Some trends that might be of interest for my Chicago clients and readers:

  • Of the 15 most populous cities in the U.S., Chicago was one of only two cities with a negative population growth rate during the 2000s (w/ a growth rate of -6.9%; Detroit was the other w/ a -25.0% growth rate);
  • The slower population growth rate was a contributor to a smaller residential housing bubble in Chicago as compared to other major U.S. cities;
  • Yesterday’s release of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index data showed Chicago as one of only four cities in the 20-city composite that had a negative year-over-year (Y/Y) change in home prices.  Atlanta’s housing market is still a mess as they came in with a 10% decline, while Las Vegas’ Y/Y price change was not surprisingly also worse than Chicago’s.
  • Even though the bubble never became quite as large in Chicago on a relative basis, the trend, where Chicago’s Y/Y price changes do not improve as much as the broader 20-city composite has continued uninterrupted since April 2009.
  • That leaves Chicago housing down 30.7% from the peak in 2006 vs. the 20-city composite which is basically the same at down 30.0% from the 2006 peak.

Just like across the country, the employment situation will dictate how quickly the Chicago housing market recovers. On that front, today’s NY Times has an excellent article about how Chicago’s Merchandise Mart is being revitalized to attract technology companies and is becoming an aspiring rival to Silicon Valley (link to the article here).