Loop Living: What You Need to Know about Chicago’s Downtown

Worried about the long-term outlook for real estate in the Loop? Don’t be.

The Loop is Chicago’s beating heart. Though it has faced challenges in recent years, the City of Chicago is committed to investing in its success, and recent signs point to a bright future. The area also boasts many permanent characteristics that promise to keep the Loop a vibrant, dynamic place to live. For buyers and sellers, there are compelling reasons to remain confident in this iconic neighborhood.

A Speed Bump, Not a Stop Sign

The Loop’s unofficial boundaries are more or less the Chicago River to the north, Roosevelt Road to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, and the river’s South Branch to the west.

The COVID-19 pandemic undeniably affected the area, leading to reduced foot traffic as work went remote and then hybrid. But the Loop’s inherent advantages are once again coming to the forefront underscored by a gradual return to office work; major initiatives like Google’s massive investment in the James R. Thompson Center; the continued popularity of large festivals like Lollapalooza, Taste of Chicago and the city’s NASCAR event; and even “dream big” projects like new stadiums for the Bears and White Sox. These undertakings promise to bring more business and attention to the area.

Market Resilience and Positive Trends

The Loop’s real estate market is also showing encouraging signs of recovery. Over the past three quarters, median home prices in the area have consistently risen compared to the previous year. Notably, the average price for the first quarter of 2024 saw a 3.8% increase compared to the same period in 2023. The number of days a Loop home is on the market is also coming down, meaning the properties are selling faster.

Additionally, median home prices have increased each month of 2024, except for one, and the average sold-price-to-list-price ratio for Loop homes has increased from 94.4% in the first quarter of last year to 96.3% in the first quarter of this year. The numbers indicate that buyers are more optimistic about the neighborhood and also that sellers are pricing their homes more realistically.

What Makes the Loop Special?

Several key factors contribute to the Loop’s appeal as a prime residential neighborhood:

  • City investment: Perhaps most importantly, the City of Chicago has proven repeatedly that it’s committed to the Loop’s success. For example, the Chicago Community Development Commission recently agreed to provide $151 million in subsidies to convert several Loop office buildings into apartments. The city also is eyeing the Loop and nearby areas for projects in its 2024 Central Area Plan. This summer, the city is even spearheading the Work from Summertime Chi project, which encourages people with remote work options to bring their computers to hot spots across the downtown area.
  • Amenities, amenities, amenities: When you live in the Loop, your neighborhood has world-class theaters, museums, restaurants and shopping venues. You’re also just steps away from the Chicago River, Lake Michigan and its beaches, countless parks and iconic attractions like Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago. You can pack your days full of summer festivals, cultural fairs, beach trips and bike trails – all either within walking distance or just a short trip away.
  • On the go: Loop residents don’t need a car. And why would they want one? The neighborhood boasts unparalleled access to public transportation, including CTA trains, buses and Metra lines, making commuting and exploring the city convenient, affordable and environmentally friendly. It’s even easy to get out of town from the Loop, taking Metra and Amtrak trains from nearby Union Station and Ogilvie Transportation Center. The Loop also has several L train stops to both O’Hare and Midway airports.
  • A diverse market: The Loop offers a wide range of housing options, from historic loft conversions and adaptive reuse projects to state-of-the-art new construction. You can find options from $100,000 condos to multi-million-dollar luxury penthouses, catering to almost every preference and budget.

A Bright Future

The Loop is a resilient area with a rich history, backed by all the financial power the city can offer. The recent market trends, coupled with the area’s inherent strengths and new investments, show that it’s a neighborhood full of opportunity. Buyers and sellers can all have confidence in the Loop’s desirability as a place to live and invest for generations to come.

Live in the Loop

Here are five Loop residences that highlight available options in the neighborhood.

Experience the height of luxury in this gem at the exclusive Residences at St. Regis 363 E. Wacker Drive

($2.875 million)

This northeast-facing stunner at 65 E. Monroe St. has 10-foot-high windows offering panoramic views of the city

($1.35 million)

Drink your morning coffee overlooking a 6-acre park in highly sought-after Lakeshore East while your guests get their own wing at 201 N. Westshore Drive

($869,000)

Enjoy views of Grant Park, Navy Pier and Lake Michigan from your private balcony at this two-bedroom condo at 1160 S. Michigan Avenue

($520,000)

This modern 1-bedroom at 222 N. Columbus Drive boasts south-facing views and countless luxurious amenities, including a gym, sauna, indoor pool and more. ($315,000)

Written by @properties
@properties Christie’s International Real Estate is Chicagoland’s #1 brokerage. Through our affiliation with Christie’s International Real Estate, our network spans nearly 50 countries. No matter your real estate needs, we’ve got you covered.