Why should you invest in Chicago properties?

Illinois

Chicago, situated in the Midwest along Lake Michigan's shoreline in northeastern Illinois, is part of a metropolitan area with nearly 9 million residents, making it one of the world's 30 largest metropolitan areas. The city offers 26 miles of lakefront with 15 miles of sandy beaches, a 19-mile bike path, and hundreds of stunning parks like Millennium Park and Lincoln Park, all framed by a skyline of architectural marvels.

As the third largest city in the U.S., following New York and Los Angeles, Chicago has a population of approximately 2.59 million as of 2024. Its cost of living is 40% lower than Los Angeles and 30% lower than New York, making it one of the most attractive cities to live in. In 2018, Time Out magazine named Chicago the best city in its annual City Life Index.

Chicago is both a business and cultural hub. The Chicago area's gross domestic product (GDP) was approximately $832.9 billion in 2022, reflecting significant growth. If Chicago were a country, it would rank as the 19th largest economy, surpassing Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and Argentina, and just behind the Netherlands​.

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Did you know?

  • The flow of the Chicago river was reversed by engineers in 1900.
  • Each year the Chicago River is dyed green to celebrate St Patrick's Day.
  • Batman's Gotham City was inspired by Chicago and many of the recent movies were filmed there.
  • Historic Route 66 begins in Chicago ending in Santa Monica, California.

Chicago in numbers

2.6m
Population
3.9%
Unemployment rate
$833b
GDP
$72,512
Income per capita

An overview of Chicago

Chicago remains an efficient economic powerhouse, home to more than 400 major corporate headquarters, including 34 in the Fortune 500. It continues to be a top corporate metro for new and expanding companies. In 2023, for the 11th consecutive year, Site Selection magazine ranked Chicago as the "Top Metro" in the U.S. for corporate expansion. Fortune 500 companies with offices in Chicago include Walgreens Boots Alliance, Archer Daniels Midland, Allstate Corporation, United Airlines Holdings, Abbott Laboratories, and key derivatives exchanges like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT)​.

Since the 1850s, Chicago has been a world center of higher education and research, with several universities in the city proper or in the immediate environs. The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, founded in 1898, is the second-oldest business school in the U.S. and is associated with 10 Nobel laureates in the Economic Sciences, more than any other business school in the world. Their exclusive MBA (Master of Business Administration) program at the University of Chicago is highly acclaimed. In recent rankings, Booth was ranked 1st by U.S. News & World Report for 2024, and it also achieved top spots in other prestigious rankings. For example, Booth ranked 2nd in Bloomberg Businessweek’s MBA ranking and 7th globally by the Financial Times in 2024​

Chicago is known for its vibrant arts scene, numerous cultural attractions, excellent shopping, and interesting architecture. The city enjoys a worldwide reputation as a focal point of 20th century architecture and art, with architects such as Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, and artists like Picasso, Chagall, Dubuffet, and Miro having left their mark. Chicago is also home to several sports teams: The Bears (American football), the White Sox and Cubs (baseball), and the Bulls (basketball) and their worldwide recognised player Michael Jordan. Chicago is also home to some famous celebrities. Michele Obama, Harrison Ford, Cindy Crawford or Walt Disney to name a few were born and raised in Chicago.

With more than 57 million visitors annually, Chicago is one of the most visited cities in the U.S. Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is routinely ranked among the world's top six busiest airports, according to the Airports Council International. Furthermore, the luxury and lifestyle travel magazine Conde Nast Traveller has voted Chicago as the best large city in the U.S. to visit for an unprecedented six years in a row, from 2017 to 2022.

Some of the most famous city landmarks in Chicago include Millennium Park, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Campus, the Willis (Sears) Tower, Grant Park, the Museum of Science and Industry, Lincoln Park Zoo, the Harold Washington Library Centre.  Chicago has more bridges than any other city. There are 37 movable bridges that spread across the Chicago River.

Also, the green space in Chicago is a must-visit. The largest park in the City of Chicago is Lincoln Park, and another great example of a community park is the historic Jackson Park, which along with South Shore golf courses, is undergoing a transformation. The entire $30 million project aims to upgrade the area, combining them into a single 18-hole championship course designed by Tiger Woods, along with a shorter course for children and families​.

Architecture

Much of the Housing Stock in Chicago was built prior to World War II, making it one of the most historic cities in the country. The buildings of Chicago have influenced and reflected the history of American architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright, the greatest American architect, born in Chicago and has influence the Chicago’s architecture as well as architects in all over the world. In Chicago was built the 1st World’s skyscraper in 1885 and many others skyscrapers built created the big Chicago’s skyline that changes and extended all the time.

Barak Obama Presidential Center, a $2bn development, planned to be developed in Hyde Park on the city's South Side is going to improve significantly the City and attract private investments to the area which will help increase values and demand over the coming years.

Chicago housing market trends

$365,000
Median home value
86,820
Residential units sold 2020
$1,950
Average monthly rent
5.9%
Rental vacancy rates

Housing market

Property investors looking for above market yields in a liquid market have a unique option in Chicago. It enjoys a powerful economy similar to large markets like New York and Los Angeles at a fraction of the price.

The median home value in 2023 was $306,012 compared to $720,000 in New York and $972,818 in Los Angeles This allows more Chicagoans to afford a house and this is why Chicago homeownership rate is 62.3% compared to about 33% in NY and 45% in Los Angeles.

With a median monthly rent of $1,950 per month, and a rental vacancy rate of 8%, Chicago offers one of the most attractive rental markets across the country providing an excellent opportunity for those investors seeking rental yield.

Despite the Covid pandemic the housing market in Chicago has increased and the sale prices remained at strong level. The housing market in Chicago grow throughout the pandemic and the real estate investors can expect continuously increase the following years as the demand for housing continues to exceed supply.

Chicago area home sales prices are soaring for the first time in years as the economy rebounds from the pandemic. Homebuyers took advantage of record-low mortgage rate. The market data reflects this, with significant increases in closed sales and median sales prices, and a drop in inventory, compared to last year.

  • The average monthly rent in Chicago has increased by 24.2% over the last 5 years.
  • The rental vacancy rate for Chicago Illinois was 8% in 2023.
  • The Median Home Value has increase 2.4% over the last year and a 26% increase over the last five years.

home_value_index_chicago_2023

Our portfolio of Chicago property investments

176
Properties funded
$23,613,606
Amount invested
$1,877,334
Forecast annual rental return
8.62%
Average yield

Investing carries risks, including loss of capital and illiquidity. Please read our Risk Warning before investing.