Prices down, but wealthy neighborhoods avoided roller coaster

It’s been a wrenching few years to watch price and volume movements in many of Chicago’s neighborhoods. These metrics are prone to doing strange things even in ordinary times.

I track 20 Chicago neighborhoods with the most sales volume on a quarterly basis. In some neighborhoods, this adds up to only a couple dozen sales per quarter. So, the small sample size causes some strange ups and downs. In addition, the median price is subject to selection bias: it only measures homes that actually sold in the quarter. In bad times, when homeowners only sold if they had to, or when short sales dominated, the median price exaggerated the downs.

Still, some of Chicago’s wealthiest neighborhoods were able to avoid some of these large swings, even if the median selling prices are down overall. Near North Side (down 18% since Q2 2008), Loop (down 24%), and Near South Side (down 34%) have experienced a much more gradual decline than, say, Edgewater or Rogers Park.

More detail on recent price trends can be found at Lakeshore Analytics.

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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