August 22, 2019

We continue to introduce you to the fascinating cities of the United States. Our today’s guest is Chicago or the Windy City how some of us may call it. In our post, we’ll try to make a comprehensive review of the Chicago long-term rental market, general trends, and highlight the best local neighborhoods of Chicago Metro Area. 

At the end of our article, you’ll be able to get the latest price comparison data for the most up-and-coming neighborhoods, and suburbs that we believe are worth mentioning. Let’s cut to the chase and start with the general rent/own statistics to see how many people live in rental houses in Chicago.

Local Renting vs. Owning Statistics

If we look back to the pre-crisis times, the 2007 year shows a rise of renting — 37.7% of Chicago Metro Area population chose to rent. As of today, the share of renters is around 43% in the city and surrounding suburbs. Because it’s almost half of the population, we can say that the rental market is healthy and finding an apartment for rent in Chicago is not that hard, at least you have a wide variety of options on the market. 

As for the landlords, it means that you won’t face a high vacancy rate if you decide to rent out a house. The market is relatively stable from this point of view. 

However, recent studies show that people from 35 to 44 y.o. are slowly shifting to buying homes. Forecasts predict that it won’t cause a significant spike in the rent/own balance.

As for the types of rentals that Chicago Metro Area residents prefer, we see a rise of the single-family homes and sort of migration to the suburbs. Wealthier neighborhoods face the development of modern condo buildings. People who rented in these neighborhoods before are priced out to the nearest suburbs of Chicago Metro Area. They’re more affordable and provide you with more privacy.

The Best & Worst Times to Rent in Chicago

Chicago rental market has its seasonal peculiarities, let’s see when rentals are rented out cheaper and what season will make you waste more dollars than usual.

Chicago rental market has its ups and downs every year. While the students and city newcomers are usually looking for a place in summer, the market faces 70% of turnover happening during spring and summer seasons. 

If you’re a landlord, your best bet at getting the tastiest rent price for your place will be renting out during one of these seasons. 

If you’re a Chicago tenant, you will be able to save big if you decide to rent in autumn and winter.

What Are The Average Rental Prices in Chicago Metro Area?

Rent price tends to rise since 2008. It’s quite easy to find the dependency between the popularity of renting in this region and the rise of the rent pricing. 

While most of the Chicago citizens can say that renting in Chicago is very expensive, data shows that they’re not quite right with this. Chicago is not making it to the list of the highest rent prices in the nation. 

The median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Chicago is around $1,200. Let’s be fair and remember what the San Francisco rental market taught us. If we compare these two cities, it will be apparent that renting in Chicago is way more affordable than in the Bay Area, LA, or NYC.

Of course, when we talk about central parts of the city, you will have to face the price tags around $2,000 for a 1-bedroom rental. 

Those who don’t want to pay this amount of money are usually migrating to the closest suburbs or more affordable neighborhoods around the city. The commuting system of Chicago is very progressive. This means that renting a place somewhere far from the heart of the city will not be a problem; just look for a rental that is close enough to a bus stop or the subway station. 

Is There a Rent Control in the Chicago Metro Area?

There are many states and cities that introduced rent control. The idea is quite simple; the law aims to stop rent price from rising too high, making the housing market a huge bubble. The housing market should stay affordable all the citizens, so in some states, these mechanics work perfectly. 

However, Illinois State or Chicago city itself doesn’t have any bills aiming to control the rent prices. Would it be a great idea to implement the rent control in the Chicago Metro Area? Maybe, but it’s not that simple. 

First of all, it’s not possible to do it right now from a legal perspective. The Illinois law prohibits rent control putting cities like Chicago in a tough position. This means that even if they decided to pass the introduce the local rent control, they would have to change the state laws first. And let’s be honest; these things do not happen overnight. So the rent control idea is not dead, but it won’t happen in the nearest future. 

Do Chicago Metro Area Residents Want Rent Control?

There are rent control advocates in Chicago itself and the surrounding areas. They fight for this idea for a few years now and operate under the name ‘Lift the Ban.’ They’ve launched the referendum on the ballot in some of the Chicago wards to see if people will vote for the local rent control laws. 

Even though voters endorsed this concept, the referendum itself doesn’t have any impact on the state law. This is just one of the steps towards spreading the idea in the area. Even though we cannot imagine this happening soon, it’s still an alive idea with a decent number of supporters in the Chicago Metro Area.

Best Chicago Metro Area Neighborhoods for Long-Term Renting

As a renter, you may face a tough quest of finding the best neighborhood to rent a place in. Chicago is a vibrant area with diverse communities and different pricing models. That’s why we decided to give you a few options: best places to rent near Chicago and in Chicago itself. 

West Loop (View Rent Comp Report)

Average 1-Bed Rent Price: $2,190

An excellent neighborhood that faces a very rapid development and gentrification. Old factories and warehouses, along with the wholesale markets, surround the fastest growing area of Chicago.

Industrial look and rich cuisine — two things that describe this district quite well. 

Lofts, showrooms, and creative spaces. West Loop is the best shelter for a millennial in this city.

Old Town (View Rent Comp Report)

Average 1-Bed Rent Price: $1,888

Forever young despite the name. A historic district with a community of young professionals, hipsters, and immigrants. It’s an up-and-coming neighborhood that will always stay hip and artsy. 

Old Town is a great place day and night. Beautiful architecture, restaurants, and fantastic nightlife. Perfect place for young and adventurous people. It’s a bit pricey, but that’s the price of being a part of the great and modern community.

Ukrainian Village (View Rent Comp Report)

Average 1-Bed Rent Price: $1,566

This will be a great choice if you look for an affordable neighborhood with a great spirit. Let’s be honest; whenever you enter the Ukrainian Village, it’s just like you travel in time and get to an altogether another dimension. This is a historic district with beautiful churches and lots of signs that are still in Ukrainian. 

While the neighborhood is well-known for the Ukrainian population, their share in the residents is way lower right now. As for today, it’s just a very friendly community with magnificent homes and fair price tags.

Naperville (View Rent Comp Report)

Average 1-Bed Rent Price: $1,233

Are you looking for something quieter? Naperville is one of the best Chicago Metro Area suburbs where you will be able to take a river walk and chill by the pool while renting an affordable place and making an easy daily commute to Chicago.  

The local community is very family-friendly. Lots of stores, and conveniently located hospitals/schools — an excellent choice for the suburban-living fans.

Buffalo Grove (View Rent Comp Report)

Average 1-Bed Rent Price: $1,095

Another great suburban suggestion, but it’s not that affordable. The reason is simple — Buffalo Grove makes it to the list of the Top-3 suburbs to live in the US. Nationally ranked schools, recreational zones for families and entertainment venues. 

Living in Buffalo Grove is an excellent opportunity to stay close to Chicago and still enjoy the comfortable life of the local suburb with its own community and a warm atmosphere.

Finding accessible housing may be tough, but we've got you covered. Here is our comprehensive guide for you from our blog!

About the Author: Alex Tkachenko is an editor of Rentberry and Landlordtips blogs, and an experienced specialist in the tenant-landlord laws. He performs in-depth market research and provides his expertise in property management
niche to those who seek it online.