Market Conditions: Warm Weather Boosts January Sales But When Will Inventory Grow?

Abe Lincoln in winter 2010

The January home sales are out. As expected, January sales were up year over year.

That is actually a triumph because January sales the last 2 years have been depressed due to polar vortexes and all around nastiness. Weather this winter has been much improved allowing buyers to get out earlier.

Remember, January closings usually mean they went under contract considerably earlier, in November and December.

The city of Chicago saw a 1.1 percent year-over-year home sales increase in January 2016 with 1,363 sales, up from 1,348 in January 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in January 2016 was $230,000, up 4.5 percent compared to January 2015 when it was $220,000.

Sales Data Since 2006 (thanks to G for the older data):

  • January 2006: 2009 sales and median price of $258,000
  • January 2007: 1850 sales and median price of $279,900
  • January 2008: 1203 sales and median price of $290,000
  • January 2009: 918 sales and median price of $205,000
  • January 2010: 1237 sales and median price of $195,000
  • January 2011: 1034 sales and median price of $150,000
  • January 2012: 1123 sales and median price of $149,000
  • January 2013: 1521 sales and median price of $157,000
  • January 2014: 1383 sales and median price of $200,750
  • January 2015: 1348 sales and median price of $220,000
  • January 2016: 1363 sales and median price of $230,000

Low inventories could definitely be hampering sales. Statewide, inventory declined 12.6% year over year.

“The Chicago market is seeing sustained, steady increases in both sales and prices,” said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and senior vice president for governmental relations for the Inland Real Estate Group of Companies. “To have a January with strong results bodes well for the spring selling season when interest in the housing market typically increases.”

“The year appears to be getting off to a strong start, in no small part due to a mild winter,” said IAR President Mike Drews, broker-associate with Charles B. Doss & Co. in Aurora. “Sellers are getting very good overall prices due to diminished inventories. The strong consumer demand which was evident throughout 2015 seems to be holding firm as we start off 2016.”

When will sellers start listing?

Or will this be another spring without any inventory?

Illinois housing market starts 2016 strong with January gains in home sales, prices [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, February 23, 2016]

78 Responses to “Market Conditions: Warm Weather Boosts January Sales But When Will Inventory Grow?”

  1. What ever happened to after the superbowl a bunch of listing would pop up?

    was putzing around on redfin last night. If i wanted to move into our school district right now, i would be screwed!!! there is nothing good out there and if something half way decent pops up it goes under contract in days for a price that is way tooooo high for what it is.

    The stuff thats out there nobody wants. or is a wish price thats priced to high and nobody is willing to pay that.

    If you wanted to sell a quality property at a good price I wonder if you missed the window waiting until end of march or late spring?

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  2. The difference between this bubble and the previous bubble is that the marginal areas aren’t nearly as inflated. Talking to somebody yesterday still very much underwater on their non-GZ suburban home, and houses in the neighborhood had listing prices $75k under what they owed. Sure the upper middle class areas are as pricey as ever, and even the marginal areas have rebounded, but the difference in prices between the two is very large, which reflects the greater societal disparity in wealth.

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  3. What are the marginal areas?

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  4. marginal area: most middle/working class areas outside the GZ where most of the chatterati do not live.

    The area I was thinking of specifically when talking to that person was a middle class suburb in western cook county where prices are have rebounded but nowhere near previous highs.

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  5. “What are the marginal areas?”

    logan? humbolt park?

    or are we talkin Bridgeport?

    which, btw is the next hot neighborhood according to this dude I know who has correctly called literally every new hot hood for the last 20 years

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  6. “marginal area: most middle/working class areas outside the GZ where most of the chatterati do not live.”

    Part of that is the tighter lending and ‘better’ appraisal standards–not using, eg, lincoln park lot values for logan square properties.

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  7. I’d like to see some terrible neighborhoods featured, like Lawnndale. The housing stock there is beautiful. It’s too bad it’s wasted on the people who live there.

