Lincoln Square should come out ahead of Albany Park. Why, you ask?
1. Transportation. In Lincoln Square there's slightly better access to transportation. Even though the brown line runs through Albany Park, the ride is shorter from Lincoln Square. Western Avenue busses get you north and south - which are more difficult on smaller north-south routes like Kedzie and Pulaski.
Plus Lincoln Square has access to the Ravenswood Metra train. Twelve minutes to Downtown if you catch the right express train.
2. Shopping. The retail center along Lincoln Avenue draws shoppers from all over Chicago. Heck, you could argue that stores attract shoppers from as far as Hollywood if you count the day Angelina Jolie visited Timeless Toys.
3. Stability. As the market softened, sales stalled and foreclosures shot up in Albany Park. Lincoln Square stayed firm, and had fewer foreclosures.
4. Higher prices. Lincoln Square has higher prices. That's because the types of properties for sale are nicer. That's a problem, however, if you can't afford the higher prices. But the higher prices should attract more development and developers to Lincoln Square.
5. It's closer to the Lake. Sure, Albany Park is right next to Lincoln Square. But it's always more desirable to be closer to the lake. Lakefront neighborhoods enjoy higher prices, shorter market times, and better appreciation.