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Methods and Sources

These charts were prepared using data supplied by Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED). In addition to charting home prices in the 77 Chicago community areas recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau, we have also tracked sales in most towns in Cook, DuPage, and Lake counties where figures were available. For the outlying counties—Kane, McHenry, and Will—we have listed a number of representative towns. In Lake County, the town that is listed as Round Lake also includes Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Heights, and Round Lake Park.

The first column on each chart lists the average sale price for all the houses sold in each neighborhood or suburb from July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2008. (Obviously, if only a handful of houses were sold in a particular community, the average sale price risks being unrepresentative.) Average sale prices for the Chicago suburbs are based upon the sale of single-family homes, what MRED classifies as "detached" housing. For Chicago, where a sizable portion of the housing stock is composed of townhouses, condos, and lofts—"attached" housing—we have also included average sale prices and number of sales for attached homes during the same period.

The second column reports the average number of days that houses remained on the market before they were sold, which can be an indicator of an area's desirability. The third column lists the number of house sales within each community from July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2008.

The fourth column reports the percentage of increase or decrease in average sale price since the 12-month period beginning July 1, 1993, and ending June 30, 1994, the earliest date for which MRED has comprehensive data available for most of the city neighborhoods and suburbs. In Albany Park, for example, the average sale price 14 years ago was $134,203; this past year, it was $436,228, an increase of 225.05 percent.

The fifth column represents the percentage of increase or decrease in average sale price since the 12-month period beginning July 1, 2006, and ending June 30, 2007. In Chicago, we list the percentages for detached homes only. The percentages of increases in sale prices since June 30, 2007, for townhouses and condos in neighborhoods with sales of 100 or more attached homes are:

Albany Park
Grand Boulevard
Hyde Park
Irving Park
Lake View
Lincoln Park
Lincoln Square
Logan Square
Near North Side
Near South Side
Near West Side
North Center
Rogers Park
South Shore
West Ridge
West Town

In some instances, where data was insufficient or unavailable, we have inserted the symbol "N/A" (not available, or not applicable). Specifically, for city neighborhoods and suburbs—such as Fuller Park and Bannockburn—that had fewer than ten house sales during the 2007-2008 time period, we have listed no percentage change since 1994 or 2007 because the available data provided an insufficient basis for comparison between past and present sales.

Recently established through the consolidation of the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois (MLSNI) and MAP Multiple Listing Service, Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) is one of the largest multiple listing services in the country. It has a unique hybrid structure of Realtor Association economic interest combined with broker ownership and control. The creation of one data aggregation and distribution entity has already proved to be a huge benefit to brokers and agents. Currently, MRED's Multiple Listing Service systems have more than 150,000 active real-estate listings, two million off-market listings, approximately 750,000 photo files, and four million tax records for eight northern Illinois counties (the six counties in our article plus Grundy and Kendall counties).

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