This week, I met with sellers of two condos in Albany Park in Chicago. What I found in my research is that prices are up by an average of $7,500 in the last 90 days on two bedroom, two bath condos. The condos are selling for $225,000-$260,000, as long as they aren’t short sales or foreclosures. Prices vary in that range, with size of condo and amenities. There is currently an average of three real buyers purchasing per month, and with 26 condos for sale we have about a 9 month inventory at present.

For three bedroom, three bath condos, prices are up by $5,000 we are seeing one real buyer per month, and we have a 14 month inventory.   Prices are averaging $270,000-$314,000. Albany Park condos typically are larger than in nearby Andersonville or Lincoln Square, and typically include a parking space and a deck in the pricing.

Amenities such as a parking space are not seen as frequently in neighborhoods closer to the lake, and certainly not in these price ranges.   In this type of market, it is survival of the fittest, meaning that pricing has to be red hot and everything must be perfect, and you need some luck also in order to sell.     Visit Move with Maggie for more information and to request a Market Snapshot of your specific area.

Lincoln Square’s Sales Prices are Increasing

According to the Chicago Tribune on sale prices in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood increased from an average of $293,000 in 2007 to $352,000 in 2008.   Interestingly, however, the number of units sold declined from 245 units to 174 units.   It appears that the price increase is due to more single family homes and higher end condominiums being sold in 2008 as compared to 2007.

Lincoln Square is one of only 4 north side Chicago community areas where prices are stable or increasing.   The other areas include Lincoln Park, Edgewater, Montclare, Avondale and Near North Side.

Presently there are 73 two bedroom two bath condos for sale, with four under contract/pending a sale, and 48 have sold and closed in the last six months.

The real estate market has absorbed 52 of a 125 condos for sale in Lincoln Square in the last six months, or 42% of the inventory.   The rate of absorption is nine condos per month.   At that rate, there is a seven month inventory of condos for sale.

The average price for a two bedroom two bath condo is $338,000.   Properties in Lincoln Square are selling for 99% of list price at time of contract.   Days on market average 132 days.

For more information about Lincoln Square, and other Chicago neighborhoods on click here.


For June 2008 though December 2008

If you are planning to sell or buy in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago, there is still some life in the market. Although the number of units sold has declined over 2007 volume, average prices have increased.    

For sellers, we are seeing that the market still has an appetite for condos, with prices holding strong for units with newer finishes and lots of amenities such as central air conditioning, parking and in unit laundry.   So if you are selling it is a good time to check your finishes and take stock of your amenities and work with a good agent in pricing your condo to sell.

SOLD AND CLOSED = 26 condos

Volume is down but prices are up and holding.   Sales volume for June thru December 2008 is roughly one half of the same period in 2007. There were 26 closings of two bedroom, two bath condos for the last six months in 2008, as compared to 51 for the same period in 2007. Properties are selling for 97% of their list price, about the same ratio as in 2007.    

The average sale price of condos for the second half of 2008 (June thru December, 2008) is $367,000 for a 1500 square foot condo.   The average price for the six months in 2007 was $348,000 for 1250 square feet.   Average market times have shortened to 111 days from 134 days in 2007.  


Surprisingly there is just one condo under contract, and at a price of $259,900 for a ground floor unit with parking, central air, in unit washer and dryer, fireplace and master suite.   It is priced far below others selling this year.   The market is absorbing 27 condos out of 44 condos for sale in six months, an average of 4-5 per month.    


Average asking price is $376,729 for 1,290 square feet.   With time on market averaging 128 days, we see that times are lengthening slightly, from 111 days previously in 2007.    

For more information about Andersonville visit, or

Buying a Home? How is Your Credit? Part One of Four

Welcome to another holiday season of shopping, entertaining and spending.   Millions of consumers are pounding the pavement in every shopping district across the country.   Simultaneously, millions of credit cards are being swiped at the check-out register.   Are these consumers cognizant of their actions and how their habits today affect their credit score?   What separates those with the great credit from those with mediocre credit is a lifetime process of serious consideration when it comes to handling their financial affairs.   In this series of blogs, light will be shed on the credit score, how it affects financing real estate, and what you can generally do to keep it high.

Before the subprime lending fallout of 2007, anybody with a heartbeat and a verifiable identification card could get financed into a home. Ease and leniency were the mantras of the day.     No more.   The marketplace has changed with stricter guidelines and a real need for documentation. Your rate, terms, and the amount of paperwork you need to bring to the table are all dependent upon your FICO score.   The best rates and terms are reserved for high credit borrowers as it once was.

You may already be taking steps necessary to stay on the good side of credit.   In the lending environment we find ourselves now, a serious buyer would want to be considered a prime borrower.   Prime borrowers are generally characterized as having a FICO score above 700.   FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation and they developed the method of determining the probability that credit users will pay their bills.   Credit scores range between 300 and 850, although someone without a traditional history (usually no bank or financial institution involved) can have a zero score.   The fact remains you can take action and control your destiny concerning your credit score before you reach the lenders™ desk.   Think of your score as a lifetime tapestry of credit habits rather than the individual events or fibers that bind it together.   What steps can you take to keep your score high or what should you do if you know your score is less than prime?

High or maxed out balances have a negative impact on your score.   Be reasonable when dealing with a trade line that offers a high credit limit.   A good rule of thumb is to never go beyond 50% of the maximum allowable, and if you do, try to pay down the balance as quickly as possible.   Give yourself a break when making that next purchase you think you want but don™t really need.

More to follow¦

©  2007 Michael S. Amers