There was a heated debate on Cribchatter the other day about home price declines in Lincoln Park. Everyone’s favorite Lincoln Park bull, going by the fake name of Steve Heitman, claimed that not only has Lincoln Park real estate held it’s value but that people were still making lots of money on their homes there. He proceeded to provide 4 examples of people who were selling their homes at a profit in the last 30 days. Of course, this unleashed a torrent of discussion. One of his examples proved to be wrong – the seller actually lost money – and “Steve” was also accused of cherry picking his examples.
Well, I did an analysis on Lincoln Park home values about a year ago and have been meaning to update it for some time now so this discussion finally motivated me to do it. Since “Steve” showed condo examples and since there are more condo sales in Lincoln Park than anything else I focused on condo sales – every closing in the last 30 days where prior sales data was available. This is what I found, sorted by prior sale date.
|1960 N Lincoln Park West Unit 1009||$ 250,500||2/27/1998||$ 174,000||44%|
|2500 N SEMINARY Unit 7W||$ 400,000||4/30/2002||$ 396,000||1%|
|1916 N MAUD Unit C||$ 635,500||5/2/2002||$ 545,000||17%|
|1049 W ALTGELD Unit 2A||$ 275,000||7/22/2003||$280,000||-2%|
|1848 N Mohawk Unit 1||$ 700,000||8/4/2003||$ 657,000||7%|
|823 W LILL Unit 2W||$ 398,750||5/17/2004||$ 425,000||-6%|
|2000 N LINCOLN PARK WEST Unit 1510||$ 193,000||1/12/2005||$ 414,000||-53%|
|1982 N MAUD Unit J||$ 525,000||2/7/2005||$ 477,000||10%|
|2145 N Sheffield Unit 3||$ 505,000||3/8/2005||$ 500,000||1%|
|2700 N HAMPDEN Unit 16C||$ 295,000||3/21/2005||$ 271,000||9%|
|2619 N Seminary Unit 3||$ 515,000||4/21/2005||$ 522,000||-1%|
|2150 N RACINE Unit 2||$ 456,000||7/22/2005||$ 451,500||1%|
|1831 N Hudson Unit A||$ 257,500||9/1/2005||$ 385,000||-33%|
|2620 N CLYBOURN Unit 204||$ 295,000||9/8/2005||$ 325,000||-9%|
|2650 N MILDRED Unit 3||$ 560,000||9/26/2005||$ 605,000||-7%|
|2625 N CLARK Unit 908||$ 153,000||11/9/2005||$ 325,000||-53%|
|2417 N JANSSEN Unit B||$ 360,500||12/2/2005||$ 375,000||-4%|
|2512 N BOSWORTH Unit 409||$ 389,900||2/7/2006||$ 413,500||-6%|
|2020 N Lincoln Unit A||$ 690,000||2/10/2006||$ 1,000,000||-31%|
|442 W Dickens Unit 3||$ 330,000||10/5/2006||$ 349,500||-6%|
|1717 N Crilly Unit 1||$ 532,500||3/28/2007||$ 534,505||0%|
|1660 N LaSalle Unit 1210||$ 240,500||5/31/2007||$ 194,000||24%|
|1735 W Diversey Unit 601||$ 480,000||12/26/2007||$ 565,000||-15%|
As you can see, pretty much everyone who bought a condo in Lincoln Park since April 2005 lost money in the last 30 days. (I should point out that the 1660 N LaSalle condo, shown selling at a “gain”, might very well have had substantial work done on it since being originally purchased – it’s hard to believe it gained that much value on its own.) On the other hand, eyeballing the data, the situation looks better today than it did a year ago. Homes don’t seem to have lost as much value in Lincoln Park as they were losing a year ago.
As the debate on Cribchatter did include a discussion of transaction costs and renting vs. buying, I will point out that when you take transaction costs into account the situation is even worse and renting would have been a better option during this period. However, 4 years is a pretty short time period and I would argue that, for people planning on staying in their homes for a while, they haven’t done too poorly in Lincoln Park. On the other hand, during this same time period average home prices in Chicago have fallen 15% according to the Case Shiller home price index and it doesn’t look to me like Lincoln Park has held its home values any better than the city as a whole.
Oh, one other caveat. Anecdotally, it does appear that people who bought condos in large buildings on busy streets may have gotten hit harder than those that bought in smaller buildings on quiet, tree-lined streets.