08/23/2010 05:26 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Multi-Unit Sales In Lakeview, North Center Up 77% Over Last Year

It seems like there are more bad numbers about the housing market coming out every other day. But in one segment of the Chicago real estate market, sales are through the roof.

Multi-unit homes in Lakeview and North Center have been selling like hot cakes in 2010, beating out 2009 sales by 77 percent over the same period.

The Chicago Real Estate Local blog analyzed data from to come up with the figure. The author of the blog, Eric Rojas, writes that 78 two- to four-unit homes in the area have sold this year so far, whereas only 44 such units sold there between January and August of last year.

Two types of buyers are driving up demand in the multi-unit home market, Rojas explains. One group is single families looking to convert the homes to single-family dwellings, which would serve as their owners' primary residences.

The second group is focused on affordability: these homeowners buy multi-unit houses, move in to one of the units, and rent out the rest to help afford housing in these more upscale neighborhoods.

"As prices have come way down from the overzealous 'flip' frenzy and mortgage interest rates remain low, multi-units have been a prime target of savvy buyers," Rojas writes.

Rojas' point: it's still pretty nasty out there, but buyers with good heads on their shoulders are making strategic, affordable moves in niches like this one.