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Did 606 Cause Home Prices to Spike? Not Likely, Report Says

By Paul Biasco | November 5, 2015 6:05am
 A cyclist approaches the 606's Western end.
A cyclist approaches the 606's Western end.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

LOGAN SQUARE — The 606 might not be causing a spike in home prices after all.

Much has been written about the effect of The 606 on home prices and surrounding neighborhoods, but a new report that looks at the past nine years of sales disputes the perception that the trail has caused values to rise.

The analysis by Redfin found that properties within two blocks of the trail have increased in value since 2010, but homes further away from The 606 have actually increased more.

The surrounding area that Redfin compared to the two-block buffer to the trail was between Fullerton Avenue and Division Street.

The median sale price of homes within two blocks of The 606 (labeled the "near" group) in 2015 was $444,500 while homes further away (labeled the "far" group) had a median sale price of $389,550.

While those numbers appear to show that living closer to the trail means higher home values, Redfin notes that homes near the abandoned rail line that is now the 606 have been consistently more expensive than those far from the line since 2007.

The post argues instead that the gap between home prices of "far" and "near" properties should be growing wider, since those closer to the 606 should presumably be gaining value more quickly than those further from the 606. (In the graph, it's labeled "% of Far compared to Near.")

The analysis shows that instead, in 2014, the year after the final 606 design plans were unveiled, property values far from the trail were very close to property values near the trail.

And while property values near the trail rose 8.55 percent since 2007 compared to 6.87 percent for properties further away, property values have climbed about the same amount (13.8-13.9 percent) since the 606 plans were announced in 2013.

"While there’s been talk of the trail for over 10 years, the final design plans weren’t unveiled until 2013," the report states. "It’s hard to believe people would be buying into the trail much before that, considering the unreliability of the city of Chicago, its finances and its promises."

The report claims the trail is going through neighborhoods that are "already hot" and the increases in price are not due to The 606.

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