ChicagoFar North

Rogers Park condos continue their long slide along the bottom

by Jeff Baird on 8/27/12

The bad news first: the median selling price of a condominium in Rogers Park last quarter was $62,500. But the good news is that they are selling at all.

163 condominiums or townhomes closed between April and June 2012, less than a 20% decline from the market average in 2008. The corresponding figure for the city as a whole is a 32% drop in volume — and that includes many neighborhoods that weren’t hit badly at all.

My own anecdotal observation over the last six months has been that it’s much easier for new buyers to get financing for condominiums in Chicago, especially in struggling buildings. As president of a homeowners’ association, I found that for most of 2010 and 2011, banks would not lend in buildings that were in any kind of distress (including high levels of foreclosure, delinquency, vacancy, or investment units). But things are starting to loosen up in the first half of 2012, with more new buyers approved and existing owners able to refinance.

In the long run, this should be good news for neighborhoods like Rogers Park, Irving Park, Albany Park, Humboldt Park, and others. It hurts to see the low selling prices now, but owners should be optimistic that units are selling.

Jeff Baird is a real estate valuation consultant based in Chicago. He founded Lakeshore Analytics to bring comprehensive, understandable housing data and analysis to Chicago-area readers. The site features a blog with free market news and charts, summary data on 20 top neighborhoods, and quarterly data subscriptions.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob August 27, 2012 at 2:24 PM

It is now cheaper to buy a condo in Rogers Park and Edgewater than it is to rent a comparable unit (with taxes and HOA included in the calculation), as rents have been ticking up steadily since the crash. Both neighborhoods have large renting populations. At some point, rental tenants have to start to do the math of what it costs to own vs rent and condo, and prices will go up. Relatively low price points for condos also means that having to come up with a down payment will not be a significant barrier to entry.

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pedro August 28, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Makes sense Bob.

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SheridanB August 30, 2012 at 3:02 PM

But a lot of those renters may not wish to purchase as they will want to move somewhere else, simply don’t want to own or may not qualify for a loan for other reasons. I don’t know if it’s possible to see whether those units are being purchased by investors or by owner-occupiers.

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