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City's real estate market steady.

The news:

The Federal Reserve Board cut interest rates down to 3 percent in January, largely because of growing concerns about a home mortgage crisis.

Behind the news:

Despite a drop in the real estate market nationwide, Chicago's market is still thriving.

According to data from the Chicago Association of Realtors, the average selling price for "single-family unattached" homes in Chicago grew by $5,344 to $391,682 from 2006 to 2007--a 1.4 percent increase. Nationwide, the average selling price for "existing single-family homes" decreased by 5.4 percent from $269,500 to $266,000 during the same period, according to the National Association of Realtors.

David Hanna, president-elect of the Chicago Association of Realtors, said that Chicago's real estate market has benefited from the influx of new residents to the city. "The willingness of people to move to the city has raised the bottom up," he said.

The Near West Side marked the biggest increase in selling price in Chicago. Its average selling price for "single-family unattached" homes jumped by 75 percent to $691,234 in 2007 from 2006.

But in 43 community areas, the average selling price decreased by an average of 17.1 percent, with Logan Square experiencing a 73 percent decrease from $654,747 to $175,000.

Matt Farrell, managing partner of Urban Real Estate, a downtown real estate firm, said Logan Square's price increase in recent years was largely driven by investors looking for quick profit. "An area such as Logan Square was very attractive to some who saw low-interest [adjustable-rate mortgages] and low-entry market prices as a means to quick appreciation--many seeking for it to become 'the next Bucktown,'" he said. "Unfortunately, much of the appreciation was more 'speculative appreciation.'"

Selling prices up and down

Overall, the Chicago real estate market bucked the national trend by showing a slight increase in the average selling price of a single-family home from 2006 to 2007. Still, the average selling price dropped in more than 40 Chicago community areas with the sharpest decreases occurring on the city's South and West sides.

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Source: Chicago Association of Realtors; analyzed by The Chicago Reporter
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Title Annotation:SPINOFFS: Keeping Current
Author:Vazquez, Lourdes
Publication:The Chicago Reporter
Date:Mar 1, 2008
Words:357
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