Markets & Economy

Top Chicago neighborhoods to watch

Trulia showcases rent and for-sale dips in the Windy City
  • Lincoln Park, River North, Wicker Park, Old Town and the West Loop are the city's most expensive neighborhoods
  • The Loop saw a decrease in housing prices
  • Square footage is vastly on the rise in Humboldt Park

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Chicago is a dynamic city, no doubt, and navigating the market can be tricky with rising prices in many well-liked neighborhoods. With a lack of inventory decreasing affordability for buyers by minimizing the number of starter homes for first-time homeowners, which in turn pushes prices up in the lower tier, price decreases matter more than ever.

And for individuals who can’t afford to buy at the moment, rent prices in Chicago apartment affordability are heating up given the season, yet are forgiving in terms of space and amenities if you steer clear of the trendiest areas with severe demand.

Unless you opt for a studio in Chicago,

are just a few of the most expensive neighborhoods for buying a home in Chicago  this time of year.

Price dips: The Loop, Near South Side, University Village

Although most neighborhoods in Chicago had median monthly price increases last month, The Loop had a marginal decline due to a mix of smaller units on the market. In February, the median price in The Loop was $392,585 compared with $399,638.

Near South Side’s median price in February was $377,732 for a 1,243 square-foot home, less than January’s median price of $379,299 for 1,242 square feet.

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University Village prices rose month-over-month, reaching $329,212 from a previous $324,194. However, size grew from 1,261 to 1,267 square feet, so buyers in the area receive more space for the additional expense.

University Village held a median 1,213 square feet in February 2015 when median price was $285,021, illustrating smaller price equates to smaller square footage in the neigborhood.

Prices for homes in Chicago neighborhoods like Uptown are seeing prices rise and square footage fall. In Uptown, median price rose to $235,231 in February from $233,245 last year, and square footage dropped to 1,272 from a previous 1,295.

Best rents on the north and west side

Rentals in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood  hit a median of $1,391 in February for 1,247 square feet. While rents rose month-over-month from a previous $1,305, square footage has erratically increased in Humboldt Park apartments since February 2015.

In February 2015, the median square footage was only 1,182 square feet. Last month, the price per square foot was $1.18 per month, one of the lowest ratios in its price range.

In Rogers Park, the median rent in February was $1,354 for 1,194 square feet. The month prior, price and size were both slightly lower at $1,306 per month and 1,118 square feet.

While median price was lower last February in Roger’s Park at $1,216, square footage was much tighter at only 982. The median price per square foot last year was $1.22, which dropped to $1.14 last month.

Email Jennifer Riner