Downtown Chicago housing slump mirrors national CBD trends 

Sale prices lower in downtowns of 31 of 40 largest U.S. cities

Downtown Chicago Housing Slumps Along with Other Large Cities

Home prices in downtown Chicago have trailed behind other parts of the city since the pandemic. One silver lining: it’s not alone.

In 31 of the 40 largest U.S. cities, home prices are lowest in downtown neighborhoods, Crain’s reported, citing real estate database PropertyShark, which compared median home sale prices in 2014 to those in 2023. 

Notably, Chicago is the only city where downtown prices have decreased over the nine-year period. The median price of downtown homes fell by 17 percent, from $326,000 in 2014 to $284,000 in 2023, while citywide prices, excluding downtown, surged by 40 percent from $269,000 to the same median price.

That 57 percent difference is behind only Kansas City and Dallas, each seeing 75 percent differences over the nine year stretch. However, downtown prices in those cities rose by 39 and 64 percent, respectively, while their citywide averages skyrocketed. 

It highlights the weakened downtown market and the robust growth in neighborhoods like Wicker Park, Bucktown and Logan Square, where home prices have surged. 

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Affluent empty nesters are increasingly opting for luxury condos on the city’s outskirts as opposed to high-end downtown properties. Downtown homeowners are taking losses as a result of this trend.

For instance, a St. Regis condo sold for $7 million in April, down from its last trade of $8.2 million in late 2021. 

The demise of downtown’s housing market can be attributed to crime. Incidents have increased 92 percent over the past four years, the outlet reported, citing Bloomberg. Plus, the pandemic has diminished the overall vibrancy of the Loop, with office and retail vacancies soaring to record highs. 

Among the Midwest cities analyzed by PropertyShark, only Detroit has seen downtown prices outpace those in the rest of the city. There, downtown prices rose by 128 percent from 2014 to 2023, up 7 percent from the rest of the city’s average growth.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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