LINCOLN PARK — The number of homes available in the North Side real estate market remains at record lows, continuing the trend of a strong sellers market, according to real estate experts.
In the combined areas of Lakeview, Lincoln Park and the Near North there were 717 homes sold in June compared to 612 in June 2012, according to Chicago Multiple Listing Service data.
While those sales are up, and the number of units under contract is up 40 percent from June 2013 to June 2012, the total number of units on the market has dropped by nearly 40 percent.
In June 2012, there were 819 homes for sale in Lincoln Park and last month there were 596.
"The market continues to be very strong primarily because inventories are so low," said John Irwin, a real estate agent with Baird & Warner. "The longest I've had a property on the market has been 14 days, which is really incredible."
Irwin said the market on the North Side began to turn around last spring and it has been steady ever since.
"Last spring, things were really starting to pick up and we really saw things were happening, but we didn't know if it would sustain itself," he said.
Home prices have not yet fully followed suit in the market's uptick, according to Irwin, as median pricing for home sales in Lakeview fell 2.7 percent in June 2013 compared to 2012 and rose just 4.3 percent in Lincoln Park.
"It's obviously a seller's market, but what I tell my buyers' clients is it's still a good time to buy," Irvin said. "In all probability, your 2013 real estate dollar is going to buy more than your 2014 real estate dollar."
A number of high-rise developments in River North and in the West Loop could tip the balance of inventories of homes on the market in 2014, according to Irvin, but he does not expect that to affect Lincoln Park or Lakeview.
"I'm very cautiously optimistic," Irwin said.