Chicago's Hottest Neighborhoods For New Single Family Home Construction In 2018

Last week I reported on Chicago’s Hottest Neighborhoods For New Condo Construction In 2018. As a follow up to that post I’m now taking a look at single family home new construction. Last year there were 504 new homes with activity in a 12 month period. This year is only slightly lower at 485 homes but the landscape has changed a bit.
At a high level the main change I noticed this year is that more of the new construction is in the mid-priced tier – between $500K and $1 MM. This year only 4 homes were priced below $300K and only 59 homes below $500K, while only 180 were above $1 MM and 45 above $2 MM. Those are lower numbers at both ends of the spectrum.

Map Of Chicago’s Single Family Home New Construction

I mapped out these homes as I did with the condos but this time I laid them on top of the community areas so that it’s easier to see which area they are in. The pins are color coded based upon the price of the homes, with red being the lowest priced and purple being the most expensive.
The map is totally interactive. You can click on the icon in the upper left corner of the map to display the legend for the price ranges and also the community areas. Clicking on an area will identify it for you and clicking on a pin will reveal some details on the home. You can see a similar pattern that we saw with condos where prices are higher to the east and lower to the west (obviously). Also, you’ll notice that there is a string of new homes that run alongside Interstate 55 and quite a few south of the highway as well.
The map has other interactive features that allow you to pan, zoom, share, and expand the map to full screen.

Chicago New Construction Single Family Home Activity By Neighborhood

Rolling up the data by community area is rather revealing so I graphed the activity in the top 20 community areas. The big change in the last 12 months is that Irving Park has jumped from 4th place last year to 1st place this year and Lake View has dropped out of the top 5. West Town is now in 4th place from 6th place last year and Portage Park is now #10, whereas last year it didn’t even make my top 15 list. And Bridgeport jumped from 8th place last year to 5th place this year. Also note that last year Grand Boulevard, which contains Bronzeville, was in 14th place but this year it rose all the way to 8th place with activity on 24 homes. Clearly the south side is on the rise.

Chicago new home activity by community area
Irving Park has replaced North Center as the hottest neighborhood for new construction single family home activity.

Average New Single Family Home Prices By Neighborhood

I then looked at average home prices by community area and charted them below, keeping the list in the same order as above (not sure that was a good idea). As you can see, Logan Square, which contains Bucktown, has an average price of around $1.2 MM. And a lot of the other higher end community areas saw some increase in their average new home prices from last year: North Center, West Town (contains Wicker Park), Lake View, and Lincoln Park.
Also note that almost every area has an average price above $500K and that includes gentrifying areas such as Humboldt Park and Grand Boulevard. As you go from the lower priced homes to the most expensive homes it’s not just the land values that go up but also the sizes of the homes and the level of finishes. Bridgeport offers a very convenient location for $600K but these homes are around 3000 sq ft and have fairly low end, though contemporary, finishes. I still think West Town (full disclosure: I live there) offers the best value in the city, which explains why so much new construction is happening there. It’s really close to the downtown area, though large areas are not near an L stop, and $1.5 MM gets you a 4300 sq ft home with fairly high end, contemporary finishes in Ukrainian Village or East Village.

Chicago average new construction home prices by community area
Average new single family home prices can be surprisingly high in transitioning areas.

Gary Lucido is the President of Lucid Realty, the Chicago area’s full service real estate brokerage that offers home buyer rebates and discount commissions. If you want to keep up to date on the Chicago real estate market, get an insider’s view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry, or you just think he’s the next Kurt Vonnegut you can Subscribe to Getting Real by Email using the form below. Please be sure to verify your email address when you receive the verification notice.

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