Chicago’s Downtown Residential Market Remains Strong in 2017


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Glamorous downtown Chicago is bustling with the impressive influx of top corporations moving into downtown. However, apartment buildings are beginning to feel the effects of over-saturation and landlords are having a tough time renting their downtown spaces. With more buildings coming online in 2017, the increase in supply should cause rents to deflate as vacancy rates rise.

The Dance of Supply and Demand

There is an inverse correlation between rent prices and vacancy rates — as vacancy rates increase, rents decrease. This relationship remains consistent as a higher supply means more options for potential renters. When the market is saturated with choices, then landlords cannot leverage a limited supply for higher rents. The simple economics of supply and demand will continuously cause a rise and fall of rent as new apartment buildings are brought online.

New Apartment Buildings in 2017

Rent in Logan Square is jumping up to nearly $2.50 per square foot. Unfortunately for renters, that is low compared to some downtown apartments that reach $3.03 per square foot. Thankfully, capitalism is working for the renter, and developers will complete roughly 12,600 apartments spanning across 2016 and through 2018, according to Crain’s Chicago. The new rush of available spaces coming online will pump the brakes on the rapidly inflating rent prices. The grip landlords currently have over rent prices may soon loosen in order to fill units when the inevitable flood of open spaces hits the market in the near future.

Enter the Tenant-Friendly Era

As time marches forward, so do rent prices. For nearly seven years straight tenants have experienced rent hikes. New corporations moving to Chicago means many of their employees will relocate closer to their jobs, further increasing competition for open spots. However, the timing works out well with the large amount of apartments opening up over the next few years, which means rent prices are unlikely to see a significant rise for a while.

Chicago’s real estate market is moving along at a healthy rate. While prices are inflating faster than renters would like, new apartment buildings are coming to the rescue and will relieve the rapidly rising rent. With the market potentially flipping to a tenant-friendly one, the upcoming years will be an excellent time to seek a place to live in historic downtown Chicago.

Regardless of whether rent continues to rise, owning for long term is always a better financial option. If you or someone you know are looking to sell or purchase a residence we encourage you to speak with Lisa Kalous.

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