City or suburb? Home buyers and renters have both

In the times that many still refer to as post-pandemic, a frequently asked question is whether the housing boom in the suburbs will continue or whether life in the city center is making a vibrant comeback. With apologies to those who love the crucial ability to fall on one side or the other, it might be possible both Results are realized.

Fully vaccinated people have returned to downtown restaurants and shops from a pent-up longing for culture and connection. CBD office building tenants have welcomed many employees to the offices they fled from in March 2020. But while all of this is happening, suburban real estate continues to attract home buyers and renters.

City perspective

In Chicago’s districts from downtown River North and West Loop to the fast-growing East Bucktown, for example, apartment developer Belgravia Group is experiencing increasing buyer interest for its new residences. Empty nests shoppers exiting suburban homes are looking to Immediate Delivery condos in Belgravia Group’s Renelle on the River and Three Sixty West, both in the heart of the city.

“New build without waiting is very attractive, especially for those selling houses in suburban areas,” says Liz Brooks, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Belgravia Group. “It enables shoppers to immediately enjoy everything the city center has to offer as the city opens up more and more.”

Lendlease, developer of Cascade apartments and adjoining Cirrus condominiums where Lake Michigan meets the Chicago River, saw a strong spring rental pace that resulted in summer relocations. The response from tenants in Cascade confirmed what the company had believed all along the interest in downtown life, says Ted Weldon, executive general manager of development for Lendlease’s Chicago office.

This means that the hurdles that urban areas faced last year would only be temporary and tenants would be drawn back to the city center.

“It is not necessarily the return to office that drives this revival,” says Weldon. “Both tenants and buyers are looking for homes that are in close proximity to cities’ leisure, entertainment and social opportunities, with the businesses and amenities that support their daily lives just steps or a short walk away. “

Chicago-based developer Fifield Cos. has fully let its Logan Apartments in the nearby Northwest Side Logan Square enclave, which was unveiled at the start of the pandemic. Fifield Co.’s Westerly in the River West neighborhood of Chicago opened a few months after the Logan Apartments and is 75 percent let.

“The city versus suburbs question is currently getting the answer” the best of both worlds “as tenants in both types of markets are drawn to the same characteristics,” says Jan Schneider, Senior Vice President of Fifield Cos. “Work-from-home amenities that provide the technology and space to support remote work, units with lots of space and upgraded equipment, and walk-in locations with most of what residents need right on their doorstep or is only a short walk away, there is a wide range of tenants speaking, whether they are drawn to the hustle and bustle of the city center or the quiet of a quieter outskirts.

Suburban view

Indeed, the demand for existing and new homes in Chicago’s suburbs such as the United States remains brisk. This is a continuation of the 2020 trends of suburban homes selling faster than 2019, according to’s report, Urban vs. Suburban Growth: The Grass is Greener in the Suburbs. The National Association of Home Builders reported that major subway suburbs grew 15.1% annually in 2020.

In the western Chicago suburb of Warrenville, Lexington Homes has seen rapid sales and price increases for its Lexington Trace townhouse community. At the company’s Parkside of Glenview in the upscale northern suburbs of Chicago, sales have recovered quickly from a slow start last year and are now more than half sold.

“Given the low interest rates, urban and suburban buyers have made the decision to step out of smaller apartments or condos and buy a row or single family home from us to have enough space for school and work from home, plus access more outdoor space, ”said Jeff Benach, director of Lexington Homes.

“We went up like crazy and ran out of inventory. We’re going as fast as possible to get other websites online as soon as possible to give buyers more new build options. “

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