Even before the pandemic began in March of 2020, the city of Chicago had been collecting data that residents are moving out of downtown to other parts of Illinois, or even out of state. Despite a couple of particularly pandemic-contingent experiences, the pre-pandemic reasons are mostly similar to the current conditions that are encouraging people to move away from the heart of the city.
Identifying a couple of pandemic-contingent situations that very obviously influence the want and need to leave downtown are lack of activity and lack of amenities. It is certainly a benefit to live downtown amongst numerous restaurants, museums, various stores, and pretty much every other possible resource a resident could possibly want. If one works downtown, there is also the allure of a short commute. The accessibility of all these experiences was also one of the main reasons why cost of living is/was so high downtown. With the pandemic, most people started working from home and most facilities closed. Suddenly there were no restaurants open, no stores, completely empty streets, and with this, lack of ability to use most or all the amenities of living downtown.
With downtown Chicago effectively being a ghost town, residents who paid what was considered high cost of living felt they were paying an exorbitant amount for a downtown residence with none of the benefits that they had previously experienced. Thus, with no incentive to stay downtown, many individuals took this rare and peculiar opportunity to move to the suburbs of Chicago, or further north. In general, real estate brokers have noted the surge of prospective homebuyers that are funneling out from downtown, which also leads to the current housing boom we are experiencing.
Besides the above-detailed pandemic conditionalities, the fact that individuals were moving out of downtown prior to the pandemic indicates larger, overarching patterns that licensed real estate professionals should follow to best predict where possible clientele may end up. The most pressing incentive is always cost, and with the suburbs or other parts of Illinois sometimes costing a fraction of what downtown living costs, it only seems logical for homeowners to seek out more manageable prices.
Williams & Nickl has represented thousands of licensed professionals and their licensed business entities who face issues with IDFPR. If you find yourself in such a situation, Williams & Nickl can provide the help you need.