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  8. “Part of that is the tighter lending and ‘better’ appraisal standards–not using, eg, lincoln park lot values for logan square properties.”

    Yeah, the tighter lending standard arise from the fact that middle class incomes have been stagnant for years now and even with better appraisals, higher credit scores and down payments, current DTI ratios in those neighborhoods could never support peak prices, even today with inflation. But in the GZ and elsewhere, in areas where the residents are earning more than ever before, higher price valuations are supported.

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  9. “I’d like to see some terrible neighborhoods featured, like Lawnndale. The housing stock there is beautiful. It’s too bad it’s wasted on the people who live there.””

    i was thinking more like here’s what $200k gets you in Tinley Park or Elk Grove.

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  10. “i was thinking more like here’s what $200k gets you in Tinley Park or Elk Grove.”

    vanilla homes in a shitty suburb nobody cares about? Thats sure to get some web traffic…

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  11. The area I was thinking of specifically when talking to that person was a middle class suburb in western cook county where prices are have rebounded but nowhere near previous highs.

    Doesn’t mean much as there is a ton of variables between Western Cook Co ‘burbs

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  12. JohnnyU,

    I apologize; I was confusing my west suburban towns that start with “W”. The suburb I was speaking of west Westmont, which is technically Dupage county, and not Westchester, which is Cook County, although according to Zillow, both are far below their peak values. Yes there are some west suburban towns probably “W”estern Springs or La Grange that have rebounded above peak, but those are upper middle class areas.

    http://www.zillow.com/westmont-il-60559/home-values/

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  13. also “W” westchester

    http://www.zillow.com/westchester-il/home-values/

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  14. compare to “W”estern Springs which is pretty close to peak pricing …

    http://www.zillow.com/western-springs-il/home-values/

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  15. “i was thinking more like here’s what $200k gets you in Tinley Park or Elk Grove”

    DOOOOODE, we have established the suburbs suck arse. there need not be any post about the suburbs, its a waste as they are souless places to die a boring death.

    What we do need is a “here’s what $300k or $400k can get you” in a battle of three hoods. Say a battle between Beverly, Dunning, West Ridge. Or Pullman, Montclare, Budlong Woods?

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  16. I’m thinking of houses like this one: http://www.estately.com/listings/info/4400-south-princeton-avenue

    Beautiful exterior and could be beautiful inside with a lot of work. I find this type of housing stock preferable to the little workers shacks found in places like Ukrainian Village.

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  17. Hahaha Jenny I imagine that’s what your condo looks like, the only thing missing is the microwave! Plenty of bathrooms, needs a lot of work but no man to do any of it for you, and a bed with graffiti on the wall written by past lovers.

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  18. And no functioning kitchen either, it’s unnecessary and the missing applicances give it a minimalist look…

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  19. Wow HD, what has gotten in to you?

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  20. Lots of drugs. Whip-it primarily.

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  21. what has gotten in to you?

    He’s just excited by the Trump-Bernie showdown this fall.

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  22. Feel the Nader

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  23. I’m sorry Jenny I’m just giving you a hard time, only in jest. You linked to a bona fide squatter drug den/house of ill-repute and I just couldn’t help myself, it was too easy to make snide comments.

    Regardless, you probably want to tone down the subtle ” It’s too bad it’s wasted on the people who live there” comment or else helmuthofer might think you and he share things in common.

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  24. that bed with the graffiti is probably one of the creepiest pictures I’ve ever seen in a real estate listing..

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  25. No worries HD.

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  26. Sonies asked; ““What are the marginal areas?”
    logan? humbolt park?
    or are we talkin Bridgeport?
    which, btw is the next hot neighborhood according to this dude I know who has correctly called literally every new hot hood for the last 20 years”

    Great call but imo Bridgeport is already hot, hot hot – look at recent restaurants & bars (“Duck Inn’ for ex.) which’ve followed initial wave of gentrifiers. Imo McKinley Park to west (which a young CC poster & family moved to & he’s touted in past) is ‘next hot ‘hood’ – a more speculative extension of unstoppable gentification push currently boosting demo’s in B’port but there’s no shortage of great buys in B’port. No question both ‘hoods also qualify today as ‘marginal areas’ as shootings, gang warfare etc provides potential random daily risk issues (like Logan, Humbolt and years ago Halsted & Armitage too).

