Market Conditions: April Sales up 5.8% in Chicago As Inventory Remains Low

559 w surf approved

The Illinois Association of Realtors is out with April’s data. As expected, sales were up.

The city of Chicago saw sales of 2,386 homes in April 2015, up 5.8 percent from last year when 2,256 homes were sold. The median price of a home in Chicago was $275,000, up 10.0 percent over April 2014 when median price was $250,000.

Here are the sales statistics for April since 2007:

  • 2007: 2419 sales
  • 2008: 1886 sales
  • 2009: 1407 sales
  • 2010: 1984 sales
  • 2011: 1466 sales
  • 2012: 1816 sales
  • 2013: 2392 sales
  • 2014: 2256 sales
  • 2015:  2386 sales

Here are the median prices:

  • 2007: $289,800
  • 2008: $300,000
  • 2009: $218,000
  • 2010: $225,000
  • 2011: $169,000
  • 2012: $184,400 (IAR says it was $182,000 but I have $184,400 from last year’s data)
  • 2013: $223,500
  • 2014: $250,000
  • 2015: $275,000

“Throughout Illinois we are seeing tight housing inventories and this dynamic is providing encouragement for homeowners to get their property on the market,” said Jim Kinney, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and vice president for luxury sales at Baird & Warner in Chicago. “Demand is so high right now that buyers are willing to pay the prices that result from the decreased number of homes on the market this spring.”

The time it took to sell a home in April averaged 78 days statewide, down from 82 days a year ago. Available housing inventory remained tight with 65,568 homes for sale, a 4.8 percent decline from April 2014 when there were 68,898 homes.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central Region was 3.64 percent in April 2015, down from 3.76 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In April 2014 it averaged 4.34 percent.

“In Chicago, year-over-year sales and price gains are a clear sign that buyers are enthusiastic about making a purchase now despite a fewer number of homes available for sale,” said Hugh Rider, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and co-president of Realty & Mortgage Co. “With interest rates so low, we expect more buyers to seize the opportunity to make an investment. Homeowners who enter the market can anticipate strong sales prices as this trend has continued all year.”

With mortgage rates still near the all time low, sales red hot and prices back to peak levels (and beyond), why isn’t inventory increasing as everyone thought it would?

Illinois housing market swings into spring with higher home sales, prices in April [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, May 21, 2015]

142 Responses to “Market Conditions: April Sales up 5.8% in Chicago As Inventory Remains Low”

  1. because prices are really not back to peak levels for huge portions of the market.

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  2. “because prices are really not back to peak levels for huge portions of the market.”

    Of course they are Gary. Tsk, tsk.

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  3. buy now or be priced out forever.

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  4. There are SO many examples. I’ll soon go out to Portage Park to document the growing bubble there.

    This is what’s interesting this time for me. When I started this blog in late 2007 the writing was already on the wall. The housing market was slowing but no one wanted to believe it yet. The bulls were still rah-rahing. But the bubble was essentially over.

    This time, I get to document it month by month in real time here.

    I just posted about this house a few days ago. It’s nowhere Jefferson Park (not near the El or the Metra or restaurants.) It’s JEFFERSON PARK! That is supposed to be working and middle class. Lots of immigrants with “normal” jobs. Several generations living together to pay the bills.

    This is just one house in that neighborhood. Others probably not selling for more. But in 2012, no one here would have guessed they’d be trying to get peak again in THIS location.

    It speaks to what’s going on out there. The bubble has reflated and is still going higher. It’s not normal (or sane) but it is what it is.

    It’s only going to end one way- badly. Because these prices are removed from incomes in all but the most exclusive neighborhoods. Without cheap rates NO ONE is buying this.

    All interest loans (which kept the monthly payment “low” last time) have been replaced by low rates. Both have accomplished the same thing though.

    http://cribchatter.com/?p=22190

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  5. “Of course they are Gary. Tsk, tsk.”

    …in your cherry picked examples. I can cherry pick too and have in the past but you always come up with a reason why my example doesn’t count. University Village prices are not back to peak. Yeah, you can say the finishes are outdated but to me if they were “back to peak” that wouldn’t matter.

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  6. “It’s only going to end one way- badly.”

    When?

    “With mortgage rates still near the all time low, sales red hot and prices back to peak levels (and beyond), why isn’t inventory increasing as everyone thought it would?”

    Everyone? Or you? When will you realize that you just don’t understand how the housing market works?

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  7. One other benefit of buying for average Joes like yours truly is that I did not waste the money on clothes as Milkster alluded. Not everyone is great with saving and investing and has an iron will power. For me, it has worked great. I am under 40 and own nearly a million in property (this is after removing the mortgage value I own). One can argue, I could have invested the money. That is correct, but I am not a savvy investor and spendacciona as my husband likes to call me. So I like having to pay mortgages and owning property. BTW, one of the properties which is completely paid off now, generates a decent amount of income trough rent.

    Oh and you all talk about housing bubbles, same thing can happen in short term investing in stocks. I know someone who lost $17 million in the last stock bust and the only thing that they had left was their two houses. This person was not a spring chicken either so their life’s savings was pretty much gone.

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  8. Not all places or segments have recovered, this is true. Prices have recovered for SFH and nice condos in the green zone; but they have not recovered for small one/two bedrooms in older high rise buildings, especially the farther north you go along the lake. The NW side is on fire right now but not eclipsing the peak. Same with some burbs. But realistically, everything new high in a subpar neighborhood after 2006 was based on outright fraud, so it’s hard to make an apples to apples comparison of this market’s frothiness with the last bubbles fraud. But if you want to argue that now in 2015 we’re back at 2004/2005 bubble pricing in many places, this is true in that respect, and it’s unaffordable. A lot of these buyers in the last year have been living paycheck to paycheck and buying homes and the FHA has been the primary driver, not subprime fraud.

    In the burbs

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  9. Nornan Bates Mother on May 21st, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Wow, an anonymous, internet millionaire. Well, I am invested exclusively in the market and am worth BILLIONS!

    I agree with Sabrina. This market is rapidly imploding. The lack of inventory is because fully 47% of homeowners in metro=Chicago are at zero to negative equity. Peolpe simply can’t afford to sell.

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  10. There’s definitely a downtown condo bubble (River North is ridiculous), but outside of it I’m not too concerned about being “priced out”. Especially with the median price being skewed by higher-end sales. Realtor firms love marketing/blogging with that data as an excuse to buy.

    Half of my favorite properties (modest 2-3 bedrooms) on redfin undergo price cuts every 2-4 weeks and are in decent areas (Andersonville, Logan, Edgewater, Lincoln Square). 2-3 bedroom condos and some houses are still selling under list price and I’ve had several realtor friends be candid with me and tell me NOT to buy unless I had the money/skills to buy up a crapshack SFH/multi-unit and rehab. This surprises me given a looming rate increase. If there’s bubble mentality I’m not seeing it. Wage gaps, a disappearing middle class, and student loan debt aren’t exactly going to help re-inflate said bubble soon. A rising tide lifts all boats only when everyone has a boat.

    I’m still on the “delusional sellers” side of the fence. The american dream of homeownership appreciation (beyond inflation) for many is still just a dream. The disparity I see between market value and entitled value continues to amuse me.

    That being said, I can’t blame many for trying to sell now to the lemmings and get out without bringing money to the table. If you’re going to buy, buy beneath your means for the long term.

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  11. “If you’re going to buy, buy beneath your means for the long term.”

    That’s always been the right purchase criteria. Nothing new.

