Spring has sprung and weather temps should be going up, but Chicago rent prices are going down — that’s according to Zumper, an apartment listing platform.
Per Zumper’s national rent report for April, Chicago (which ranks as the 13th most expensive rental market in the nation) rents among one- and two-bedroom apartments have dipped more than 15%. The report is based on more than 1 million verified and active listings on the site from the previous 30 days. Zumper analyzed the median asking prices for one- and two-bedroom units in the country’s top 100 metro areas, based on population.
In Chicago, “both bedroom types are down over 15% since this time last year, which are the largest rent dips in the nation,” said Zumper Marketing Manager Crystal Chen.
“This steady downturn in prices the past year is most likely due to the influx of newer apartment buildings with move-in specials and an overall increase in inventory, which may be a relief to renters.”
We’re also not in prime moving season, Chen said, “so not as much demand is currently in the market,” thereby “causing the prices to remain fairly flat month to month.”
Renters — especially those who’ve been rooming with others and find it’s getting tight — might welcome reports of prices inching down and places inching up.
“The steady increase in inventory over the last few quarters, especially among the city’s most affordable units, has continued through the start of 2018 and should leave renters more confident in their ability to find an affordable apartment,” said Joshua Clark, economist at HotPads, a rental search platform owned by Zillow.
HotPads’ recent rent report, released in late March, found that there are 77% more new one-bedroom rental listings in Chicago than a year ago. The report went on to specify that rental inventory in Lakeview, as listed on HotPads, went up more than 44%, and climbed over 26% in Logan Square, over 56% in Rogers Park and over 59% in West Town compared with a year ago. The HotPads report, released quarterly, is based on data from rental listings on HotPads dating back to January 2014.
“New construction is a big part of the inventory growth,” said Clark, and experts note that many new buildings offer incentives, such as one or two rent-free months, to get renters in the door. “Those neighborhoods where we saw incredible inventory growth from last year also saw some of the most teardowns according to permits submitted to the city of Chicago.”
But increasing inventory doesn’t necessarily mean rents will take a nosedive. In fact, while Zumper reported rent rate drops among one- and two-bedrooms, HotPad’s rent report says that the median rent for a one-bedroom in Chicago is up 0.7% from last year.
“I think it’s too early to see whether these changes in supply are going to have an effect on median rents, but they certainly bode well,” Clark said.
The rental landscape is in flux, says Jeremy Jackson, Chicago market manager and licensed real estate managing broker for Zumper.
“It’s very month by month, who has the leverage in the negotiations,” he said. “Is it a landlord’s market or is it a renter’s market? It’s been a renter’s market for the last several months. I personally have an inkling that’s going to flip around.”
Tribune Content Agency