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  27. Bridgeport is hot but the long term prospect with the lack of decent CPS schools. All we can really hope for is that Rauner breaks the back of CPS and the CTU and reforms it from top to bottom, which would eventually attract more middle and upper income students into the non-selective neighborhood schools. The worst case scenario is that CPS stays as crappy as it is, albeit with a much lower price tag.

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  28. Perhaps we need to start considering that the lack of inventory is at least partially due to the fact that people may not WANT to move? Underwater or not.

    Couple that with the fact that there are two types of millennials. Ones who will remain in the city, and ones who live here currently but will eventually move to the suburbs.

    The millennials that will eventually move to the suburbs are completely skipping the chunk of city home ownership due to student debt. So the added inventory of the couple selling their condo because they had a kid?

    It isn’t there anymore. Not like it used to be.

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  29. “All we can really hope for is that Rauner breaks the back of CPS and the CTU and reforms it from top to bottom”

    You don know its not to reform it right?

    You know the Rauner/Rahm/Pritzker plan is to make CPS inept as much as possible for it to go bankrupt and oust the union, then privatize CPS (see Charter schools)? Pritzker, on the chicago board of education, is also a huge grifter of Charter schools “profit”. Our gub Rauner is also a grifter of the privitization of charter school “profit”. Rahm’s friend and financial backers are guess what? yep vulture capitalists with stakes in the charter schools “profit.

    So look at the long game and you see the picture, its been in play before any of us knew it. Rahm and Rauner big money buddies since the 90’s. No unions, means the policy makes look good on helping solving a budget hole, all while grifting off the hole they think they closed only to let the schmucks 30 years from now fix the crap that happened today.

    Rauner a man that played the system so he can send his suburban daughter to a chicago selective enrollment payton prep, really should have no say in any matters envolving ethics. Rahm being the good buddy hooked up the deal for Rauner to fleece SecurityLink.

    The Pritzker’s the kings of playing both sides of the fence have a “voice” everywhere. they even have a vote on the board of education, hmmm who appointed Penny again?

    So again explain to me how it is not rigged for a certain outcome to benefit the players and screw the pawns?

    ….Okay tin-foil hat off, back to normal crazy groove.

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  30. As a McKinley Park resident and property owner, I can attest that it’s a pretty good neighborhood, especially in terms of what you can get for the price. Crime is pretty low (much lower than Pilsen and Bridgeport), and you can get a big SFH on an oversized or double lot for a fraction of the price one pays for a shitty condo in the GreenZone. I doubt many of the “chatterati” here have bothered to venture south of Roosevelt Road … most here know nothing about the South Side. What McKinley Park now needs is more social amenities (restaurants and bars); it’s pretty well-served with the fundamentals (grocery stores, public transport, etc.).

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  31. “young CC poster & family moved to & he’s touted in past”

    The only McK Park tout I remember on the CC was Bobbo.

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  32. “what has gotten in to you?”

    Dont despair Jenny, I think his wife posts once in a while in an adversarial attempt to thwart potential liaisons 😉

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  33. I apologize for characterizing it as ‘touting’ McKinley Pk but in 2011 Juiceman posted well reasoned thoughts (& others re local schools HD):

