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Housing Bulletin—Correction of Lincoln Square Data

It turns out housing prices in the Lincoln Square neighborhood (on Chicago’s Northwest Side) haven’t been on the two-year roller coaster ride suggested by Chicago’s October issue. Because of a problem with our data, the magazine’s annual real-estate charts reported an artificially large jump in prices in Lincoln Square in October 2006; as a result, the October 2007 charts indicated a dramatic (and false) decline…

It turns out housing prices in the Lincoln Square neighborhood (on Chicago’s Northwest Side) haven’t been on the two-year roller coaster ride suggested by Chicago’s October issue. Because of a problem with our data, the magazine’s annual real-estate charts reported an artificially large jump in prices in Lincoln Square in October 2006; as a result, the October 2007 charts indicated a dramatic (and false) decline.

Here is the correct data for both years: In the magazine’s 2006 chart, which covers the 12-month period from July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2006, the average sale price for a single-family home in Lincoln Square should have been reported as $643,165—an increase of 2.76 percent since 2005 and a 432 percent jump since 1994. In the October 2007 chart—which looks at sales from July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2007—the neighborhood’s average sale price was correctly reported as $701, 097. That represents a 9.0 percent increase over the 2006 numbers—not a decrease as the 2007 chart indicated—and an increase of 480 percent since 1994. (In both years’ charts, the sales figures provided for Lincoln Square’s multi-family housing—condos and townhouses—were accurate.)

Chicago receives all its data on house sales from the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois, which last year inadvertently provided an inaccurate average price for Lincoln Square. The error was only spotted this year following my recent appearance on WBEZ’s 848 show, where my remarks prompted some real-estate agents to double-check our data and let us know about the mistake. Thanks to them for their research—and, of course, Chicago regrets the error.

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