Chicago Neighborhoods With the Highest Appreciation
It’s a tale as old as time: City dwellers settle down in a neighborhood, only to find that the rising cost of housing drives them out. But if you’re lucky enough to have purchased a home in a neighborhood before it becomes the next “it” neighborhood, then you’ve essentially won the housing lottery. So who won the housing lottery in Chicago?
To answer that question, we gathered Neighborhoods.com data on housing trends over a three year period. Based on the average home sale, these are the Chicago neighborhoods that have seen the highest property value appreciation since 2016.
10. Gold Coast
Up $148,750 (47.49 percent)
The Gold Coast has long been one of Chicago’s poshest neighborhoods, so it’s no surprise that prices here are on the rise. The average home sale rose from $313,250 in 2016 to $462,000 in 2019. That might seem like a steal for this lake-adjacent neighborhood, but buyers will want to keep in mind the high HOA fees that hover around $1,401 per month.
9. Old Town
Up $148,800 (29.40 percent)
Home of The Second City, Zanie’s, and countless bars and restaurants up and down Wells Street, Old Town is another established Chicago neighborhood. In 2016, the average home sale in the neighborhood was $506,200. Three years later that number is at $655,000.
Even for an established neighborhood, there’s steady development in and around the area. Convenience to the Loop via the Red and Brown lines as well as major big box stores like Crate & Barrel and The Container Store continue to make Old Town a draw.
Up $153,500 (51.77 percent)
The rise in housing prices on the Near North Side can largely be attributed to the development of high-rise condominiums. The neighborhood, which was once home to Cabrini Green, now boasts a number of high-rise buildings, replete with amenities to entice affluent young professionals. Housing prices have risen from an average of $296,500 in 2016 to $450,000 in 2019.
7. North Park
Up $167,500 (63.81 percent)
In 2016, the average home price in North Park was $262,500. In 2019, it’s $430,000. This neighborhood on the far north side of Chicago is home to European-style architecture as well as both North Park University and Northeastern Illinois University.
6. West Loop
Up $180,750 (54.69 percent)
If you know Chicago, this is probably the neighborhood you’ve been waiting to see on this list. Growth in the West Loop has been astronomical in recent years as the neighborhood has developed from warehouses to coworking spaces (WeWork, The Wing), corporate headquarters (Google, McDonald’s), and fancy restaurants (Publican, Girl and The Goat). If it’s fancy and new, chances are you’ll find it in the West Loop.
Housing prices have risen to match the swankiness of the neighborhood. In 2016, the average sale was $330,500. Three years later that average is $511,250.
Up $239,500 (63.19 percent)
Streeterville has seen steady development over the past two decades. The neighborhood, which is adjacent to Navy Pier and within throwing distance of Northwestern Hospital, has been a consistent draw for Chicago residents because of one thing: convenience. You’re pretty much close to everything here—from shopping on the Mag Mile to museums or corporate offices in the Loop.
Residents enjoy being within walking distance of many Chicago favorites, not to mention the views of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Three years ago, the average home here would have cost you $379,000. Now, that’s up to $618,500.
4. Irving Park
Up $254,000 (103.67 percent)
In the past three years, housing prices in the Irving Park neighborhood have doubled. The average sale price of $245,000 in 2016 has risen to $499,000. What’s responsible for this massive growth? Part of it has to do with the variety of housing options you’ll find. While there are still many affordable options in Irving Park, the neighborhood The Villa is on the National Register of Historic Places. The big, old homes in The Villa can have price tags into the millions. Irving Park is also seeing new development of high-end single-family homes, driving up the average price in the area.
3. North Center
Up $317,500 (81.94 percent)
Topping Irving Park is its next door neighborhood, North Center. Housing prices averaged $387,500 in 2016. Today, the average home sale in North Center is $705,000. A walk through North Center will show you that this area has also seen a boom in the development of luxury single-family homes.
North Center has the benefit of not being as crowded as other North Side neighborhoods that are closer to the Loop, like Old Town or Lakeview, so there’s a bit more room if you’re looking for a single-family home without moving to the suburbs.
Up $337,000 (179.26 percent)
In a three year period, homes in McKinley Park have almost doubled in price. In 2016, the average home sale was a very reasonable $188,000. Now, the average sale is $525,000. McKinley Park is another neighborhood dominated by the single-family home.
Up $500,900 (177.62 percent)
Congrats to you if you bought property on the Near West Side more than three years ago. In 2016, housing sales for this neighborhood averaged $282,000. In 2019, the average is up to $782,900.
What caused the spike from reasonably priced to almost a million dollars? Well, remember when we talked about the expansive growth of the West Loop? Near West Side is right next door, making it ripe for development as people relocate to the West Loop for work and development grows into its (formerly) cheaper neighbor, the Near West Side.
Take It With a Grain of Salt
Buying a home in one of these neighborhoods doesn’t mean you’ll end up with extra cash automatically. Past growth is not necessarily indicative of future growth (oh, that it were), and the truth is that real estate is more likely to be an investment that helps you build generational wealth rather than make a quick buck in a three year period. On top of that, housing prices can fluctuate month to month.
How Can You Use This Information?
If you’re planning on buying a house, it’s good to get to know the market. That goes for anywhere, not just Chicago. Information is power, as the saying goes, and Neighborhoods.com wants to make sure you have access to that power. If you’re interested in tracking the housing trends, you can find a chart at the bottom of each neighborhoods page giving you MLS data on the average housing price and number of homes sold in a neighborhood.
Development is one of the key factors that we see playing into rising housing costs. Looking at developing neighborhoods can give you a sense of your city’s growth because each new, “hot” neighborhood could get too expensive, and some lucky nearby neighborhood may reap the benefits for a little while (looking at you, Near West Side).