    “Juiceman on September 30th, 2011 at 11:15 pm
    …I live in McKinley Park and feel that this neighborhood wouldn’t appeal to most of the “Green Zoners” here on CribChatter, due to the diversity of people here. We have a mix of Hispanic, white and Chinese (growing rapidly), as well as a lot of folks who may not be rich, but who work hard for a living and take pride in their homes. Not really the CribChatter type.
    My wife and I (both well-compensated professionals) have found McKinley Park to be great for our purposes. We have settled here and plan to raise our child (literally born yesterday) here with no qualms for safety or quality of life versus any other Chicago neighborhood. The 69-acre park is fantastic, and transportation is great, too. We are east of the park, where a preponderance of single family homes gives the area a spread-out, almost suburban feel. I have enjoyed how far our housing dollar has stretched here, both from the standpoint of buying a bomb-proof brick building, as well as the reduced costs for renovation due to a huge nearby population of contractors and no real need for any building permits. (YMMV here; we’ve done A LOT without getting the City involved, including many things you could never do without a permit on the north side or West Town. However, we have a SFH, and I wouldn’t try much of what we did in a rental income property.)
    My only complaint would be a need for more diverse retail in the neighborhood: You can certainly get everything you need, but, for example, I find myself trekking over to Bridgeport for speciality coffee beans and Mediterranean food. My wife and I play “Spot the Hipster” as more young people/students/artists move here, driven out of Pilsen and Bridgeport by higher rents and a lack of cool spaces.”

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  34. And to assist HD keep his focus on matters related to billable hours:
    “Juiceman on October 1st, 2011 at 4:16 pm
    “Chitowngal, we’ve actually thought this through. McKinley Park has a very good charter school (public/free) that we’re going to aim to have our son attend. Even the “regular” grammar school was built in 2001 (or thereabouts), so it’s a newer, nicer facility. (I hear mixed reports on the quality of teaching, but my opinion about grammar school is that much of what the children are learning is to shut up, sit still, and stand in line without complaining. Of course, there’s more to it than that, but we’re committed to being very active in our child’s education. Another advantage I see of public school is social education: having our kid be around “real” people and not just a bunch of spoiled rich kids and their douchey parents.)
    If for some reason a neighborhood public school isn’t viable, there are a couple highly regarded private grammar schools within a couple blocks … although I would be very cautious about going toward a Catholic option, as the Catholic Church has pretty much institutionalized pederasty, and my wife and I in general don’t go for a “magic man in the sky” belief system. But hey, I figure this would/could be cast for the boy as a comparative religion experience.
    We are indeed making a commitment to the neighborhood and plan to be active in groups related to improving the neighborhood and its educational institutions. I’m currently networking with other McKinley Park professionals to see about kick-starting the neighborhood association.”

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  35. I hope Rauner brings CPS to its knees. I’d like to see the unions out and all of the schools privatized.

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  36. “we’ve done A LOT without getting the City involved, including many things you could never do without a permit on the north side”

    I’ve seen just about everything short of an actual ground-up new build done without a permit in my northside hood.

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  37. PS When I think of McKinley Park, I always think of the SWC of Archer and Ashland. Google street view it. It’s a “foot clinic” that has posters up of disgusting foot and toe fungus! It’s hilarious in its own way. I get a chuckle every time I drive by it.

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  38. “I hope Rauner brings CPS to its knees. I’d like to see the unions out and all of the schools privatized.”

    Jenny, my future ex wife, You dont want to see that, trust me. yes we all need the grifty unions to reset, but not go away.

    Can you imagine what the policy makers would do to city employee’s if there wasn’t a union. they would fleece the shyte out of city and we would get crap in return.

    Example; have you seen the quality of people the private sector hires for parking tickets? That same quality hires will be our police force and our teachers.

    Fine get rid of the unions, lose the stipulation of city workers forced to stay in city limits. then the city will loose its real tax base and good middle class families that make this city what it is. Watch all the affordable family hoods free fall drop in value as they all hightail it out of dodge. Detroit 2.0 here we come.

    btw; i absolutely hate the current union azzhatz. but i do see the need for the union as the policy maker azzhatz are even worse. And remember the current financial mess was not created by the unions. they are to blame but its the collecting pension policy maker azzhatz of recent yesteryear that has Illinois all messed up.