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  12. “The lack of inventory is because fully 47% of homeowners in metro=Chicago are at zero to negative equity. Peolpe simply can’t afford to sell.”

    That can’t be true because “prices are beyond the peak”. We’re in the middle of a new bubble.

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  13. I agree that we are in a bubble….but remember, that doesn’t mean it is a bubble that is going to pop. Some of them just deflate over time. By my estimates, home prices are in the neighborhood of being 20% overvalued. It still could be a good time to buy. Homes can become MUCH more overvalued in the coming years. especially if rates fall rather than rise. I personally think that rates will first collapse downwards before shooting higher. So we have a market that is 20% overvalued but there is no reason it cannot become 60% overvalued and then have price growth decelerate over time to a point where home prices are once again at ‘fair value’. In this scenario, it would actually make sense to buy an overvalued property especially given how high rents are today. Add in the fact that the Fed will continue to back up the housing market however they can and a purchase today is potentially not as crazy as it would otherwise seem in a completely free market where honest price discovery exists.

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  14. “This market is rapidly imploding.”

    Uhhhh. What?

    “I agree with Sabrina.”

    I knew I should have stopped reading right there.

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  15. “I knew I should have stopped reading right there.”

    lol…also it is so impossible for two people who work to have properties valued at 1$Million. I guess this dude thinks everyone lives in Section 8.

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  16. There is no bubble in the Chicago area in general. It’s possible some micro areas in the metro have tiny bubbles, though I even doubt that. Homes are expensive in certain areas because they are nice places to live. Homes can’t be sold in certain areas because they are hellholes, like most suburbs.

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  17. Nornan Bates Mother on May 21st, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    “lol…also it is so impossible for two people who work to have properties valued at 1$Million.”

    So, you are confirming you are an internet posuer? Or just a dolt? Cash flow is the name of the game, not some arbitrary valuation that changes daily. My BILLION in stocks, however, is liquid, hard money….

    Oh, and I’m not a dude.

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  18. Nornan Bates Mother on May 21st, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Vlajos, is it true you stopped posting because you couldn’t figure out the math on the “submit comment” button?

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  19. NorNan Bates??? Nwtf?

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  20. Nornan Bates Mother on May 21st, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Copyright issues, you moron

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  21. Ommmmm

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  22. Might be as many as 22 people named “Norman Bates” in Illinois.

    http://www.spokeo.com/Norman-Bates/Illinois

    Anecdata sez that typos and misunderstanding copyright are correlated, but that seems odd to me.

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  23. “…I did not waste the money on clothes as Milkster alluded.”

    It’s not the clothes that matter…it’s the “rack” 😉

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  24. That is right Milkster :) But I love shopping.

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  25. I look better naked :)

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  26. haha…Good for you :)

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  27. Nornan Bates Mother on May 22nd, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    January 19, 2015:

    “Fannie and Freddie are now buying the large majority of mortgages and announced last month they would buy mortgages with only 3 percent downpayments. The qualified mortgage standards laid down by HUD and other regulators in October allowed for mortgages with zero downpayments.”

    http://nypost.com/2015/01/19/brewing-up-a-fresh-housing-bubble/

    “But I have ONE MILLION in real estate investments!” Good luck.

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  28. “But I have ONE MILLION in real estate investments!” Good luck.

    Let me guess….Renter?

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  29. “Homes can’t be sold in certain areas because they are hellholes, like most suburbs.”

    What area in Chicagoland ISN’T selling? Please tell me.

    Because, according to that article, the houses in Burbank, Illinois are selling very quickly at prices above what would be “middle class” for that area. And the last time I checked, I don’t think anyone has ever mentioned Burbank on this blog before so it’s not Park Ridge or Evanston.

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  30. “Some of them just deflate over time.”

    Bubbles just slowly deflate?

    Which ones?

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  31. “There’s definitely a downtown condo bubble (River North is ridiculous), but outside of it I’m not too concerned about being “priced out”.”

    Some condos in Lakeview are listing for a higher per square footage basis than those in River North.

    But I thought River North and Streeterville were the premier neighborhoods and have always commanded a higher price point?

    Some prices in Wicker Park and Bucktown are now surpassing those in Lakeview and even some parts of LP. Wicker Park and Bucktown, with the opening of the 606, are on their way to being THE top neighborhood, in terms of price, in Chicago.

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  32. “I agree with Sabrina. This market is rapidly imploding.”

    I never said that the market was rapidly imploding. Nothing of the sort. In fact, I said that I don’t see a bubble. There is froth but we’re not at bubble conditions yet.

    It’s a bubble when the properties on the Metra and the El get multiple offers. So far, that’s not happening. In fact, I’ve seen some properties in the GZ sitting there because they are 1) overpriced or 2) not completely updated.

    Buyers are still picky even though there’s multiple offers going on. That’s what makes this market weird. You can’t really know for sure what will sell fast and what will not. Heck, even just the exposure could be the difference (north facing v. south facing etc.)

    In a true bubble- mania takes over. No one cares what they pay or where the property is located or if it has stainless steel appliances. They just know they HAVE to have it.

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  33. “prices back to peak levels (and beyond)”

    So, I was poking around at a few listings sort of near me, and I realized the one huge category of properties that are *definitely* not past peak:

    condos in buildings that really should have remained rentals–like this one:

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/5221-N-Hoyne-Ave-60625/unit-1/home/12773765

    sold in ’03 for $175k, now just sitting at $149k. Sure, it could definitely use $25k in updates to make it saleable, and then it might fetch $175, but that’s still, what? 25% below “peak”?

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  34. “So, I was poking around at a few listings sort of near me, and I realized the one huge category of properties that are *definitely* not past peak:”

    was talking to someone who bought in portage park at the peak and was certain they were still markedly below peak. she was not at all happy about it so I didn’t probe.

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  35. “sold in ’03 for $175k, now just sitting at $149k. Sure, it could definitely use $25k in updates to make it saleable, and then it might fetch $175, but that’s still, what? 25% below “peak”?”

    It’s building by building, block by block.

    I also don’t consider this the GreenZone. Bowmanville has been hot for SFH, but not so much for routine condos. Put this east of the train tracks and you probably have a different story. Even Edgewater is hotter.

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  36. Steve Heitman on May 29th, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    The demand for housing in the better Chicago neighborhoods is off the charts. There are 3 reasons for this and they are not going to change anytime soon:

    1. General trend to live in Urban area
    2. Tech & financial companies flooding Goose Island and West Loop (lot’s are high-paid people work there)
    3. Chicago has become a very attractive city for all ages to live.

    Housing is recovering everywhere in the country, but Chicago has the above listed advantages that will continue to push our housing prices higher.

    I think someone told you this back in 2007 & 2008 & 2009 & 2010!

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  37. Laura Louzader on May 31st, 2015 at 4:55 am

    Steve Heitman, let’s just hope Chicago retains its desirability in the face of its epic financial problems, which I don’t hear a lot of people on this blog or any other, discussing.

    Maybe if we all just continue to act as though we still have an AAA bond rating, and the towering budget and pension shortfalls don’t exist, these issues will just painlessly fade away. By some form of magic, we will manage to pay increasing worker salaries and fund our pensions, and still maintain essential services at first world levels, with no major increase in taxes and fees, and no sacrifices by public workers, but I don’t see how. While a 50% property tax hike might not be a financial catastrophe for some of the folks posting here, it could be the last straw for families earning $75k- $200K a year who are already struggling with huge mortgages and school tuition, as well as other debts and costs, and is a disaster for average earners who make $35K to $75K, and steeply higher taxes will certainly be a deterrent to businesses thinking of locating here… that is, businesses that are net taxpayers, and don’t receive TIF funding or tax abatements, or some other taxpayer-funded gimme.

