Chicago Neighborhoods Face Disparate Property Fees

Chicago Neighborhoods Face Disparate Property Fees

Adriana Cortez
2 min read

Chicago Property Fees: A Tale of Disparity and Burden

In Chicago, neighborhoods with older high-rise buildings and lower property values, such as South Commons, Hyde Park, and South Shore, face disproportionately high property fees, consuming up to 57% of monthly costs due to shared maintenance expenses. In contrast, areas like Noble Square, Wicker Park, and Bridgeport have lower fees at around 32%, primarily due to the presence of single-family homes or smaller condo buildings with fewer shared amenities.

Despite their high fees, Hyde Park and South Shore continue to attract buyers with their large vintage condo units and co-ops, often including property taxes in the monthly dues. Nationally, South Commons and Hyde Park in Chicago rank third and fourth for the most expensive property fees, revealing a trend where high-rise maintenance costs remain significant despite disparities in property values.

Key Takeaways

  • South Commons, Hyde Park, and South Shore have the highest property fees in Chicago, consuming up to 57% of monthly costs.
  • Neighborhoods with older high-rise buildings and lower property values typically have higher property fees.
  • Co-ops in Hyde Park often have lower prices but higher assessments due to less savings maintained by co-op boards.
  • Noble Square, Wicker Park, and Bridgeport have the lowest property fees in Chicago, at 32% of monthly costs.
  • Nationally, Prospects Lefferts Gardens in NYC tops the list for the highest property fees, while DC Ranch in Scottsdale has the lowest.


The disproportionate property fees in Chicago's older high-rise neighborhoods, such as South Commons and Hyde Park, primarily stem from higher maintenance costs associated with aging infrastructure and shared amenities. This financial burden, consuming up to 57% of monthly costs, not only impacts residents' disposable income but also influences property market dynamics, potentially dissuading investment and new residents. On the other hand, areas like Noble Square with lower fees (32%) due to single-family homes are more attractive to buyers, affecting local economic growth. Over time, this disparity could contribute to a widening wealth gap and pose challenges to urban development as high fees hinder revitalization efforts in aging neighborhoods.

Did You Know?

  • Co-ops (Cooperative Housing): A type of residential structure where the building's residents own shares in the cooperative corporation that owns the property, entitling them to a proprietary lease. Co-op boards manage the building and can set strict financial and lifestyle requirements for potential buyers.
  • Assessments in Co-ops: These are additional charges beyond regular maintenance fees that co-op owners pay to cover major repairs or improvements. They can be substantial if the co-op board has not maintained sufficient reserves, leading to higher costs for residents.
  • Property Value Disparities: Refers to the significant differences in the market values of properties within different neighborhoods or regions. This disparity can affect property fees and taxes, often leading to higher costs in areas with lower property values due to the need to maintain older or larger shared spaces.

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