Tough time for condos in three once-strong markets

Condominiums in Rogers Park, Humboldt Park and Irving Park — three neighborhoods that once had strong new development and high selling prices — are now selling for 25%, 27%, and 40% of their peak price levels in 2007 or 2008.

As of last quarter, the median selling price of a condominium in Rogers Park was $62,000. Could this have been a quirk, representing a low median of just a handful of sales? No. Over 150 units sold in Rogers Park last quarter. Half were for less than $62,000, which means that well over half the sales were the result of short sales or foreclosures. Two quarters ago, 218 units sold for a median of $66,250.

It has been a similar story in Humboldt Park. In late 2008, condominiums sold for a median of over $300,000. Even as recently as 2010, some high sales pushed the median back up to $260,000. This was followed by consecutive quarterly price drops of 26%, 39%, 62%, 58%, and 63%. At the end of the year, the median selling price was $71,000.

In Irving Park, the fall has been more recent and only slightly less steep. In 2010, the northwest side neighborhood averaged 84 sales per quarter, and the median selling prices ranged from $165,000 to $200,000. At the end of 2011, 73 condominiums sold for a median of $95,500.

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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