    I truly love this city and can’t really imagine living anywhere else. But I’m old enough to remember when Detroit was beautiful, wealthy, and solvent, though those golden times are in the distant past. Detroit, too, still had a rich tax base and was home to what was then a huge, wealthy industry that was, at that time, the cornerstone of our economy, when signs of trouble began to appear. But no one ever thought the slow erosion of the tax base and outward movement of businesses would become the flood it did in the 70s- you couldn’t look at that city as it was in 1960, vibrant, bustling, and populated by a healthy middle class, and imagine what it would become by 1980.

    I hope we do a better job of confronting and resolving our frightening financial problems now, while we still have a huge tax base, and the city is beautiful, vibrant and intact. This city has vastly improved in appearance since the darkest times for American cities, in the 70s, when it was thought that all of our cities were destined to become hollowed out slums, and the lenders had drawn a big red line around almost every one. However, the complacency of the citizenry isn’t reassuring.

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  38. “While a 50% property tax hike might not be a financial catastrophe for some of the folks posting here, it could be the last straw for families earning $75k- $200K a year who are already struggling with huge mortgages and school tuition, as well as other debts and costs, and is a disaster for average earners who make $35K to $75K, and steeply higher taxes will certainly be a deterrent to businesses thinking of locating here.”

    While, Laura, normally I would agree with you about the consequences of the huge tax hikes coming, the higher taxes have never stopped anyone from moving to, or starting a business, in either New York City or the entire state of California.

    California has enormous state taxes. It is three times the rate of Illinois on the upper bracket and higher on the middle class. New York City has a bunch of weird taxes including that commuter tax if you live outside the city and New Jersey has super high property taxes. No one has left, en mass, from any of these areas. As I said, people keep flocking to them, high taxes be damned.

    One could argue that Illinois doesn’t have the same redeeming qualities as those two parts of the country so higher taxes here WILL crush us. We won’t know until it happens.

    But it takes a lot for people to up and move from a place where their ancestors have lived for 150 years, or even 50 years, for that matter. It took a natural disaster to get people to leave New Orleans for more jobs and better housing in Houston. There are still many people living within the 8 Mile in Detroit when they could leave and go to greener pastures.

    And it’s not like you can leave Chicago and go to Evanston. Evanston faces a worse pension crisis than the city. As do a host of other suburbs where taxes will HAVE to go up. There’s no other way. The bill is coming due.

    But I agree with you that everyone is complacent. We don’t believe it will happen until we have the bill in our hands.

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  39. Has this been covered yet?

    http://www.chicagomag.com/real-estate/May-2015/This-Slice-of-Wayne-Avenue-is-One-of-Lake-Views-Hottest-Blocks/

    “There are no tiny worker’s cottages to descend on, so brick and graystone two-flats in sorry shape got the axe—those that just a few years earlier might have been converted into lovely four-bedroom homes. ”

    I researched one of the houses in the article. 3721 N. Wayne. The existing two-flat was purchased for $985,000! Knocked down. There is a mortgage recorded subsequent for $1,495,000, and according to the article the builder is asking $3.0 million. Bubble? or people can afford it and want to live like Heitman says?

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  40. Here is how May shook out: Total sales up 13% from last year but IAR will report around 10.1%. Inventory just keeps getting lower but market times not really any lower. Huh! And if you take out distressed sales then sales really skyrocketed: http://www.chicagonow.com/getting-real/2015/06/chicago-real-estate-market-update-home-sales-still-steaming-ahead/

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  41. “Here is how May shook out: Total sales up 13% from last year but IAR will report around 10.1%. Inventory just keeps getting lower but market times not really any lower. Huh!”

    I’m not surprised May numbers were good. These were properties that went under contract in March and April when it was super hot.

    I agree that inventory is still really low which is why prices continue to rise.

    It will be interesting to see the data moving forward now that mortgage rates have spiked again. The 30-year this week is anywhere from 4.15% to 4.25% depending on the bank. That’s considerably higher than earlier this spring (heck- even just 2 weeks ago).

    The 10-year is back to 2015 highs again today- around 2.42%. We’ll see if it holds it.

    I still think the 30-year mortgage rates need to be around 4.5% for the market to tank like it did in 2013. But prices are 10% to 20% higher than 2013 so every rise in rates is magnified.

    And yes, Sonies argued a few days ago that an extra $100 a month in a mortgage increase isn’t that big of a deal for most buyers but you’d be surprised how many people don’t qualify for the loan just because of $100. The banks still have a comfort level. People have a lot of other debt (car payments, student loans, credit cards.) It’s not so easy to suddenly pay another $100 or $200 a month in the mortgage payment.

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  42. “but you’d be surprised how many people don’t qualify for the loan just because of $100.”

    Yes, I would be.

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  43. “It’s not so easy to suddenly pay another $100 or $200 a month in the mortgage payment.”

    these folks shouldn’t be buying and getting loans anyways as it is clearly out of their reach if that small of an amount is going to put them over the 36%DTI or whatever it is these days

    I mean thats like razors edge stuff, doctors visit bill, It might push people to a lower price bracket but I just don’t see that making that big of a big difference

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  44. There is just a lot of money in the current market and the lack of inventory is helping push up prices too. People can sell their property they purchased in 2010 or 2011 at a decent gain now and move up into a larger more expensive property. The prime green zone areas have had significant income growth if you look at the 80th percentile and up. There are also boomers moving back to the city who are retired or close to retirement who have huge investment portfolios. I’m not sure why it’s a surprise why prices are rising in the city in prime areas. Chicago is way behind Boston, SF, NYC in terms of pricing in prime GZ areas.

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  45. “I agree that inventory is still really low ”

    Good to see that you agree with hard facts.

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  46. “these folks shouldn’t be buying and getting loans anyways as it is clearly out of their reach if that small of an amount is going to put them over the 36%DTI or whatever”

    Not “they shouldn’t be buying”, but rather “they should be buying a less expensive house”.

    Buying within a percentage point of one’s maximum qualification amount, with minimal DP/savings, is rarely a goo idea. If someone is in line for substantial (and unconditional) pay increases, sure, but otherwise, notsmart.

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  47. I’m of the mind that it’s not a bad idea to stretch a little in terms of what you can afford. In a few years, you’ll end up getting raises/promotions and feel more comfortable. That’s what I did at least. I spent more than I had intended to get a place I didn’t think I could afford. A few raises and a promotion later and I am very comfortable with my mortgage. I had to sacrifice going to Europe for 3 years and put off buying a car to replace my geriatric old car for 4 years, but I am really happy I ended up with 2/2 instead of a smaller place. If I had bought a smaller place, I think I would already be thinking about moving to get more space.

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  48. @jenny – I would argue that you got lucky. It could have gone the other way (lost job, etc). IMO, you should have rented a 1/1 until you could afford the 2/2. Again, I realize in hindsight that it worked out, but I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone.

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  49. “@jenny – I would argue that you got lucky.”

    A rich white girl with an upper middle class upbringing has luck? Or is it white privilege?

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  50. You’d be surprised how many people are a broken furnace away from foreclosure.

    High DTIs are bad with lower income folks as they simply don’t have enough disposable income. The higher the income, the less DTI really means because you have way more disposable income. A 50% DTI when you only make say $3k a month means you have hardly any money left at the end of the month. A 50% DTI when you make $250k means you should still have plenty left. Big difference between the two and overall risk.

