“Have you seen the Chicago River? It flows backward!”
I’ve heard this time and again from newcomers to the Windy City. And, indeed, it’s true. Chicago reversed the river in order to clean it. But that’s Chicago. It’s a city that knows reinvention, from the first time settlers and boosters looked at a small sand-choked river in a stinking marsh and said, yup, let’s build a huge city here.
Historically a blue-collar lunchpail city, Chicago is becoming one of the nation’s leading tech sectors. We spent years hemorrhaging businesses and now we have corporations battling each other to move here. As a result, more young families are relocating to the city from the suburbs again, instead of the other way around. If you take a look around, you can see that the current market dynamics foretell that Chicago is where to invest in real estate in 2019.
Tech and Corporations: Driving the Chicago Real Estate Market in 2019
For real estate investors looking for solid leads in Chicago, it is a matter of recognizing the trends and anticipating what is going to happen in the coming year. From the Loop to the suburbs, there are plenty of opportunities for successful investments here. Let’s take a look at the Chicago real estate investment climate and what it foretells.
Technology and corporate relocations are one of the driving forces behind where the local real estate market is heading. In 2018, Chicago was named as one of the leading contenders for Amazon’s HQ2. And, for several years running, has been cited as one of the top metro areas for corporate investment. In fact, for the 5th year in a row, Chicago has ranked as number one for corporate relocation
And we know what that means: more business means more people moving in—specifically, a younger and more educated Millennial generation looking to take advantage of the growing Chicago job market. Already, in some neighborhoods, as many as 80% of the residents have a college degree. And last year, a nearly half of Cook County mortgages were taken out by the under-35 crowd. They are attracted primarily by the exciting new jobs, Chicago’s excellent public transportation system, green policies, stimulating nightlife, and natural beauty. This younger, tech-savvy population will continue to impact Chicago real estate for years to come.
Best Neighborhoods for Real Estate Investing in 2019
Knowing which neighborhoods will be primarily affected by the growing job sector will allow you to take advantage of rising market tides. In fact, some neighborhoods have already and will continue to benefit from the influx of Millennials and subsequent higher real estate sale prices. We will likely see home prices continue to trend upward in areas like River Loop, West Loop, Chicago Business District, and the South Loop. Many of these areas are home to mixed-use multi-family dwellings, but they are key to absorbing the influx in young workers moving forward.
But as the Loop and the surrounding areas grow increasingly more expensive, and as these young people start having families, many will move toward the less dense neighborhoods in the suburbs. It’s true that the suburbs have been losing corporations to Chicago, but as downtown gets more crowded, younger workers will still be looking for homes. And those homes could be in the suburbs, especially in the Bungalow Belt and in neighborhoods both north and south along the Metra lines. You may also still find a fair share of opportunities in some of the city’s tried-and-true investment hotspots like Lakeview, Roscoe Village, Lincoln Square, Pilsen, and Logan Square.
You might want to pay special attention, however, to several of Chicago’s up and coming neighborhoods as you plan your investment strategy for the year. Little Village hits all the right marks, as do Calumet Heights and West Ridge. Each of these areas sits squarely on the edge of other, struggling neighborhoods still wrestling with high poverty and crime, but they’re also making strides to stand out as safe, economically stable, family-oriented enclaves. First-time buyers who want affordable single-family homes in culturally and ethnically-diverse areas, want to buy in these neighborhoods. That means you’ll want to consider helping to meet that demand by getting your hands on some of the smaller, uglier homes still dotting the landscape and renovate them for a new generation of home buyers.
As older residents look to sell their homes in these areas and new families are increasingly eager to move in, fixing and flipping houses around Chicago provides increasing opportunities. And, in general, Chicago is a great city for making a good business out of flipping houses. Of course, finding the right real estate investment opportunities in the Chicago suburbs takes work, but that’s why you’ll need to be prepared with solid leads on the opportunities to come.
Investing In the Rebound of the Windy City
Chicago has some tough weather. When the winter wind whips off the raging beauty of Lake Michigan, blustering around the persistent snow, it can sting the first time it hits you. But Chicago people—natives and newcomers—feel like it builds character. And as they’ll tell you, it makes those sweet spring and perfect summer days even sweeter.
That’s where the Chicago real estate market is right now. After decades of stagnation and job loss, it is rebounding even stronger. When talking about the Chicago real estate market in 2019, it looks like it’s going to be a very sweet spring.
If you want to be a part of the Chicago revival, you need to know where to go. Just as Chicagoans know the best spot on North Beach as soon as it gets warm, you should have the tools it takes to find the best investment property leads in this competitive but opportunity-filled real estate market.
As a HomeVestors® franchisee and Development Agent, I use proven lead generation tools like the nationally-known “We Buy Ugly Houses®” brand to convert promising real estate investment opportunities all over the Windy City: north side, south side, west side, and all the suburbs. Homeowners in financial distress who need “solutions for ugly situations®” call me when they need to sell their home quickly. Since I’m able to offer them cash on the spot, it’s a win-win for the home seller and for the neighborhood. My independently owned and operated real estate investing franchise is helping to revitalize Chicago, one house at a time.
If you’re ready to be part of a rejuvenated Chicago too, get in touch with HomeVestors today!
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.