A peek inside the Austin market

1633 N Leclaire Ave, Chicago

They used to say that you could swap a pair of 501s for a car in Prague. In Austin, you should be able to swap a car for a home. The median sale price of a home in the West Side neighborhood in 2010 was $44,900; 37 of the 301 homes sold went for $15,000 or less. That car should come in handy for the seller, who, like many Austin residents, is looking for a way out of the neighborhood — between 2000 and 2009, the community area’s population shrank by 14,223 people.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, 13 homes sold in the $200s, one sold in the $400s, and one sold in the $500s. A few of those were new-construction townhomes and single-families at The Enclave at Galewood Crossings; others were old bungalows that sold cheap in 2009 and 2010, quickly rehabbed, and sold again for a profit.

The median price of a home listed right now is $116,450. For slightly less than that, you can get a 1,140 square-foot, five-bedroom / two-bath home with a two-car garage at 1633 N Leclaire Ave. The eight-year-old home last sold in 2005 for $268,000; it was listed on December 25 for $114,900.

Austin also has a lot of multi-family buildings on the market. The 164 listings range from a fire-damaged two-flat priced at $6,000 to a “stately, 31-unit, castle-like beauty” priced at $1.99 million.

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