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  51. “The higher the income, the less DTI really means because you have way more disposable income. ”

    Good point. I never really thought about this much but it’s clearly the wrong metric. Should be looking at dollars left over after necessities.

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  52. My back up plan is renting out my condo and moving in with my parents if I lose my job and can’t find another one. I am very lucky that moving home would be an option for me. Having a backup made me a little braver in my buying. I still had money in reserve for emergencies but the monthly payments were difficult especially in the first year. I am glad I pushed myself.

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  53. @homedelete

    article student loans

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/opinion/sunday/why-i-defaulted-on-my-student-loans.html

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  54. “article student loans”

    The man who wrote that op-ed has multiple degrees from Columbia and THEN he chooses to default? You’re not entitled to a private school degree.

    Also, his advice is dumb. Why aren’t they garnishing his wages to pay it? They would garnish most people’s salaries. There have been stories of people moving out of the country to avoid having to pay- but they can never come back.

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  55. “Not “they shouldn’t be buying”, but rather “they should be buying a less expensive house”.”

    This is exactly what should happen- and what we may see happen as mortgage rates rise (but no one really knows because it has been over 30 years since mortgage rates have risen substantially.)

    They don’t NOT buy. That is the myth. But now they can afford a lot less house. In fact, in some cases, just a 1% increase in mortgage rates means that a family that was buying a $325,000 house is now buying a $250,000 house for the same payment.

    The belief is always that people would “trade down” – but we won’t know what will happen until the rates actually rise. And with prices at all time highs, it’s going to be really hard for huge swaths of people to find something at a lower price point.

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  56. “Chicago is way behind Boston, SF, NYC in terms of pricing in prime GZ areas.”

    There are several reasons for this:

    1. No constraints on geography. All 3 of the other cities you mentioned have constraints. Our “GZ” can continue indefinitely (as the gentrification of Logan Square and now Avondale is proving.)

    2. Chicago doesn’t have many foreign buyers. There are some Chinese parents buying condos for their college student children. But the Chinese/Russians aren’t choosing to “invest” in Chicago the way they are in Vancouver, Miami, NYC and SF. Heck, in Miami 95% of the buyers of the new condos are foreigners!

    And really- THANK GOD we aren’t those other cities. I’ve lived in a couple of them. It was a nightmare and it’s only gotten worse. My poor friends in the Bay Area. Seriously. It is awful and stressful and not a way I want to live. I’ll take Chicago’s winters if it means I have all the other same amenities as people in those cities you mentioned with housing costs that are a third of theirs.

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  57. “but you’d be surprised how many people don’t qualify for the loan just because of $100.”

    “Yes, I would be.”

    This happens all the time. Ask any mortgage broker. You buy a car that has a higher monthly payment and suddenly they won’t qualify you for the mortgage you want.

    Most Americans live close to the line. They live paycheck to paycheck. This is what got us into the housing bubble in the first place. The banks started to give the loans without a care about the monthly take home. That has mostly gone away. The idea that it’s okay to spend 50% of your income on housing (unless you’re in California) is gone.

    So when rates rise- people suddenly can’t afford what they thought they could just because of $100 or $200 a month. Yes- it’s that tight for most people.

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  58. People living paycheck to paycheck shouldn’t buy houses. Do banks look at how much money people will have left after buying a home? They should check to see how much someone will have in savings after buying a house.

    When I bought my condo the broker just asked me what I wanted to be approved for and then approved that amount. This was after the bust and I have no idea if the broker looked at how much I would have left after my down payment.

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  59. My comment was on “prime GZ” areas. Prices will rise above trend for the metro area in those areas, of which I think the bonudaries are rather fixed in the medium term. Logan Square is not prime GZ in my opinion and won’t be for quite some time. There is still lots of money out there and not everyone that buys is “stretching it to the max”. The thing people need to realize is current year income does not equate to buying power for much of the buyers in the prime GZ, especially once you get into the market that is more than a 1/1 or a 2/2. I’d love to see a chart that shows the variability of income and net assets from year to year, but overall these have both been rising rapidly over the past 4-5 years, and it’s not just the 1 percenters in this group.

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  60. “…but I am really happy I ended up with 2/2 instead of a smaller place. If I had bought a smaller place, I think I would already be thinking about moving to get more space.”

    I also stretched to buy. It meant making sacrifices, but in the end I was happier. If worst came to worst, Jenny could also have taken a roommate.

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  61. “Should be looking at dollars left over after necessities.”

    …as a percentage of the debt obligations, or value of the property, or something.

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  62. “And really- THANK GOD we aren’t those other cities. I’ve lived in a couple of them. It was a nightmare and it’s only gotten worse. My poor friends in the Bay Area. Seriously. It is awful and stressful and not a way I want to live. I’ll take Chicago’s winters if it means I have all the other same amenities as people in those cities you mentioned with housing costs that are a third of theirs.”

    I agree. Too much diversity breaks down social cohesion and civic trust. At least Chicago isn’t as transient/foreign on such a huge scale, relatively, lol. Also, rising housing costs take a huge toll on families and family formation which is the bedrock and backbone of any growing and normal healthy society. Strollers are much less common in San Francisco than Chicago. There are already Asian-only mega shopping malls in British Columbia.

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  63. The trendy thing is not to use strollers anymore. You’re supposed to wear the baby. Strollers don’t allow for proper parent/child bonding according to the new trendy parents.

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  64. haha, I wanna hear that milkster story about the skin on skin time lol

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  65. Rising home prices are fine as long as they happen at a regular pace, but it’s when they jump at double digit rates that more issues arise, including asset bubbles. I see no issue with pricing levels in prime GZ areas on a per square foot basis overall. Demand is so high with low inventory and the lending environment is still a bit more stringent than in the 2005/2006 era overall. The economy is strengthening, especially with all the emerging tech companies in the city, along with an overall trend of companies moving from the suburbs to the city.

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  66. HAHAHA! Miumiu didn’t think it was so funny:
    http://cribchatter.com/?p=13870

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  67. oh man, that is a CLASSIC cc thread

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  68. “Logan Square is not prime GZ in my opinion and won’t be for quite some time.”

    $750,000 median housing price and some of the hottest restaurants in the city not to mention one of the hottest parks (the 606) doesn’t make it prime?

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  69. Whatever happened to G? After all of his attacks on Milkster (who was proven 100% right while he was proven 100% wrong), funny to see how he crawled away.

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  70. Yeah G what an angry bitter little troll, he did provide good info usually when he wasn’t bashing people who bought property like its some kind of disease

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  71. “Whatever happened to G? After all of his attacks on Milkster (who was proven 100% right while he was proven 100% wrong), funny to see how he crawled away.”

    I don’t remember him attacking Milkster. I don’t think he was even around when she was around. He was on this blog really early and then he left. And then he came back about a year later. And then he left again. It’s been at least 3 or 4 years since he’s posted here. Maybe 2011? I don’t remember.

    G used to get into it with Clio back in the day. Maybe that’s what you remember.

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  72. “Yeah G what an angry bitter little troll,”

    He was correct about the housing market for many years. Maybe you just forget that part.

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  73. I like it how all the “bulls” are doing triumphant laps around the park now that we’re in Bubble 2.0.

    The housing market is completely abnormal and distorted and everyone acts like this is how it should be and it’s perfectly rational. But that’s what bubbles do. Everyone gets a warped sense of the asset class.

