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In 2020, the COVID-19 crises caused many Chicagoans to rank suburbs over the city as young professionals and families looked for more space in lockdown.

According to Chicago Business, suburb home sales increased 40 percent while those for the city dropped almost 7 percent. Total home sales for the year came to 1,204, the lowest since 2016. Urban homes came in at 41 percent of that total, down from 51 percent in 2019.

Fortunately, this increase in suburban home sales improved the overall market. Chicago and seven nearby counties saw 2,922 homes sold for $1 million or more. That's the highest that annual figure has ever been.

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The suburbs of Lake Forest saw the most demand. Sales in that lake-side nieghborhood were up 69 percent, including 149 luxury homes. Nearby Glenview became a top five suburb for million-dollar suburban homes sales in 2020, as sales in the region rose 34 percent to a total of 110. Wilmette and Hinsdale helped round out the top nieghborhoods.

This push to the suburbs was caused by young families looking to upgrade. It's a common trend for the age group made even more palpable by closed offices and urban ammenities.

Marina Carney, a Griffith & Lackie agent in Lake Forest, is quoted saying that an influx of buyers in 2020 will drive prices up while leaving fewer options. This is good for those looking to sell, while fewer homes on the market will drive prices higher across the whole Chicago area.

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Although there were decreases in sales in areas such as Lincoln Park, North Michigan Avenue and Old Town, these neighborhoods still sold dozens more homes at $1 million or more than any of the top-selling suburbs. In fact, Lincoln Park became the top-selling neighborhood with 288 sales starting at $1 million, while in Winnetka, the top-selling suburb, there were only 178.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Chicago remains a hot spot of business and cultural activity. Many professionals and families fleeing more epensive cities could still find it desirable.

Read more about these housing market trends and where they might be headed in the future via Chicago Business.