Case-Shiller vs. MLS ? Some Very Interesting Data on Chicago Real Estate Market

July 2, 2009


Sunset On North Avenue in Bucktown, Chicago

Sunset On North Avenue in Bucktown, Chicago

Have you read the latest news that home sales are down? Pretty much everyday, right? According to Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Indices (PDF), released on Monday, Chicago experienced an 18.7% decline in home prices from April 2008 to April 2009, but did not experience a percentage change from the prior month, March 2009 to April 2009.

This information is interesting, but begs two questions for me:

  1. What neighborhoods of Chicago do these stats encompass; and are they relevant to the neighborhoods where my clients are selling and buying?
  2. In this rapidly-changing economy, statistics from two months ago is ancient history, so what are the most recent sales in May and June of this year?

Let’s Dig Into the Sales Data More Closely

I am definitely a numbers gal, so I decided to pull information from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) on the areas where my clients are doing business and see what stats would be of value to them. I picked three neighborhoods that have a great mix of condos and single family homes, and seemed like a decent representation of averages for the north-side of the Chicago marketplace. The areas I selected are Lincoln Park, Wicker Park/Bucktown, and Lincoln Square.

Here is what I found when I compared the volume (number of homes sold) and the average selling price data from the first half of 2008 with the first half of 2009:

Lincoln Park Sales Volume and Average Price Data

Lincoln Square Sales Volume and Average Price Data

Bucktown/Wicker Park Sales Volume and Average Price Data

Lincoln Square and Bucktown/Wicker Park Home Sales Volume Way Down

As reflected in the tables above, the average volume of sales, not surprisingly, are down with the hardest hit being the condo market in Bucktown/Wicker Park (-56%) and Lincoln Square (-52%). In the single family home market, Lincoln Park experienced the greatest decline at -36%.

Lincoln Park Condo and Single Family Home Average Sale Prices Are Up

Surprisingly, the condo and single family home sale prices when comparing the first half of 2008 and the first half of 2009 in the Lincoln Park neighborhood increased 3.6% for single family homes and 5.2% for condos. Lincoln Square reports a depreciation in sale prices at -18.7% for single family homes and -16% for condos. Bucktown/Wicker Park : -11.9% for single family and only -1% for condominiums.

North Side Sales Prices Have Decreased Far Less Than the Numbers Reported by S&P

Overall the average decline in sale price for all three markets for the first half of 2008 to the first half of 2009 is -5.5% for single family homes and only -2.6% for condos. A significant difference from the 18.7% decline reported; and a better reflection of what is happening currently in the marketplace within those three neighborhoods.

As the Realtor? advertisements market in their most recent campaign ad, markets are local, and statistics like these are not necessary a reflection of the block where you live or want to live. So consult with your real estate agent about current appreciation and depreciation in the areas that interest you?these numbers are easily gathered and analyzed, so don?t be afraid to ask?it?s interesting what you can learn when you dig a little deeper.

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About Catherine Brennan

Catherine Brennan is a seasoned real estate agent with over six years experience in closing hundreds of transactions and developing a network of satisfied clients. Because she values customer service above all else, she teamed-up with Nancy Gaspadarek to create the G and B Real Estate Team. Catherine has lived in the city of Chicago since 1990. She is a member of the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, a volunteer for the Friends of Blaine and Umoja which both focus on enhancing child education. She enjoys investing in real estate and golfing when she can. You can visit Catherine's web site or reach her directly at 312.613.8022 or

View all posts by Catherine Brennan

2 Responses to “Case-Shiller vs. MLS ? Some Very Interesting Data on Chicago Real Estate Market”

  1. Paul Vranas Says:


    Great analysis!

    What does the average sales price have to do with the value of houses?


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