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Selling Time Increases Significantly in Many Communities

Comparing Chicago’s annual real-estate charts from 2006 to the ones that appeared in the October 2010 issue of the magazine, I found that the average length of time that a house waits on the market has more than doubled in 29 Chicago neighborhoods and 129 suburbs. The two places where market time has lengthened the most over those four years are Montclare on Chicago’s Northwest Side and Lake Forest on the North Shore…

Comparing Chicago’s annual real-estate charts from 2006 to the ones that appeared in the October 2010 issue of the magazine, I found that the average length of time that a house waits on the market has more than doubled in 29 Chicago neighborhoods and 129 suburbs. The two places where market time has lengthened the most over those four years are Montclare on Chicago’s Northwest Side and Lake Forest on the North Shore.

In 2006, Montclare was thriving, thanks to still-affordable bungalows and a smattering of reasonably priced new construction. What’s more, Galewood, a city neighborhood adjacent to Oak Park, was also up-and-coming. (Midwest Real Estate Data, which provides the information for our charts, includes Galewood sales in the Montclare neighborhood.)

But the downturn has been hard. Adjacency isn’t a big draw now that prices have dropped far enough to make the centerpiece places—such as Oak Park, in Montclare’s case—more affordable.

In Lake Forest, the extended market time is the result of two factors, according to a pair of agents there. “We have sellers who were told [a few years ago] that they had a $4 million house,” says Marina Vernon, a Griffith, Grant & Lackie agent. “They hope we’re wrong when we say it’s now $3 million.” But when priced for today’s market, Vernon says, Lake Forest houses sell as swiftly as they ever did; she’s had two high-end homes sell recently in less than 120 days.

Deb Fischer at Koenig & Strey Real Living adds that, at the upper reaches of the market, “it has been slower than other price points in Lake Forest.” While she says the upper bracket has shown some recent signs of life, for a long while that realm was hit by a three-way combo: the difficulty of obtaining jumbo mortgages; buyers having trouble selling their smaller homes in order to move up; and the fact, Fischer says, that “these are usually discretionary purchases.”

Here are the ten suburbs where the average time it takes to sell a house has grown the most. (I’ve excluded towns with fewer than 20 sales for the year.) The column on the far right shows that in Lake Forest, for example, it takes on average 3.58 times as long to sell a house now as it did in 2006.

Town

2010 days on market

2006 days on market

Change in # days since 2006

Lake Forest

258

72

358%

Bridgeview

168

47

357%

Kenilworth

283

80

354%

Elmhurst

175

53

330%

Crestwood

144

44

327%

Hickory Hills

166

51

325%

Brookfield

148

46

322%

Flossmoor

210

67

313%

Norridge

172

55

313%

Niles

188

61

308%

 

Here are the ten city neighborhoods where the average time it takes to sell a house has slowed down the most. These figures are for single-family home sales only. (Again, I have excluded neighborhoods with fewer than 20 sales for the year.) The column on the far right shows that, in Montclare, for example, it takes on average 3.97 times as long to sell a house now as it did in 2006.

Neighborhood

2010 days on market

2006 days on market

Change in # days since 2006

Montclare

175

44

397%

Hermosa

190

61

311%

McKinley Park

136

44

309%

Dunning

162

53

305%

West Elsdon

148

53

279%

Hegewisch

171

63

271%

Norwood Park

154

57

270%

Mount Greenwood

141

53

266%

Edison Park

154

60

256%

West Ridge

159

62

256%

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