Bart--beware of the optimism....
Case/Schiller is an excellent analysis of market trends and the current bell curve correction in the market is incredible but remember it is for the metro Chicago area which includes Naperville and Joliet. That is a huge region of real estate.
Lakeview has been and continues to be a bullish investment market even in light of the data below. You really need to 'drill down' into the market stats but look at last quarters summary. In other words, I would make the same trend analysis for whatever property type you are considering and see how that is trending over the past 36 months. That will give you a much better idea of the local market than C/S or my summary.
This was a post I made on Trulia a few weeks ago:
Total condos and townhomes units sold in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood were down 37% with 245 units sold in the fourth quarter, 2008 compared with 391 units sold in the fourth quarter, 2007. The median sales prices were down 9% to $315.000 from $347,000 in 2007 4Q and the average condo and townhome prices were down 36% in 2008 to $241,592 compared with $376,131 in 2007. Average market time was up 9% to 104 days. (Data from the local MLS)
Listen to the local professionals and look at the real numbers when trying to make sense of today's real estate market and your local micro-real estate economy. Even these numbers cannot be read on face value. Drill downs are required!
For more information and a Chicago Home Buzz market report visit www.ChicagoHomeBuzz.com where this data will be available soon.
Here is my previous Trulia post on Lakeview...