CHICAGO — The farther Chicagoans live from Downtown, the likelier they are to stay put.
A DNAinfo analysis of U.S. Census data found that neighborhoods closer to Downtown — parts of Chicago featuring more apartments than single-family homes — have a much higher transient population than those neighborhoods on the North or South end of the city.
In the 60646 ZIP code, which includes parts of Sauganash, Edgebrook and Jefferson Park, over 95 percent of residents have lived in the same home for at least a year, based on 2013 Census estimates.
By contrast, in 60603 and 60604, which form part of the Loop, only about half of the people have stayed put for at least 12 months. In the 60661 ZIP code, covering part of the West Loop neighborhood that has been dealing with accusations of bias against renters, 61 percent of people have lived in the same home for a year.
Northwest Side real estate agent Tina Marie Campbell said the reasons people stay for longer stretches in her part of the city are family-friendliness and convenience.
"It doesn't look like the city of Chicago, but the schools are well-known and good, while everything is close to the expressways and public transportation," Campbell said. "I've always had good luck in selling in the area because people are attracted to it."
Tanveer Ali digs into the city's neighborhood numbers:
As things stand now, the West Loop is very different from the Northwest and Southwest sides.
The part of the West Loop that falls under the 60661 area code, an area bound by the expressways and the Chicago River, is home of a concentration of rental high-rise buildings, including K2 and Alta at K Station.
In addition to rentals, the 60607 ZIP code, which includes the western half of the neighborhood, features more condos and single-family homes, according to West Loop real estate expert Armando Chacon.
As old warehouses were converted to loft condos, new development sprouted in the neighborhood and Skinner Elementary began admitting neighborhood children, families increasingly laid down roots in the West Loop, Chacon said.
Young families who initially rented or bought small units in the West Loop now look to stay in the neighborhood as the family expands. Sometimes the family will even buy a bigger unit in the same building, Chacon said.
Unfortunately, the West Loop's booming housing market offers incentive to leave the neighborhood, Chacon said.
Families looking for an affordable single-family home under $1 million are increasingly leaving the West Loop to buy in West Town. In the West Loop, a single-family home will list for $1.5 to $2 million, he said, and supply is scarce.
Other West Loop homeowners are cashing in on the boom, selling their condos for a high price, allowing them to "live like a king" in another neighborhood or the suburbs. West Loop property values have increased 40 percent in the last three to four years, Chacon said.
Despite these trends, Chacon, who has lived in the West Loop for more than 20 years and is president of the West Central Association, families continue to establish roots in the neighborhood.
Years ago, young residents would move to the West Loop, stay for a few years until they got married or had kids, and head for the suburbs.
"We see more and more people staying in the neighborhood," he said. "People do want to stay here long term, and I do believe they will be staying in the West Loop longer. Before, [the neighborhood] was a convenient place to live. Now, it's a great place to live."
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