In many cities, downtown housing comes with a hefty premium

Urban core living costs hundreds of thousands more in largest U.S. cities.

May 13, 2019 |

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Americans who live in the downtowns of most large cities are paying a big premium for their homes.

Now 10 years after the worst financial crisis in living memory, Property Shark analyzed a decades’ worth of home prices in 34 of the largest cities in the country plus Manhattan and Brooklyn. The real estate blog compared median sale prices in these cities to that of their downtowns since the real estate crash.

In Chicago, urban core dwellers pay $675,000 more than the city median, the heftiest premium in the country. In Philadelphia, Boston, and Manhattan, the downtown premium is well over $300,000. Buying a home in Charlotte’s downtown costs an additional $280,000.

There are exceptions to the downtown premium. Most of California’s downtowns are cheaper than other parts of the city. Long Beach, Bakersfield, and San Jose’s urban cores are some of the most affordable. Los Angeles is the largest U.S. city where the downtown median is lower than in the rest of the city.

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