Downtown prices are growing slowly across the Midwest — and have decreased in Chicago

by Emily Mack

Downtown property prices in the Midwest are growing at significantly slower rates than other sections of those cities. And that’s especially true in Chicago.

A recent study by PropertyShark isolated price growth in American downtowns from the past decade to determine that, overall, downtown property appreciation has been outpaced by cities at large. This was true in 31 of the country’s 40 largest cities. For context, 10 years ago, that was the case in just nine cities.

Seven of the eight largest midwestern cities also reflect this trend. Among them, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Missouri, and Chicago, where downtown homes are now less expensive than the city at large.

In downtown Minneapolis, homes are now $99,000 cheaper than in the rest of the city, whereas in 2014, the city center’s median price was just $10,000 lower.

In Kansas City, the shift was even starker. In that downtown area, homes are now $41,000 cheaper than in the rest of the city — while 10 years ago, the downtown region was $33,000 more expensive. That means that over the past decade Kansas City saw the widest discrepancy in price growth rates because, although downtown home prices in fact grew 39%, the rest of the city’s prices surged a whopping 122%.

In fact, only two downtown regions in the country sustained price drops since 2014: Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

In Chicago, the downtown median sale price decreased from $326,000 to $269,000 between 2014 and 2023: a 17% decline. In contrast, the median sales price for homes in the rest of Chicago increased by 40%, rising from $203,000 to $284,000.

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