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  39. “What we do need is a “here’s what $300k or $400k can get you” in a battle of three hoods. Say a battle between Beverly, Dunning, West Ridge. Or Pullman, Montclare, Budlong Woods?”

    the more I think about it the more I like this idea. And just to mix it up we can also do the opposite: what does a 4 bd/ 3.5 ba (with additional pseudo unicorn criteria) cost in three different hoods.

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  40. And remember the current financial mess was not created by the unions. ”

    Yes it was. It’s dishonest to allow collective bargaining in the public sector. The politicians are not honest negotiators because they have nothing at stake like a private investor/owner has in a similar type negotiation.

    The politician can give in too easily to the union, and even has incentive to do so. When the politician gives into the union, that union will help re-elect him! It’s a total scam.

    Who is actually looking out for the interests of the taxpayer during these types of negotiations? Not the union. Not the politician. Therefore, nobody. That’s why when Scott Walker wanted to end collective bargaining (in the public sector ONLY), he was right! But leave it to the dishonest Leftist media scum to distort the topic and say Walker was “trying to end ALL collective bargaining”, which was not the case.

    Union leadership should have known this day was coming. It’s simple arithmetic. But they were too busy calling people who can do simple math: teabaggers and other assorted slurs.

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  41. I think each school should be allowed to operate like its own mini-private school. They can choose to specialize in different areas. Parents can then apply for whichever school they think would be best for their children. The teacher should be creative and able to plan his/her own curriculum without interference from the government.

    The city could make a payment to each school and then each school could decide how it wants to use that money.

    We have a horrible system right now. There’s no point in shoveling more money into it unless they make an attempt at true reform.

    Maybe if the district went bankrupt and the union was ousted, they could try to do something like New Orleans did with its schools.

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  42. jenny on February 24th, 2016 at 10:31 am
    I’d like to see some terrible neighborhoods featured, like Lawnndale. The housing stock there is beautiful. It’s too bad it’s wasted on the people who live there.

    Jenny, do you say stupid things just so you can get attention?

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  43. “Jenny, do you say stupid things just so you can get attention?”

    She talks about lawndale, and then she links to a listing of a *bona fide* crack house! It’s awesome, how can you not see how hilarious that is? It’s not just for attention, it’s pure internet genius.

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  44. “What ever happened to after the superbowl a bunch of listing would pop up?”

    Groove: that did happen this year but the new inventory only really came on for like a week and then it’s just been a slow trickle ever since. And the inventories were already so low, that the new stuff didn’t really make a dent. Lots of buyers are looking earlier this year because of low mortgage rates and the warm weather. So when something good does come on, they are buying it immediately.

    I’ve been hearing from a bunch of realtors that they’re expecting to list in March so more inventory should come on then. We’ll see.

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  45. “So when something good does come on, they are buying it immediately”

    And IMO overpaying for it too.

    “I’ve been hearing from a bunch of realtors that they’re expecting to list in March so more inventory should come on then”

    I hope so, we need some WOW properties to post about.

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  46. I try to joke around. Most people don’t notice when I am joking.

    At the same time, I really do like old grey stones and it is a shame they have fallen into disrepair.

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  47. “At the same time, I really do like old grey stones and it is a shame they have fallen into disrepair”

    Bronzville is full of them. That is one hood i wished for so hard that would turn around in the bubble era 2005. the grey stones over there give the groove a woody, but then make me cry that they are becoming run down.

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  48. @Groove77, How is Bronzeville doing now? It seems like it’s rebounded but theres a lot of empty lots.

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  49. “@Groove77, How is Bronzeville doing now? It seems like it’s rebounded but theres a lot of empty lots”

    to me nothing really changed, a couple of restaurants popped up closer the sloop side. i swing by there once a month to meet a good buddy at club over there, so i dont know the full details of change. I just go by the vibe I feel and look for improvement.

    I really wanted it to change as if it did we would have moved there in a heart beat.

