Who could have seen 2020 coming? The last year was an unusual and unpredictable one in the real estate world. While industry experts always anticipate a little bit of turbulence in presidential election years, nobody saw the COVID-19 pandemic coming. In fact, words that were often used to describe the Chicago real estate market heading into 2020 were “steady,” “boring,” and “same old.”

How naive we all were! 

2020 was a singular year, one that will always be remembered in terms of social distancing, face masks, and Zoom calls. In the real estate world, 2020 was a shock to the system — but one that helped prove that, really, the system is fairly strong, stable, and resilient. 

While the early months of the COVID pandemic brought a lot of uncertainty and some hasty changes, real estate professionals and their clients adapted swiftly here in the Chicago area — and activity remained incredibly robust throughout summer, fall, and even winter as a result. 

At the same time, these last several months have reaffirmed the importance of having a place to call home. We’ve all spent more time than ever thinking about what we like and dislike about our spaces, while adjusting to a “new normal” of remote work and schooling. This time to reflect and adapt will reshape what buyers are looking for, long after the pandemic has finally come to an end. 

So, what can we expect now that vaccines are being delivered, a new federal administration prepares to head to the White House, and homebuyers and sellers are starting to make their lists of New Years’ resolutions? 

Here’s a look at what we can expect in the Chicago real estate market for 2021:

Photo credit: Swanksalot via Wikimedia Commons

Why the West Loop?

Running along the western bank of the Chicago River, the West Loop is a vibrant neighborhood on the rise, full of great restaurants and nightlife.

Though not an official MLS neighborhood (we used the zip code 60608 to gather our data), the West Loop is typically considered to be bounded by Grand Avenue on the north, Ashland Avenue on the west, the Eisenhower Expressway on the south, and the Chicago River on the east. It is a part of the Near West Side, which puts it close to Little Italy, Greektown, and the United Center, home of the Bulls and the Blackhawks.

Formerly an industrial manufacturing and warehouse area, the modern West Loop has all of the sophisticated amenities - including art galleries, clubs, theaters, and world class eateries - that make Chicago a destination for buyers. Are you one of them?

Want to know more about the amazing dining, culture, and community available in the West Loop? Here are a few places to start:

Ready to buy or sell in this one-of-a-kind community? Here are the current stats for West Loop's condo and housing markets: 

Photo credit: Bryan Hayes via Flickr

Even among the many eclectic, ever-changing neighborhoods that make up Chicago, Albany Park truly stands out.

For example, where else could a casual stroll walk you past delicious restaurants, serving up everything from world-famous falafel to authentic tacos to absolutely delectable Korean meats and veggies? Where else could you take in works like those of the Albany Park Theater Project, an incredible year-round theater with a social justice bent, creating art for young people by young people?

One of 77 officially designated community areas in Chicago, Albany Park is located on the northwest side of the city, bounded roughly by Montrose Avenue to the south and Foster Avenue to the north. We’ve barely scratched the surface about everything that Albany Park has to offer. To explore the neighborhood further, here are a few resources worth checking out:

Interested in buying or selling a house or condo in this hotbed of cuisine, culture, and commerce? Here are the Albany Park market conditions you need to know right now:

Photo credit: Peter Fitzgerald via Wikimedia Commons

One of 77 officially designated community areas in Chicago, Bridgeport stands out from the rest of the pack thanks to its culturally-rich history and trendy present.

Located about three miles southwest of the Loop, Bridgeport is a neighbor to Pilsen, McKinley Park, and Armour Square, and puts sports fans in convenient proximity to Guaranteed Rate Field, home to the Chicago White Sox. It’s also been called “a haven for artists and creative types” by Choose Chicago, and was named one of the city’s “coolest neighborhoods” by CNN.

Before its current status as a destination for art and culture, Bridgeport was renowned for being one of the oldest neighborhoods in all of Chicago. It has been the home or birthplace for five mayors, and is also home to the breaded steak sandwich, a Chicago original that still draws visitors to the city.

Want to know more about this quintessential Chicago neighborhood? Here are some resources worth checking out:

Curious what this area’s condo and home markets look like? Let’s take a look:

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