The Fall of Chicago's East Garfield Park

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East Garfield Park, a community located on the west side of Chicago, is a prime example of an area that has seen a precipitous drop in home prices during the past year and a half. One home in the area has even seen a 94 percent drop in its selling price.

This particular home, a three-bedroom, two-bath condo located at 3522 W. Lexington St., was sold for $335,000 back in October 2007, when it was new. It now boasts a selling price of $19,900. The remarkable finding was recently highlighted by YoChicago, a real estate blog focused exclusively on the Chicago area.Joe Zekas, "Chairman of Data Based Ads and dabbles" at YoChicago, according to the site's "About us" section, notes that a month after he declared East Garfield Park as "flat on its back and barely twitching" in February 2007, BusinessWeek swooped in and declared it Chicago's "Most Up & Coming Neighborhood." That vote of confidence seems to have lost its meaning now.

According to Trulia, a San Francisco-based real estate search engine, the average listing price in East Garfield Park was $169,487 for the week ending Wednesday, Dec. 23. However, the median sales price from September to November was just $50,000.

"This represents a decline of 20%, or $12,500, compared to the prior quarter and a decrease of 77.3% compared to the prior year," Trulia notes. "Sales prices have depreciated 80.3% over the last 5 years in East Garfield Park, Chicago."

The community's median sales price is also nearly 80 percent lower than the median sales price for Chicago, the site notes.

Sales prices in East Garfield Park began to drop off in the last quarter of 2008 and have flattened out for much of 2009.
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