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  50. “At the same time, I really do like old grey stones and it is a shame they have fallen into disrepair”

    in addition to Bronzeville, I would add Garfield Park to the mix. Good housing stock but bad area with very little hope of improvement.

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  51. Bronzeville will never fully gentrify imho. It doesn’t seem to have any catalyst to really spur demand. The housing stock is nice, but it will be a long time (as in never) before your typical Chad and Trixie will move to Bronzeville.

    I had a place under contract in North Kenwood back in 2000. Glad I got cold feet.

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  52. “Bronzeville will never fully gentrify”

    Never is a very long time.

    First step is DK’s Lake Meadows redevelopment, and whatever happens to the Michael Reese site. Then the dead-enders need to get the boot from Grand Crossing. And then *maybe*.

    Of course, if “fully gentrify” means “largely white”, then, yeah, essentially never.

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  53. “Of course, if “fully gentrify” means “largely white”, then, yeah, essentially never.”

    I would hate for it to gentrify, then i couldn’t afford it. and the the south portion of the lake front trail would end up packed like the north portion.

    I just needed it to get to a good 80% middle class status. I dont want or need boutique shops (overpriced) or another chipotpottbellpanera strip to pop up. Just good middle class mom and pop stores, and good middle class families with good middle class values to populate the hood.

    but the sloop still has bargin pricing so you wont get the spill over from there and kenwood/hyde park is too elite to get spill over from there either.

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  54. well until the poverty pimp aldercritters allow market forces to take place, you can be sure that it stays shitty

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  55. “well until the poverty pimp aldercritters allow market forces to take place, you can be sure that it stays shitty”

    On this side of the city the aldercritters are controlled by anyone who has Rev. infront of their name.

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  56. ” the grey stones over there give the groove a woody, but then make me cry that they are becoming run down.”

    Like being in the mansion/penthouse that Charlton Heston inhabited in Omega Man.

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  57. “well until the poverty pimp aldercritters allow market forces to take place, you can be sure that it stays shitty”

    And now there’s a vacancy in Ward 4, Burns is stepping down.

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  58. My wife and I discussed buying a place in Bronzeville. With the Motor Row/McCormick transformation starting, the gentrification is bound to bleed south at some point. Now is the time to buy before it all starts to get the best deal. The problem is that we think we would need to hold the property for 20-30 years in order to really make the most of it and we are not interested in dealing with the neighborhood in its current state until then. Plus the risk of gentrification not happening at all.

    I see no reason Bronzeville couldn’t become exactly like Lincoln Park. Look at what it was 30 years ago. They are even quite similar in a number of ways: they are about the same distance from the Loop, both house universities, Motor Row could be just like Old Town, lots of similar housing stock.

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  59. Is there ANY doubt how hot the Chicago housing market is right now?

    It’s on FIRE in GreenZone.

    Check out this 734 square foot 1-bedroom West Loop loft.

    Originally sold for $150,000 in 2000 and then $175,500 in 2001.

    Now listed for $329,900 with outdoor parking. That’s $444 a square foot. For THIS!

    Wow.

    Under contract in less than 2 weeks.

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/817-W-Washington-Blvd-60607/unit-406/home/12751702

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  60. “The problem is that we think we would need to hold the property for 20-30 years in order to really make the most of it and we are not interested in dealing with the neighborhood in its current state until then”

    Same here, we are not urban pioneers and dont mind paying the extra to the folks who were and help turn it around.
    We already did a sketchy hood for 10+ years, not because we were thinking it would turn cause we knew it wasnt gonna. we did it to save a shyte load of money. We have left there now (still own the house) and say each year to each other “why the heck didnt we leave earlier?”

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  61. Bubble my ass. I see properties underwater every day and not just in marginal areas. Here’s another: http://lucidrealty.com/homes-for-sale/Chicago_Near_West_Side/condos_townhomes/757-W-14TH-ST-unit-1B/

    That one originally sold for $427,500 back in 2007. Just sold for $305,000 and I don’t consider University Village a marginal area. There are more where that came from.

