S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices has been a good measure of where prices stand relative to where they used to be. For the past several months, the index has had current residential sale prices in the Chicago area running about where they were in mid to late 2002…">

For Some Communities, It’s 2002 All Over Again

Since the real-estate downturn began, the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices has been a good measure of where prices stand relative to where they used to be. For the past several months, the index has had current residential sale prices in the Chicago area running about where they were in mid to late 2002…


Since the real-estate downturn began, the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices has been a good measure of where prices stand relative to where they used to be. For the past several months, the index has had current residential sale prices in the Chicago area running about where they were in mid to late 2002. Now, that’s a general, region-wide measure, but in several places on Chicago’s annual real-estate charts (in the October issue), the index zooms right in on the local market’s condition.

The comparison corresponds most precisely in northwest suburban Cary, where the average sale price in the October 2010 charts is only a smidge above the average sale price reported in our October 2002 charts. The 0.06 percent difference is negligible; we might as well call it even. “I price homes here every day, and I would say that’s right where prices are now in Cary,” says Bill Hauck, a Re/Max agent who has been selling homes in Cary since 1998. “Some neighborhoods have held their value better than others, but there’s no doubt in my mind that we’re very close to that 2002 level.”

Patsy Frits concurs. The owner of a Realty Executives agency in Cary, Frits says that 2010 pales in comparison to 2002 in other ways. About half as many homes have sold in town this year than eight years ago, she says, and they are typically closing at a smaller percentage of what the sellers wanted. “From 1995 to 2005, homes in Cary sold for between 97 percent and 98 percent of list [price],” Frits says. This year, they are selling for about 94 percent of the sellers’ last asking price—and probably about 90 percent of their original asking price, she says.

On our charts, Cary’s average price peaked in 2007, at $336,443; the 2010 figure, $233,936, is down 30.4 percent from there. Frits remembers 2007 as a halcyon time. “Many homes sold at list or above list, and often with dual offers coming in on the same home,” she says. By comparison, in the past year Frits has had only one full-price offer for a conventional property (that is, one that was neither a short sale nor a foreclosure).

This phenomenon is certainly not limited to Cary. Region-wide, nearly 40 percent of the Chicago neighborhoods and suburban towns on the 2010 charts have price averages that are below their 2002 levels. About 53 percent are selling at better-than-2002 averages. Here are the 21 locations where our 2010 charts show an average price within 2 percentage points of their 2002 average—or approximately even with what they were eight years ago. Please note that these figures are not precise since we are comparing averages to averages; look at the farthest-right column, which shows the difference from 2002 to 2010, as a general guide only. (The figure for Uptown is for condos and townhouses only; single-family homes there are 40 percent above 2002 prices. All other Chicago neighborhood figures are for single-family homes.)

 

Location

2002
(average)

2010
(average)

2010 as a
percentage of 2002

Uptown

$220,515

$224,629

101.87%

Hawthorn Woods

$487,508

$493,628

101.26%

Sleepy Hollow

$287,311

$290.877

101.24%

Algonquin

$251,572

$254,512

101.17%

Alsip

$150,911

$151,346

100.29%

East Side (Chicago)

$98,850

$99,104

100.26%

Cary

$233,800

$233,936

100.06%

Niles

$284,251

$282,739

99.47%

O’Hare (Chicago)

$319,800

$318,042

99.45%

Countryside

$257,336

$255,397

99.25%

Kildeer

$645,130

$639,884

99.19%

Stickney

$158,849

$157,452

99.12%

Morton Grove

$281,926

$279,004

98.96%

Calumet Heights

$102,459

$101,378

98.94%

Riverwoods

$643,098

$635,704

98.85%

Lower West Side (Chicago)

$141,116

$139,328

98.73%

Gurnee

$277,827

$274,292

98.73%

Douglas (Chicago)

$258,866

$255,431

98.67%

Avalon Park (Chicago)

$108,102

$106,627

98.64%

Antioch

$200,220

$196,398

98.09%

Rolling Meadows

$248,629

$243,675

98.01%

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