    Even the mainstream media is now talking about how dangerous the US housing market is.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/61667024-0ada-11e5-98d3-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3clNRLoly

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  74. G used to get into it with me also. No matter what I said he had a snide remark to make. I think he just hated me because I was a realtor.

    He had access to data that I did not, which I appreciated. Clearly he worked for one of the big real estate data companies and had direct access to the database and could run SQL queries. You could tell by the way he displayed the data and the types of data he pulled.

    We speculated that he worked for someone like CoreLogic or IAR. He was a bitter guy and reminded me of so many people out there who sit behind computer screens all day that no one listens to and they make less money than the people who aren’t as smart but bring in revenue.

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  75. A bear market genius, yes

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  76. “I don’t remember him attacking Milkster. ”

    He called Milkster the B word, me the the C word.
    I had made up this story in my mind that he was married to a real estate agent who dumped him so he felt if the housing market crashes, he’ll get his revenge…lol

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  77. Sabrina – you don’t remember? He used to attack me all the time and in a creepy personal way. Miu miu too. Whatever. I just followed my heart. Everyone out there, just follow your heart and pursue your dreams. Don’t let the dirt of life drag you down.

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  78. “He was correct about the housing market for many years. Maybe you just forget that part.”

    So were the permabulls that got killed in 2008. Maybe you just forget that part.

    Perma-bears are just as bad as perma-bulls. Yet they each like to pretend they are so much smarter than the other. They are both morons.

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  79. “$750,000 median housing price and some of the hottest restaurants in the city not to mention one of the hottest parks (the 606) doesn’t make it prime?”

    No, Logan Square is not a prime GZ neighborhood. It may be hot, but it’s still in active gentrification and there’s still gangs and safety issues. Schools are definitely an issue. I recognize there is crime all over the GZ, but Logan Square is not there yet. I know multiple people who were mugged there in the past year, its deceptive how safe people think it is now.

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  80. Also, I’ve been running on the 606 for years. $100M for that is insane. It was just primarily a payoff to help out campaign contributors and organized labor. there’s no way the 606 is going to make that neighborhood a prime neighborhood.

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  81. In the last 30 days Logan Square has tied or been safer than Lincoln Park in Violent Crime, Property Crime, and Quality of Life Crime. I can’t quickly pull 2014, but I’m guessing it’s not substantially different.

    Your perception is not reality. Logan Square is not the gold coast, but I bet you were saying Bucktown would never be “prime” 15 years ago.

    The 606 only cost the city 5 mil. That’s a steal.

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  82. $54M of the initial $72M for the 606 project was public funds, with an initial estimated cost of $95M total. Read the 606 website.

    Logan Square is not a prime neighborhood and it will be a while for that to happen. How are the local schools in the neighborhood? Just because prices are high does not mean its prime.

    Gangs still live in the neighborhood and they drive their cars and make a ton of noise. Do you dispute that? Much of the crime is not reported, as in the rest of the city because its criminal on criminal. There aren’t many gangsters living in LP or GC.

    Logan Square is a hip neighborhood which has had huge run-ups in home prices, I don’t dispute that.

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  83. 50 million of the public money for the 606 came from national transportation funding. Read better.

    “Gangs still live in the neighborhood and they drive their cars and make a ton of noise. Do you dispute that? Much of the crime is not reported, as in the rest of the city because its criminal on criminal. There aren’t many gangsters living in LP or GC. ”

    This is all circumstantial BS. You may be right, you may be wrong, but it’s all optics.

    The schools aren’t great, but for how long, and what’s prime for a childless couple? What’s the effect of Wells on River North?

    Call me a market fundamentalist, but in my book the only measure of what’s desirable is price. Price has a way of factoring all different kinds of value that personal preferences obscure. Logan Square is on the cusp of “prime” on the basis of price already, and in 5 years it will be undeniable.

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  84. What’s your definition of Logan Square’s boundaries?

    I know residents of Logan Square and have stayed there and been at parties at night. There is still a gang element to the area that is a concern. In 5 years this could be gone or mostly gone, but it’s much more prevalent than in almost all of Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and Gold Coast. Until this is improved, it will not be a prime neighborhood.

    So if the federal government pays for something it’s considered free? That’s a brilliant way of thinking…

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  85. Thank you, Dave. I just came here to raise the boundary issue and found your post, which hadn’t yet made it to my inbox. We can’t even have this discussion without defining what we are talking about. Logan Square, the community area, is huge. All the way from the highway to the railroad tracks out by Pulaski. East of Western is very different from West of Western and then it changes even more as you go further West. Part of Logan Square is Bucktown for God’s sake.

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  86. Even if you only say Logan Square goes to Kedzie on the west boundary, there is still a substantial gang element to the neigborhood. I consider the boundaries to be Kedzie (3200W) on the west (some say Kimball/3400W), Armitage on the south (2000N), Western on the east (2400W), Diversey to the north (2800N).

    I don’t see how a prime neighborhood can have a substantial gang element and horrible schools.

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  87. Yeah, so if this is the area under discussion it is NOT Logan Square the community area but rather some neighborhood definition of Logan Square. The area west of Western really does look like a quilt. There are sections as far west as Kedzie with decent median incomes and as far west as California with very high median incomes. And then there are some moderately low income areas just east of Kedzie. But there is no question that more expensive homes are moving west of Western.

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  88. buyer beware for those who buy west of western. the immutable laws of entropy command that the ghetto will reclaim vast swaths of neighborhoods that had become partially gentrified. there’s a reason why buyers should stay away from numbered streets and never go west of western. NYC has been trying to gentrify Harlem as long as my parents have been alive. it still hasn’t happened and instead Williamsburg gentrified instead. I suspect the same for places like humboldt park. the only area west of western with long term viability is the far NW side starting with jeff park, even old Irving is a little too close

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  89. David M said: “Logan Square is not a prime neighborhood and it will be a while for that to happen. …. Gangs still live in the neighborhood and they drive their cars and make a ton of noise. Do you dispute that? …. There aren’t many gangsters living in LP or GC.”
    Yes but gang members were tagging garages & stores and shooting at each other near Halsted & Wrightwood 30 years ago. But as LP gentrification continued they were displaced west. Imo same thing will continue occuring in LS thanks in part to stimulus like the 606 raising awareness of changes in LS & driving demand.

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  90. “No, Logan Square is not a prime GZ neighborhood. It may be hot, but it’s still in active gentrification and there’s still gangs and safety issues. Schools are definitely an issue. I recognize there is crime all over the GZ, but Logan Square is not there yet. I know multiple people who were mugged there in the past year, its deceptive how safe people think it is now.”

    I’ve lived in Logan Square for 22 years. I sure would love to meet all of those multiple people that Dave M says have been mugged. I have not met anyone among my neighbors or friends visiting that have been mugged. 20 years ago we left our garage door unlocked and our car was broken into. That can surely happen anywhere in the city. The worse event that I recall was five years ago when a gang member was shot dead in the alley across our street at 4:30am, a very isolated incident. I wonder where Dave lives and what he actually knows about the city.

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  91. “it still hasn’t happened and instead Williamsburg gentrified instead. I suspect the same for places like humboldt park. the only area west of western with long term viability is the far NW side starting with jeff park, even old Irving is a little too close”

    Homedelete, how long you been living in Long Grove?

    Jeez. The area west of Western has been “gentrified” in West Town since the bubble. They are back to building $800,000+ homes there again. Maybe I’ll have to do a few posts on what is going on there.

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  92. “I don’t see how a prime neighborhood can have a substantial gang element and horrible schools”

    You mean like Wicker Park? Tell me the “good” school in that neighborhood. And some people who have lived there a long time (since it WAS awful in the early 1990s) said that there are still gang issues even today.