    Yeah, I know. This one is an exception because _____________.

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  62. “That one originally sold for $427,500 back in 2007. Just sold for $305,000 ”

    Well first of all it’s not LP and secondly it sold for less than the purchase price. That’s the definition of a ‘bad buy’.

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  63. “it sold for less than the purchase price. That’s the definition of a ‘bad buy’.”

    Yeah, you know that it isn’t actually down in value, the developer merely made a $175k windfall on selling something only worth $250k.

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  64. “That one originally sold for $427,500 back in 2007. Just sold for $305,000 and I don’t consider University Village a marginal area. There are more where that came from.”

    That’s not the GZ. Even properties bought at the height of the bubble, i.e. new construction investment condos, that were meant to be flipped, and then were foreclosed, are now back ABOVE those outrageous original prices.

    There simply isn’t enough inventory. Prices are going through the roof all over the GZ and in any other desirable area (sorry for those in the University Village neighborhood. It’s just not desirable enough.)

    Friends have been telling me about the bidding wars all over Oak Park and in other western suburbs along the Burlington Northern train line. These are for houses under $600,000.

    Rates are near record lows. Unemployment is at 4.9%. The job market is the best in 15 years. The upper middle class and rich are feeling good. Housing is soaring.

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  65. “We have left there now (still own the house) and say each year to each other “why the heck didnt we leave earlier?””

    Groove, did I miss something? Did you move from Riis Park? You were the one who first piqued my interest about that hood. Do you think Riis Park is getting better or worse? I like walking around there checking stuff out and going to the park – (summer and winter), the Brickyard and getting tacos on Diversey. I find it convenient with cute houses at great prices. I haven’t been there late at night though. It seems fine to me, although I’ve been told not to be naive. I would take a chance on buying something cheap enough. I was outbid on a couple of well-priced places a couple of years ago. My frame of comparison would be Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn or Jamaica, Queens and it doesn’t seem as bad as those 2 nabes.

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  66. Here’s my recent market experience. I had to sell my Norwood Park house. I bought it intending to use it as my in-town. It was a super cute house in a safe and beautiful neighborhood with a lot of original details and charm. I fixed everything – foundation, plumbing, heating, new roof, etc. The place was solid. I rented it out for about a year to recoup some of my renovation costs which was a HORRIBLE experience which has permanently turned me off from dealing with tenants.

    In the meantime the sue-happy tenants from hell finally moved and another house popped up for sale in Avondale closer to the people and places I know, so I bought it and put the Norwood Park house on the market. It could not have been a more PAINFUL process. First, after all the work I put into it, I couldn’t list it as high as I thought. Then I had a parade of loser-buyers one after the other sign contracts and then back out. It became comical after awhile. They either lied about being qualified to buy or were completely flaky and not serious. All were first-time buyers. (The house was in a starter-home price tier.) It took several months and finally closed after the buyer took several months to obtain financing.

    I don’t know if my experience was unique, but it definitely was not in line with the low market times and bids above ask being reported. I sold at a loss after all the work I put into it.

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  67. “I sold at a loss after all the work I put into it.”

    Zillow thinks you should have sold for 25% more!

    Shows what they know.

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  68. “Groove, did I miss something? Did you move from Riis Park?”

    Yes me moved to Norwood, still own the house in Riis Park area and rent it out.

    “Do you think Riis Park is getting better or worse?”

    Its more as the surrounding hoods are getting worse. The hood to the southeast was always rough, but its when the hood to the north has gotten worse by big margins. Montclare is becoming sketchy, and the sketchiness is luckily staying out of Galewood.

    “I like walking around there checking stuff out and going to the park – (summer and winter), the Brickyard and getting tacos on Diversey”

    The park itself is still beautiful and still pleasantly busy on weekends in the summer. We do miss the little shops and little restaurants for unique stuff. We loved the convenience of being close to the brickyard mall, but its no different than any other shopping center anywhere.

