When it comes to Chicago’s real estate and housing market, the word volatile often comes to mind. Like the rest of the country, the Windy City has had its fair share of ups and downs since the Great Recession. But in 2017, Chicago’s housing market seems to be moving in a few different directions. And ESTATENVY is actively keeping track of it all.
According to the Illinois REALTORS®’ year-end report highlighting the state’s real estate market, home sales are up and the number of days a property is on the market is down in Chicago. That means that in today’s seller-centric market, homes that are listed are seeing movement. Buyers in the city are increasingly looking for their new homes.

However, living in downtown Chicago still comes with a higher price tag than most. With the most recent housing indicators from the National Association of Realtors showing the median price of homes at $228,400 nationwide, the City of Chicago’s 2016 median home price tag of $272,000 stands out. That number is also up from 2015, when the average price of a home in Chicago was $261,000, according to Illinois REALTORS®. Renting also has the potential to break the bank in Chicago—according to the 2017 Rental Affordability Index from Nested, Chicago is the 13th most expensive city in which to rent. Monthly rent for a single person costs over $1,045, with rent for a family of four falling just under the $2,000 mark.
With a number of factors continuing to shape the real estate and housing industry’s over the course of the next year, including a lack of inventory and rising interest rates, Chicago’s market could move in a variety of different directions. One prediction from Realtor.com and the National Association of Realtors suggests that the city will have the coldest real estate market among the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, with home prices expected to rise 1.95 percent in 2017 That’s about 19 percent below where Chicago’s home prices were before the crash, signaling that the market hasn’t reached its pre-crash health. But with other factors at play, including millennials’ migration to urban areas, it’s also likely that the Windy City will continue to attract the next generation of homebuyers.

As Chicago’s real estate market continues to recover from the economic downturn, there are a few trends making their way to the forefront of residents’ minds. One is the idea of micro-apartments—millennials across the country are increasingly turning to smaller living spaces to make city living more affordable. Chicago is no exception, with micro-apartments popping up in popular neighborhoods like the Gold Coast and Logan Square.

Those aren’t the only neighborhoods trending in 2017—according to the National Association of Realtors, there are some areas in the city that are either nearing or have topped their high home price records from 2006. The Loop and West Loop are expected to be two of the year’s most crowded areas as well as Bridgeport, Brighton Park, Humboldt Park and Garfield Park. Areas on the North Side like Lincoln Park are still experiencing growth, but it’s slower than it has been in the past. This trend shows that Chicagoans are leaning towards the city—more suburban areas like Barrington, Palatine, Orland Park, Lemont, Park Ridge, Oak Park, Winnetka and Northbrook are falling behind.

But if there’s one thing that Chicago is used to, it’s change. As neighborhoods go in and out of style and the market continues to bounce back, the city’s real estate industry will undoubtedly follow suit. That’s why we’re focusing on telling stories from all sides of Chicago’s housing market here at ESTATENVY. If you have a story to share that connects back to the business of the home in the Windy City—or beyond—we’d love to hear it. Please feel free to reach out and get in touch with us here.