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  93. “Part of Logan Square is Bucktown for God’s sake.”

    I didn’t try and define it. I was going by the Crain’s article that said the median price in Logan Square has surged to $750,000 so people who are priced out are now going to Avondale where the median single family home price is just under $400,000.

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  94. “$54M of the initial $72M for the 606 project was public funds, with an initial estimated cost of $95M total. Read the 606 website.”

    “We”, i.e. the city of Chicago, got this great park on the cheap. Seriously. Wasn’t it only like $5 million of city funds? Thank you Mayor Emmanuel.

    I don’t care if the Feds spent $50 million. Good. That’s my tax dollars at work. They are spending like $400 million on upgrades to the subway system too. Good. The state doesn’t have the money let it be the Feds. That’s what the government should be doing. Investing in infrastructure, parks, libraries, schools etc.

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  95. “Also, I’ve been running on the 606 for years. $100M for that is insane. It was just primarily a payoff to help out campaign contributors and organized labor. there’s no way the 606 is going to make that neighborhood a prime neighborhood.”

    Let’s see. It’s 2.7 miles. They added 4 parks with wheelchair access to each of those and onramps/access to the trail. Lighting, new bridges, new landscaping.

    The New York Highline which is half the length, or 1.45 miles, cost $150 million. So $100 million was insanely cheap for what they did.

    The Highline is New York’s biggest tourist attraction now.

    In Bucktown, there will be a hotel opening at North/Damen intersection with 120 rooms. What do you think they’ll see/do while they’re staying in the neighborhood? Hm…I wonder…

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  96. The 606 will not become a “major tourist” attraction for the city. I ran on it for years prior to it being built and so did many others. It’s an Emmanuel gimmick and payoff to organized labor. But of course it was “cheap” to do compared to what they did in NY. They had been trying to get the rail line cleaned up for years, Emanuel and his team did hardly anything for it other than be there for the ribbon-cutting and pay a small portion of the costs. It’s a great thing for the neighborhood, but I don’t see the benefits reaching the proportions you imply.

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  97. Gentrified and “prime neighborhood” are too very different things. There are still active gangs in Logan Square, both those who live there, and those who do business there. If you don’t want to admit that, you are a real estate shill for that neighborhood. I admit I wasn’t there in the ’90’s when it was more of an active war zone, but the gangs are still there now.

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  98. “The New York Highline which is half the length, or 1.45 miles, cost $150 million. So $100 million was insanely cheap for what they did.”

    But I believe the High Line is 30′ wide compared to only 10′ wide for the 606.

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  99. The high line is anywhere from 30-50 feet wide depending on where you are. The 606 is 15 to 20 feet wide.

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  100. The high line is also just a park, where as the BT is a Trail for bikes and such

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  101. “The 606 will not become a “major tourist” attraction for the city.”

    I disagree with this. I live 5 blocks for the trail in Bucktown and have been up there many times. From speaking with people and just overhearing conversations, lots of people are tourists and plenty of others from neighborhoods not on the trail. Sure, it’s new and people are checking it out but my guess it will continue.

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  102. And the 606 construction includes 4 (?) ground level parks, where the High Line includes none.

    The construction costs are apples and oranges.

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  103. It’s curious to see which neighborhoods gentrify and which do not. I don’t get what is so appealing about Logan Square given the prices of homes. It’s far from the lake and commuting to downtown can take 40 minutes or more. Bronzeville, Pilsen, the Gap, and the area near the United Center seem much more appealing in terms of location and ease of commuting than Logan Square. Yet those neighborhoods are still very rough and lag behind the far flung north side neighborhoods like Logan Square.

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  104. Jenny,

    I am 100% with you on that. I think Bronzeville, United Center, and Pilsen make a ton of sense. I don’t get it.

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  105. Pilsen will probably be next. I don’t think Bronzeville / Gap will significantly gentrify beyond the higher income blacks that move there.

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  106. It troubles me when people like Dave M complain about infrastructure costs. I think people hear 90m and are incapable of processing such a large number. If you’ve spent anytime in a building trade, you realize how little that sum is in urban construction. The 606, which has so far cost ~70mil, included replacing/reinforcing/repaving something like 35 viaducts. I mean the engineering fees on that alone. That 70 mil includes, by my estimate, another ~250 custom street lights. Shit, even 5.5 miles of handrail is a ton of money.

    You can make a case that US infrastructure costs are too high – you’d probably be right, and I’d encourage you to advocate for smart reform, but that ALL infrastructure costs are too high is a different conversation than THESE infrastructure costs are too high.

    When you blather mindlessly about costs overruns and labor kickbacks without any knowledge about either construction costs or project particulars, it’s a red flag. I haven’t seen anything to suggest that this project has been overpriced, and was generally impressed with how on-budget they’ve managed to be. Do you even know who the contractor was?

    Add in that the city got this project done for a 5 million contribution, and anyone who complains about it should be barred from the city, as they clearly don’t give a shit about its prosperity and well-being, and are only interested in partisan talking-points. Regardless of financial situation, I think anytime the city can get 20X match on infrastructure investment, they should do it. What a no-brainer.

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  107. Research on gentrification suggests that almost every non-black neighborhood gentrifies before the first black neighborhood.

    Chicago’s gentrification has moved like an amoeba, though at some point you have to assume it will circle around the loop before continuing to move out, and that the south loop and west loop will create their own mini-amoebas.

    It’s easy to forget that Logan Square is closer to the loop than much of Lakeview.

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  108. “Even if you only say Logan Square goes to Kedzie on the west boundary, there is still a substantial gang element to the neigborhood. I consider the boundaries to be Kedzie (3200W) on the west (some say Kimball/3400W), Armitage on the south (2000N), Western on the east (2400W), Diversey to the north (2800N).”

    Logan (not the comm area) is western / fullerton / milwaukee / kedzie / diversey / kennedy (maybe toss in teh full/milw/kedz triangle too as they have that home zone thingy). gang issues are not non existent but really pretty minimal. school is an issue, though is/was an issue in GZ areas and know mc+/umc- people who send kids to goethe.

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  109. “The high line is also just a park, where as the BT is a Trail for bikes and such”

    yeah, i dunno what bike traffic will look like but could be deterrent for just meandering w kids. don’t really like downtown lakefront path when it’s busy for that reason. was at bloom trail (are we really going to call it 606?) over past weekend. completely jammed and still bikers trying to go through at some speed.

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  110. standard city lot in good parts of logan was maybe $300 or bit over last year. I’d say borderline gz. what are the cheapest undisputed gz lots?

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  111. I do have rather detailed knowledge about the 606 project, and know quite a bit about construction costs.

    I was never making a partisan statement in any way. Just because money came from the federal government doesn’t mean it was free. There are limited resources there too, so that is money that couldn’t be spent on other potentially worthwhile projects. I support doing the project, but the city taking all the credit for it is absurd. The mayor loves his ribbon cutting ceremonies.

    Infrastructure costs are too high in Chicago and Illinois, not because of the dollars being paid to who is working on the jobs, but instead the sky high cost of required union benefits and the insurance the contractors need to have to do business here. Workers’ comp and general liability insurance is absurdly expensive here.

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  112. As someone who lived in Logan Square for a year, I don’t know anyone who would identify Kedzie as the western border or Fullerton as the southern border. Every resident I’ve met would say: Western / Armitage or Bloomingdale / Kimball or Central Park / Diversey.