    “I rented it out for about a year to recoup some of my renovation costs which was a HORRIBLE experience which has permanently turned me off from dealing with tenants”

    I rent the Riis park place to Family. Whole ‘notha set of problems, but they keep the place top notch like we did. But business and family crosses to many boundaries. I cant tell which would be worse.

    “It could not have been a more PAINFUL process”

    Sucks you landed the worse tenants possible. They might have been serial lawsuit people who prey on situations that suit them. Our neighbor a fireman owns two places. as SFH in oriole park which he says is a one year revolving door for tenants. the other is a 2 flat in norwood with illegal basement apartment which all three tenants have been there 5 years or more. He cannont figure out why he cant keep a family in the SFH for more than a year? he states none of them moved because they bought a house, they rented elsewhere. Maybe plane noise in oriole park

    What part of Norwood was it?

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  69. “What part of Norwood was it?”
    Big Oaks section. My favorite part!

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  70. I may consider all the way to higgins part of norwood, but south of foster i just cant. (wait was that snobby groove typing?)

    Well thats too far north to be Dunning and east of harlem to be Oriole Park, too far west for jeff park? I guess i will just call it another city, say harwood heights :)

    thats a underrated section in chicago. Many dont even know its there. Got a HS buddy that is about two blocks over from Garvy Elem. He has been there since he got married years and years back. He loves it, loves the school, loves being close to the blue line, Ohare and the 90. And close to all the shopping he would need.

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  71. So starter homes are harder to sell as first time buyers are flakier and have more financing issues?

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  72. I am still bugging that I had to sell the house at all. I would have preferred to hold it and rent it. But I didn’t get the caliber of tenants applying that I expected with that neighborhood. The house is the perfect size for a couple with 2 kids max. I was getting people with 4 children under the age of 8 or multiple adults or people who did not have the income to support the rent and a WHOLE LOT of Section 8 requests. I could have rented Section 8, but in no way would I do that to my neighbors.

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  73. Very surprising because that neighborhood actually has very good income demographics.

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  74. ” But I didn’t get the caliber of tenants applying that I expected with that neighborhood”
    “Very surprising because that neighborhood actually has very good income demographics”

    Considering the anecdote of my neighbor above, and your experience is that most of the caliber you were looking for in the Far Northwest Side will probably buy a SFH as the prices are more favorable to own than to rent out this way.

    All the rentals in my hood are single folk or young dating couples. but thats the apartments not the SFH.

    also after looking right now in my area, to rent a 3 bed place you are gonna pay $1000-$1400. You can get 4bed 2bath SFH home on nagle for 310k. so if you get it for 5% off list and 5% down payment your mortgage with property tax is only $1,400 a month

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  75. Got a text back from my neighbor, his 3br apartment in norwood rents for $1,125.

    so so for $300 more you get a full house and extra bath and bedroom and eventually equity.

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  76. Just posted my February update: http://www.chicagonow.com/getting-real/2016/03/chicago-real-estate-market-update-home-sales-flat/

    Sales essentially flat when you take out leap day. Inventory still remarkably low but I notice that Lake View and North Center SFH inventory has actually been rising.

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  77. “Just posted my February update: http://www.chicagonow.com/getting-real/2016/03/chicago-real-estate-market-update-home-sales-flat/

    Inventory still remarkably low but I notice that Lake View and North Center SFH inventory has actually been rising.”

    Thanks for the update Gary. I haven’t looked at North Center lately, but I’ve felt like the SFH are more of a glut in Lakeview, but only in the upper bracket (of course- is there anything else these days?). A lot of those $1.5-$1.7 million new builds seem to be sitting there, unsold. But that’s just my observation. I haven’t drilled down into it.

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  78. “those $1.5-$1.7 million new ”

    If the ones that are languishing were 1.5 to 1.7, they’d likely have sold by now. Most of them started off over 1.8, and several of them started at 1.99

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