Lincoln Park Home Prices Not Immune To Downturn

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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.

Address Sale
Price
Prior
Sale
Prior
Price
Gain/Loss
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.

Gary Lucido

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4 Comments
Bryan

Gary, a few comments on your post.

These transactions should really be analyzed one by one to get a better picture of what is going on.
The sales at 2741 N. Mildred – those are new construction – there are no past sales so those should not be included.
Almost all of the sales with double digit declines were foreclosure re-sales that were priced to sell quickly. There are deals to be had for those who can move quickly, especially for cash buyers. Lincoln Park is definitely not imune to price declines, but I would say it has fared better than many neighborhoods further out.

Keep up the good work, you offer some good insights on the market.

Gary Lucido

I do show past sales at 2741 N Mildred – in October 08 – unless you are telling me that was when the developer bought the property?

Bryan

Yes, it appears the developer paid $840,000 for one of the two sites used in the development.

Gary Lucido

Yeah, thanks for pointing that out. I missed the fact that the two properties had the original PIN associated with them and that tied to the developer’s purchase. I have subsequently removed those two sales.

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