    A Fullerton border would amputate the California blue line stop, while a Kedzie border would amputate a 1/3 of the central business district on Milwaukee – intelligentsia and the logan theater are definitely in logan square.

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  113. “I do have rather detailed knowledge about the 606 project, and know quite a bit about construction costs.”

    When you provide any evidence of any kind that the 606 was overpriced, than I’ll consider this a possibility. Until then, I’m going to err on the side of no.

    “Infrastructure costs are too high in Chicago and Illinois, not because of the dollars being paid to who is working on the jobs, but instead the sky high cost of required union benefits and the insurance the contractors need to have to do business here. Workers’ comp and general liability insurance is absurdly expensive here.”

    There isn’t really true. There isn’t a substantial cost difference between Chicago and Illinois and comparable cities and states. (here’s a report for you, if you’re curious http://tinyurl.com/qflnn5d). The US does have high infrastructure costs. Do you think this means we shouldn’t build anything?

    “Just because money came from the federal government doesn’t mean it was free. There are limited resources there too, so that is money that couldn’t be spent on other potentially worthwhile projects.”

    You’d prefer it be spent in South Carolina, where the highest ratio of federal dollars go compared to how much is paid in? Illinois is the 3rd worst state in terms of federal dollars returned compared to revenue sent, and increasing that number should be a primary goal of politicians so long as the federal government is spending money in states. We are a massive loser in the federal funding game.

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  114. “Every resident I’ve met would say: Western / Armitage or Bloomingdale / Kimball or Central Park / Diversey.”

    Hi, nice to meet you. I’ve been in logan for almost 10 years. I don’t dispute that other parts would get referred to as logan, but that is waht i think of as prime logan, the potential gz candidate. like aville/edgewater (but less confusing given the separate names). a good chunk of logan can be gz wo all of it being.

    “A Fullerton border would amputate the California blue line stop, while a Kedzie border would amputate a 1/3 of the central business district on Milwaukee – intelligentsia and the logan theater are definitely in logan square.”

    well, the logan theater is a good point in your favor. but i think of those as just amenities (most of which i use). they don’t have to be in what i think of as the neighborhood. if we have to wait of that milw/arm/calif triangle (or the far w portions) to be gz, will take a long long time.

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  115. Just follow gay white men… they almost always lead the pack when it comes to identifying gentrifying neighborhoods.

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  116. “Hi, nice to meet you. I’ve been in logan for almost 10 years.”

    Interesting. Certainly gives your opinion some weight – I wonder if this a case of moving to the neighborhood in different time periods (I was there 3 years ago), leaving us with a different perception of boundaries. A younger resident vs older resident type of thing.

    In terms of what’s nice, I would actually suggest that Sawyer, Spaulding, St. Louis, and Bernard have some of the nicest houses in the area off the boulevard. Think about the SFH Victorians on Bernard or the Kimball mansion. Those streets are the neighborhood’s nicest stock, IMO.

    It’s hard for me to think of the Logan Square el stop being on the outside border of the neighborhood.

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  117. “It’s curious to see which neighborhoods gentrify and which do not. I don’t get what is so appealing about Logan Square given the prices of homes. It’s far from the lake and commuting to downtown can take 40 minutes or more. Bronzeville, Pilsen, the Gap, and the area near the United Center seem much more appealing in terms of location and ease of commuting than Logan Square. Yet those neighborhoods are still very rough and lag behind the far flung north side neighborhoods like Logan Square.”
    Jenny, it usually takes me under 30 minutes door to door on the blue line. I’m a 3 block walk to the Logan Square subway station and a 4 block walk to work from my stop at Monroe & Dearborn.
    What attracted us to the neighborhood many years ago were the boulevards and beautiful graystone buildings. One of the few areas on the northside that has retained its architectural charm. We also like diversity!

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  118. “Interesting. Certainly gives your opinion some weight – I wonder if this a case of moving to the neighborhood in different time periods (I was there 3 years ago), leaving us with a different perception of boundaries. A younger resident vs older resident type of thing.”

    As I said, I really don’t disagree that plenty of people will regard other portions as logan. But in terms of identifying a contiguous meaningful area that could be gz, that’s what I think of. And it has some logic being centered around logan boulevard.

    “In terms of what’s nice, I would actually suggest that Sawyer, Spaulding, St. Louis, and Bernard have some of the nicest houses in the area off the boulevard. Think about the SFH Victorians on Bernard or the Kimball mansion. Those streets are the neighborhood’s nicest stock, IMO.
    It’s hard for me to think of the Logan Square el stop being on the outside border of the neighborhood.”

    Don’t disagree too much esp about bernard, but bernard feels like a bit of an island. thought seriousaly about a house there once. wasn’t concerned about safety (though I think nonny was concerned when he ventured out to viking ski) but it felt a little desolate except for bernard.

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  119. Logan Square is definitely nice. I just don’t understand the home prices. Andersonville or Ravenswood seem preferable. For that matter, why haven’t Uptown and Edgewater improved?

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  120. “Logan Square is definitely nice. I just don’t understand the home prices. Andersonville or Ravenswood seem preferable.”

    they are preferable. they’re appreciably more expensive.

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  121. “Logan Square is definitely nice. I just don’t understand the home prices. Andersonville or Ravenswood seem preferable. For that matter, why haven’t Uptown and Edgewater improved?”

    Ravenswood is about 1.5x as far from the loop – weren’t you just saying you didn’t understand why far flung neighborhoods gentrify?

    I think primo Logan Square – what DZ is outlining – has slightly better housing stock than those neighborhoods as well.

    Logan Square is also infinitely hipper, for whatever effect that has on appreciation. It’s culturally desirable in a way that Ravenswood isn’t, and has fewer substitute neighborhoods.

    Clearly, I don’t feel like working today.

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  122. “I think primo Logan Square – what DZ is outlining – has slightly better housing stock than those neighborhoods as well.”

    I dunno. ravenswood has those deep and sometimes wide lots and many nice old houses. aville has bunch of nice stuff on lakewood balmoral.

    “It’s culturally desirable in a way that Ravenswood isn’t”

    they got that new marianos. people (in the rwood demographic) love that. you can’t even buy a loaf of bread at cellar door in logan.

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  123. “Ravenswood is about 1.5x as far from the loop – weren’t you just saying you didn’t understand why far flung neighborhoods gentrify?”

    For me, once you get more than 30 minutes from downtown, it doesn’t really matter where you live. It’s far. My friend lives off of Logan Blvd and it’s really nice there, but if I was going to live that far, I may as well move to the suburbs or closer to the lake. I think Logan Square would make more sense as a middle class neighborhood rather than upper class. I’m thinking of houses being closer to $400,000 than $800,000.

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  124. Prices in logan square for single family homes seem to have exceeded the quantity and quality of the amenities in the area imho. Great area and quickly becoming one of my favorite neighborhoods, but the market may be getting ahead of itself.

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  125. Oh, and last weekend, when I went out there to visit, I got on the expressway at Jackson and it was a parking lot. I was very close to just going back home, but I was in the far left lane and the traffic was so bad that I couldn’t get over to get off the expressway. I’m not sure if it would have been faster to get to Ravenswood, but at least then I could take Lake Shore Drive and have pretty scenery to see.

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  126. “Prices in logan square for single family homes seem to have exceeded the quantity and quality of the amenities in the area imho.”

    What amenities are lacking (besides a bakery taht will sell you a loaf of bread)?

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  127. Housing stock: you might be right, and I’m not as familiar with all the nice pockets in RW AV, but I do think there is a lot of frame filler still hanging around.

