Surprising price gains in several Chicago neighborhoods

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American Invsco is offering deep discounts at 200 North Dearborn, a 47-story conversion in Chicago’s Loop, where only three residences are still available. | SUPPLIED PHOTO

A new study is showing increasing home price stability in some recession-ravaged Chicago neighborhoods, and big gains in the Loop and other popular areas.

Low-income areas such as Chicago's Englewood/Auburn Gresham, Humboldt Park/Garfield Park and Pullman/Roseland neighborhoods are showing signs of stabilizing, according to a fourth quarter Cook County House Price Index released by DePaul University's Institute for Housing Studies.

The institute's fourth quarter 2012 House Price Index highlights price changes for single-family homes and condominiums in 19 Chicago submarkets and 14 suburban Cook County submarkets.

"The housing market is seeing positive signs in the strongest markets and in areas where prices have bottomed out," said institute executive director Geoff Smith. "However, the rest of the county continues to struggle."

At the end of last year, 24 of the county's 33 submarkets were at or near their lowest price levels since the collapse of the housing market in 2007.

The good news is:

  • Larger gains are showing up in popular north side neighborhoods along the lake, in the Hyde Park/Bronzeville area and in the vicinity of West Town. Price trends in neighborhoods in the central part of Chicago and along Lake Michigan are emerging as Cook County's strongest. These areas exhibit strong long-term price increases as well as recent signs of price stability.
  • Home prices in the Loop have increased by 36 percent since 2000, the largest gain of any Cook County submarket, and have increased nearly 5 percent year over year in the fourth quarter of 2012.
  • Prices in the Lakeview/Lincoln Park, West Town/Logan Square, and Bronzeville/Hyde Park neighborhoods of Chicago have also shown both positive long-term growth as well as recent price gains.
  • Several hard-hit neighborhoods are showing signs of price revival:

Englewood/Auburn Gresham: Since bottoming out in the first quarter of 2011, home prices in the Englewood/Auburn Gresham neighborhoods have been steadily increasing. In the fourth quarter of 2012, values were up 10 percent from recent lows, but still down 15 percent from what they were in 2000.

Humboldt Park/Garfield Park saw price increases of nearly 4 percent and quarter-over-quarter price increases of nearly 3 percent, after experiencing price declines of more than 40 percent since 2000 and reaching a low point in the first quarter of 2012.

The Pullman/Roseland neighborhoods experienced a year-over-year price increase of nearly 19 percent - the largest of all submarkets studied - in the fourth quarter of 2012. The neighborhoods had previously experienced price declines of nearly 8 percent since 2000, reaching a low point in the first quarter of 2012.

"Recent price increases in these foreclosure-distressed markets are an indication that prices in these areas may have bottomed out," Smith said. "However, it will be important to track how sustained these price increases are to know if they are a temporary phenomenon or if these areas have truly stabilized."