of the gentrifying places better than the burbs? My preference for private schools has more to do with how parents are treated – as customers – rather than the quality of the education. I live in Lincoln Elem attendance area.

    I agree w/ Sabrina that if your budget is $400k the city isn’t the right choice. If your budget is more like $700k+ then there are plenty of options that aren’t a 3BR down in LP / LV.

    One last note – I do think the high end market is cooling. Here is a place that sold at ask in 2012 and has now had to cut price (still asking above 2012 prices). This place had multiple bids when it listed back in 2012.
    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/1910-N-Clark-St-60614/home/13344013

    As I said before – I think prices sit here for awhile – we have gone very far in a short amount of time and it is reasonable to me that the market should take a breather.

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  117. “Is the burn more from being called “middle class” or being lumped in w HD?”

    I intentionally avoided the latter; that’s a separate issue.

    “regular middle class” is rumpus rooms in SFHs with 3 car garages–aka, those things that Nonny has actively disparaged, repeatedly. At the very least, he’s “SWPL middle class”.

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  118. “If you take out free lunch kids from the stats aren’t most of the GZ schools and some of the gentrifying places better than the burbs?”

    Yes.

    But one could assign that to selection bias, in that the kids of people who are living in the GZ would be high achievers in whatever school. So it doesn’t necessarily speak to the quality of the education provided.

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  119. “At the very least, he’s “SWPL middle class”.”

    So he has some room+board furniture (or the like) in the rumpus room, or does he aspire higher than that?

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  120. “But one could assign that to selection bias, in that the kids of people who are living in the GZ would be high achievers in whatever school. So it doesn’t necessarily speak to the quality of the education provided.”

    Can’t you say the same thing about the kids of parents who move to the burbs “for the schools”? I don’t know of any school stats that normalize for IQ (probably the most unbiased – to some – measure of intellect). I was trying to adjust for that by excluding “free lunch” kids to compare MC/UMC/Wealthy to other MC/UMC/Wealthy. And the real high achievers send their kids to private school in the city (assuming they can afford it) while the high achievers in the burbs do public school.

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  121. “And the real high achievers send their kids to private school in the city (assuming they can afford it)”

    I was calling the *kids* high achievers, not the parents.

    And I know of *many* high achieving kids with parents who can certainly afford private school (and not “afford” by making significant lifestyle compromises) who will be 12 year CPS kids.

    But, sure, you can say the same thing about the burbs. But that gets into the ‘fear the kids won’t get SEHS’ thing, too.

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  122. ““regular middle class” is rumpus rooms in SFHs with 3 car garages–”

    sarcasm I hope?

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  123. “sarcasm I hope?”

    “middle class” is everyone with enough to not be on public assistance, and not enough to stop working tomorrow and not change their lifestyle.

    “regular” MC–especially when tied to ‘opting for the burbs’–implies a whole lot of middle brow preferences–that are exemplified by places like this:

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Naperville/2604-Charlestowne-Ln-60564/home/12884371

    Who lives in all of the those not-walkable-to-the-train Naperville areas? “regular middle class” folks, with somewhat about median family incomes–incomes like Nonny’s and HD’s (neither of whom I would call “regular MC”, and not just bc of the lawyering).

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  124. “Who lives in all of the those not-walkable-to-the-train Naperville areas? “regular middle class” folks, with somewhat about median family incomes–incomes like Nonny’s and HD’s (neither of whom I would call “regular MC”, and not just bc of the lawyering).”

    Median? In some everyone above average world?

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  125. Um ‘middle class’ suburbs are places like Burbank, Oak Lawn, Rosemont, not Naperville, Park Ridge or Highland Park…

    500k culdesac homes are middle class now? Clearly, Clearly Upper MC GTFO!

    Here’s an (almost perfect) example of a “middle class” home

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Burbank/5839-W-76th-St-60459/home/13977689

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  126. “Yeah your non genius kid is really going to suck shit at New Trier, I can imagine the crushing drug use as feelings of inadequacy and consumerism run rampant there.”

    This almost sounds sarcastic, not sure, but honestly sounds accurate to me.

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  127. nope

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  128. “Here’s an (almost perfect) example of a “middle class” home”

    So, MC means “car payment greater than house payment”?

    Look, in no sense of “regular middle class folks like 2 reasonably successful lawyers moving to the suburbs” does that include people moving to f’ing *Burbank* Illinois (perhaps CA).

    Basically, you’re agreeing with me that calling HD and Nonny “regular middle class” was subtly (and perhaps unintentionally) insulting.

    Also, the sort of folks who buy that Burbank house would *love* a SFH with a rumpus room and a 3-car garage. And they’re buying them–in Plainfield and Joliet. Place like this:

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Plainfield/1817-Ridge-Moor-Dr-60586/home/23340567

    That rumpus room (pics 18, 19, 20) just *screams* HD and Nonny, don’t it?

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  129. not fair anon, that house has MILLION DOLLAR VIEWS FROM EVERY BACK WINDOW!!!!

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  130. “Median? In some everyone above average world?”

    Median *family* income. Which is $73k in the City and $93k in Dupage.

    Anyway, if they’re way above median income, and have atypical for Burbank/Joliet tastes in … well, almost everything, they’re not “regular, middle class” folks are they?

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  131. “Median *family* income. Which is $73k in the City and $93k in Dupage.”

    Chicagolandish median family income, whatev that may be, is fair enough. Picking the Dupage median income is getting close to picking the k’worth median family income and finidng appropriate house for that income.

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  132. “I was calling the *kids* high achievers, not the parents.

    And I know of *many* high achieving kids with parents who can certainly afford private school (and not “afford” by making significant lifestyle compromises) who will be 12 year CPS kids.”

    Best predictor of high achieving kids is high achieving parents. Can’t really tell at age 4 (except extreme cases in either direction) if the kid is going to be a high achiever.

    I also know many high achieving people in the city who could afford private school but chose public in the city. I know *zero* who make the same decision in the “move for the school” burbs (I’m sure there are some however). You need to compare the %’s to each other. In other words – I think high achieving family in the city is much more likely to send their kid to a private school than a high achieving family that moved to the burbs. So comparing non free lunch kids in the burbs and the city is a reasonable proxy.

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  133. “That rumpus room (pics 18, 19, 20) just *screams* HD and Nonny, don’t it?”

    It needs more sports-beer decorations.

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  134. “getting close to picking the k’worth median family income”

    Kenilworth median *household* is nearly $250k. Family would be higher. So, no, not close.

    I would agree that HD and Nonny would constitute “regular middle class folks” within New Trier Township. Probably someplace in Wilmette. As thoroughly beaten, that is *not* the same as “regular middle class folks” in any representative population where “middle class” has a meaning.

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  135. “I know *zero* who make the same decision in the “move for the school” burbs (I’m sure there are some however).”

    There’s at least one whole school of ’em: North Shore Country Day. Undoubtedly most of them making the decision for reasons similar to yours.

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  136. “It needs more sports-beer decorations.”

    I was thinking that would be HD’s objection.

    I had you down for having a problem with “too few mini-bikes”.

    I owe DZ a dollar.

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  137. I wonder if that red mini-bike runs, or if it’s just for show/sitting on. It’s pretty sweet.

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