    I think that people who want the Logan Square cultural experience have 2-3 other neighborhoods to choose from and people who want the RW cultural experience have most of the north side.

    But, really, what the hell is the deal with Cellar Door?

    Your previous point stands. LS is still cheaper than both RW and AV, but its hard to say how much of that is property mix, and how long it will last. I think it’s possible LS has passed RW in median condo? Any realtors want to chime in?

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  128. “Housing stock: you might be right, and I’m not as familiar with all the nice pockets in RW AV, but I do think there is a lot of frame filler still hanging around.”

    logan has a lot of nice stuff on logan, kedzie, palmer sq (yeah, yeah, i know).

    “But, really, what the hell is the deal with Cellar Door?”

    was told the bread reservation policy had become “too contentious”.

    “hard to say how much of that is property mix”

    well, i think, wo having looked this year, land is still cheaper in logan.

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  129. DZ, I’d say the depth of amenities. Yes, it has a few coffee shops and a few great restaurants, but overall it still doesn’t have the same quantity of other hoods at this point imho.

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  130. “I’d say the depth of amenities. Yes, it has a few coffee shops and a few great restaurants, but overall it still doesn’t have the same quantity of other hoods at this point imho.”

    versus e.g., nortcenter? really?

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  131. “You’d prefer it be spent in South Carolina, where the highest ratio of federal dollars go compared to how much is paid in? Illinois is the 3rd worst state in terms of federal dollars returned compared to revenue sent, and increasing that number should be a primary goal of politicians so long as the federal government is spending money in states. We are a massive loser in the federal funding game.”

    Am I the only one who has a problem with this whole wealth redistribution between the states? What kind of game is this? It’s like the federal government is this giant blender that you pour money into and then serve up the drinks to whoever pushes to the front of the bar.

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  132. “I may as well move to the suburbs or closer to the lake. ”

    Not everyone cares about or utilizes the lake.

    In general, do you hear a lot of people saying “lets go grab dinner and drinks in Lincoln Park or Lakeview?” My friends don’t. Perhaps it’s just the crowd I spend time with but we’re much more inclined to head to Logan than those places. And when I say “my crowd” that’s 40, married, with a kid.

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  133. “Am I the only one who has a problem with this whole wealth redistribution between the states? What kind of game is this? It’s like the federal government is this giant blender that you pour money into and then serve up the drinks to whoever pushes to the front of the bar.”

    Until meaningful reform occurs, its counterproductive to abdicate competing for dollars, as that only further distorts disbursement.

    I think you can take the view that federal dollars create a competitive market among states. For instance, transportation dollars like the ones awarded to the 606: an argument could be made that we won those dollars because we presented the most attractive investment, and that the presence of the dollars induced the generation of competing development plans. The “race to the top” educational money is another example. Science funding is perhaps the best example.

    I think in practice that realpolitik ruins this “ideal” market for federal dollars, but its worth considering the potential benefits.

    On a side note – the extreme fringes of unbalance between states are often (though not always) the product of the need to subsidize states without social safety nets and with large pools of poverty. States with strong state-level social safety net programs and good economies, like Minnesota, get pennies on the dollar back because their residents don’t qualify for much means tested dollars in comparison to Mississippi, which is essentially a poverty factory that we all pay for. This is not a comment on the value of social safety nets, only how their patchwork nature affects financial obligations at the federal level, and how low budgets in many states are an illusion.

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  134. I’m the same demographic as Marco and do the same. Much more like to go to LS than Lake View or LP.

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  135. “It’s far. My friend lives off of Logan Blvd and it’s really nice there, but if I was going to live that far, I may as well move to the suburbs or closer to the lake.”

    Funny, I would say the same thing about most of the north side, but mostly for cultural reasons.

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  136. I don’t know. Some of the south side culture stuff weirds me out. I can’t fathom why people sit outside their front doors in lawn chairs when they have backyards. I sometimes go into Pilsen to go to Simone’s and I hate walking down Morgan to get there because weirdos are sitting on their front lawns staring at everyone who walks by.

    I prefer the north side culture where people are a little more covert in their nosiness.

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  137. Just be glad Chicago requires setbacks on properties jenny or else the wierdos might be even closer!

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  138. “My friend lives off of Logan Blvd and it’s really nice there, but if I was going to live that far, I may as well move to the suburbs or closer to the lake. ”

    Logan’s not that far, and there are other choices than ‘the suburbs or the lake’…

    Federal $: It’s not so much a blender as a siphon where a good chunk of money stays in DC and surrounding suburbs and never leaves….and it’s not just federal tax dollars either, it’s business money too. Al Lord teh former CEO of Sallie Mae who handled the federal student loan accounts built himself a private 18 hole golf course in Virginia…for himself…. I remember from history class that the Villas outside of Rome were absolutely amazing too…

    LS/LP vs. LS for drinks: LS is easier to leave the city after drinks because of the Metra/blue line/Kennedy….I’ve been out quite a few times to Logan and found a way back home to Long Grove; when someone says “let’s meet up at an Indiana University bar on Sheffield after work this Friday that’s an immediate nonstarter….Most people I know are the same way…unless you live along the lake, there’s no reason to go out there these days with all of the other options available…Heck I even make it out to Edison Park at least once a month… why do I need to drive 70 minutes in traffic to visit lakeview with all of it’s muggings, strong arms and violent rapes?

    LS gentrification: The problem in the medium term with LS completely gentrifying are the neighborhoods to the immediate west and northwest; and the riff raff that travels around the area… Avondale while gentrifying has still got a ways to go and only Odin’s ravens know if or when Humboldt Park will gentrify….on the plus side LS and Avondale are the only two missing pieces of the entire NW corridor gentrifying all that way from C&NW station to Crystal Lake (well, maybe not crystal lake gentrifying…) Old Irving, Jefferson, Edison is already nice for the most part, and southeast along the corridor was gentrified fully 10 years ago. But who knows these days…

    MN vs. MS: Im trying to come up with an analogy for why blaming MS’s poverty and MN’s social safety net is like comparing apples to oranges but I can’t find one that’s poignant. So I’m going to blame MS’s humidity.

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  139. “LS/LP vs. LS for drinks: LS is easier to leave the city after drinks because of the Metra/blue line/Kennedy….I’ve been out quite a few times to Logan and found a way back home to Long Grove”

    Right, but you could say the exact same thing about LP/LV/Andersonville for those from Evanston/Wilmette/Winnetka/Highland Park/North shore. Much easier to go out there over LS because of Metra/red and purple lines/LSD for those individuals. Just depends where you’re going… It’s definitely not universal.

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  140. “Some of the south side culture stuff weirds me out. I can’t fathom why people sit outside their front doors in lawn chairs when they have backyards.”

    Not weird and not exclusive to the south side. Walk through many of the streets in Bucktown on a nice summer night and you’ll find lots people hanging out in front of their homes. Kids running around and parents having some cocktails is extremely common.

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  141. Living in Oak Park, we still visit Bucktown / Wicker Park and Logan Square quite frequently. However, I dread trying to go to LP / LV these days. There is no easy way to get there and not worth the traffic headache.

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  142. “States with strong state-level social safety net programs and good economies, like Minnesota, get pennies on the dollar back”

    What’s the explanation for Illinois being in the bottom 6 every year since 1981? Minnesota got more cents per dollar back from 81 thru 2002, and has been just slightly behind IL most years since.

    Mississippi and New Mexico are the most consistently high ranked, and the only state that competes with IL for consistency at the bottom is New Jersey–and they have IL handily beat.

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