With dozens of communities and nearly 10 million residents, Chicagoland offers homebuyers a wealth of options, but these 21 markets stand apart from the rest.
Zillow named Chicago the best market in the U.S. for homebuyers in 2012, and for good reason. Not only are interest rates at historic lows and rents on the rise (up 5.3 percent last year alone), but real estate in Chicagoland is once-in-a-lifetime affordable, with overall prices down 38 percent from their housing-boom peak and 41 percent of available listings seeing price cuts.
But of course, buying real estate in Chicagoland is easier said than done. With 200 neighborhoods and 77 community areas within the Chicago city limits alone – and dozens of highly attractive suburban neighborhoods surrounding the city – the choices before prospective homebuyers can be overwhelming.
But thankfully, Dennis Rodkin, Chicago magazine’s real estate whiz, has put together a remarkably concise overview of Chicagoland’s most appealing markets for four different types of buyers: first-time homebuyers; move-up homebuyers; second-home homebuyers; and finally, downsize homebuyers.
Rodkin studied Chicago’s six-county region, and focused on areas where home prices have fallen 35 percent, where price appreciation is generally expected and where transportation, shopping and dining are all readily available. Which markets did he choose? See our infographic below for the 21 markets: