Monday, March 12, 2012

Lincoln Square condo sales paint confusing picture, 52% distressed sales

The Lincoln Square Community Area of Chicago may offer the best value in the city despite the very bleak "black and white" sales numbers.  The market is less dynamic with fewer options and condo sales than nearby Lake View and a way lower median price of $150,000. Many of the lowest priced distressed sales are concentrated in one area. 

4544 N Seeley, a condo development in Lincoln Square averaging over $400K per sold unit (Photo Eric Rojas)

However the cost of living, space and neighborhood lifestyle make Lincoln Square condos desirable.  In many cases a 20% or less down payment will afford you a nice home for less than you would pay in rent for a similar home. There are also fairly luxury options on the higher end too that sell for well over $400,000. As well, one of the rare new condo conversions at 4544 N Seeley (a prime neighborhood location) is almost sold out quickly with prices around $400K on average.

25 condos closed (sold) in the first two months of 2012.  The median price was $150,000 (yes, $150,000).  However, the $150,000 and under sales were mostly located in buildings in the far northwest corner of Lincoln Square... north of Foster Ave and west of Western Avenue. The prices jump up mostly well over $250,000 east of Western and South of Foster.

The Highs:
A newer construction three bedrooms, 2 baths condo with elevator and 2 garage spots sold for $480,000 at 4815 N Damen.
The Lows:
Well, a bank holding gutted bombed-out condo project somehow offered, and sold, a unit for $5,000 at 2105 W Berwyn in Bowmanville.  I'm sure the neighbors are happy with this building.  The next lowest was $36,000, a nice move-in ready one bedroom, one bath foreclosure condo in a converted 1957 bland apartment building at 2520 W Foster.

Not surprisingly, 13 of the 25 (52%) units sold in our local MLS in Lincoln Square were either short sale or foreclosures. The majority of these were north of Foster and west of Western or one bedroom condos.

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