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June 02, 2011
(Crain's) — The housing rollercoaster ride of the last decade ended badly for most localhomeowners, but residents of Andersonvilleand Uptown can't complain about too much.An index of single-family home prices in the60640 zip code, which includes the two NorthSide neighborhoods, rose 39.3% from theend of 2000 to the end of 2010, according toFiserv Inc. That's the biggest 10-year gainamong all of the 252 local zip codes trackedby Fiserv, a financial services firm thatcalculates the widely followed Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.Prices in once-hot neighborhoods like LincolnSquare, Ravenswood, Irving Park and GarfieldPark gained nearly as much, even aftersustaining double-digit drops in the bust of recent years. The data reflect a familiarpattern of gentrification as buyers, unable toafford homes in places like Lincoln Park andBucktown, sought out less expensive optionsnearby. The influx has driven up prices inplaces such as Uptown and Andersonville. “So many more families are wanting to stay inthe city, and prices in those areas havegotten astronomically high,” says ThaddeusWong, co-founder of local residentialbrokerage @properties.Indeed, neighborhoods like Andersonville and Lincoln Square are a lot less affordable nowthan they were in 2000. Lincoln Square's 60625 zip code had the 13th-highest median homeprice among Chicago-area zip codes, $548,000, while 60640 (Uptown/Andersonville) ranked14th, at $540,000. The highest: Glencoe's 60022, at $952,000, followed by the 60614 zip-code in Lincoln Park, at $945,000. “People that were priced out of neighborhoods (like Bucktown and Wicker Park) were seeingUptown as a sort of fringe — probably a similar dynamic was going on in Garfield Park,” saysPhilip Ashton, an assistant professor of urban planning and policy at the University of Illinoisat Chicago. “In a lot of cases, demand exceeded supply in a lot of targeted neighborhoods.” The influx of young professionals, meanwhile, attracted retailers, further boosting the appealof the neighborhoods. “With all the more commercial (development), it makes the neighborhood more desirable tolive in,” says Jeanne Carava, a broker with Prudential Rubloff Properties who's had listingsnear Andersonville for 15 years. “When the first Starbucks went in (in Andersonville), therewas just a lot more confidence.” Just one zip code outside the city — 60515 in west suburban Downers Grove — made it intothe top 10 local price gainers of the decade, with a 32.5% increase, according to Brookfield,Wis.-based Fiserv. The biggest loser: south suburban Lansing, where prices fell 14.8% overthe 10-year-period.With a high foreclosure rate, a weak job market, a tight lending climate and persistentpessimism among buyers, the broader picture remains gloomy. The Standard's & Poor's/CaseShiller index of Chicago-area single-family home prices fell 2.4% from February to March andwas down 7.6% from the year-earlier level, hitting its lowest point in 10 years.Mr. Ashton of UIC expects prices to continue their slide, predicting that some neighborhoodslike Pilsen and Garfield Park may even fall below 2001 levels."We still got a long way to go for some areas in the city," he says.
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