Curiously-priced new construction in Garfield Ridge

The demographics of Chicago’s Garfield Ridge neighborhood have been changing rapidly. From 2000 to 2010 Garfield Ridge lost nearly 20% of its White population and nearly a third of its Black population, while the Hispanic population of the neighborhood more than doubled.

Although the overall population of Garfield Ridge is approximately 8% Black, the population is not distributed throughout the community and parts of it appear to be starkly segregated.

According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data, for example, the census tract bounded Narragansett Ave, Harlem Ave, 51st St and Archer Ave was 79% white, 20% Hispanic, 1% Asian – and 0% Black. That doesn’t mean that there were no Blacks in the area, only that there were not enough to round up to 1%.

A 5-bedroom, 3-bath, 2-car garage newly-built home at 5409 S Nashville Ave has just been listed for sale. Three of the home’s bedrooms are on the main level and two in the finished, walk-out lower level.

The home is listed at $399,900 – by far the highest price in the immediate area, and well above any recent sales.

These anomalous prices always arouse my curiosity, especially when they occur on the South and Southwest Side of the city. Is the seller expecting a segregation premium? Does new construction with what appear, without having visited the listing, to be mediocre finishes justify this price? Does a tight inventory situation account for the price? Or is some other factor at play?

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