Housing markets undermined as residents, jobs bleed to suburbs
As Atterbury said, the high-end neighborhoods managed to avoid most of the foreclosure problems. But that doesn't mean everything's peachy in those markets.
Dream Town Realty data in three high-end Chicago ZIP codes (60614, 60610 and 60611) shows from March 2009 to March 2011, the number of units for sale dropped 20.9 percent, while units under contract and sold, increased 20.4 and 42.3 percent, respectively.
One can argue that the increased selling is partially due to lower prices. Again, according to Dream Town data, from March 2009 to March 2011, in these three ZIP codes, the median price declined by 5.6 percent.
In the high-end Chicago market, there are both single-family homes and condominiums. "I checked in two of those major ZIP codes," said Atterbury, and the average price for a condominium was $1.8 million for the first three months of 2011; in 2010 it was $2.4 million for the same period. On the other hand, she said, the average price for single-family homes was up slightly this year as compared to the year before.
I asked Atterbury how sales were going for her, personally, and she told me she had a $2 million-plus transaction and a $1 million-plus transaction that were pending.
"This year is already a strong year," she said. "I checked with my company and for the first quarter we are a little ahead of last year."
"While the political decisions are not helping, you don't want to discount Chicago," she said. "We have a tremendously broad-based economy; the biggest commodities/options market is here; and we have fabulous universities. Chicago is a very dynamic city."
Steve Bergsman is a freelance writer in Arizona and author of several books. His latest book, "After the Fall: Opportunities and Strategies for Real Estate Investing in the Coming Decade," has been ranked as a top-selling real estate investment book for the Amazon Kindle e-reader.
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