It's almost as if a new housing development is being built in Chicago every day.
Demand for rental housing in Chicago is the highest it has been in years, with DePaul's Institute of Housing Studies (IHS) reporting that rentals make up nearly 44 percent of all Cook County households, up from 38 percent in 2005.
Although renters of all ages and income levels have increased, the youth represent the largest renting demographic, as thousands of young professionals flock to the city's hippest areas. Many of these young people are exceptionally affluent. DePaul's IHS reports that the these professionals have incomes nearly 120 to 200 percent above the city's average of 54,000 dollars a year. The Near North Side, Near West Side, and Loop neighborhoods are populated with many of these new renters; these areas have become among the most expensive in Chicago.
However, the average price of a rental is still far lower than many other metropolitan areas. The average price of a one-bedroom rental in Chicago is roughly 1,700 dollars a month, practically half the price of the same apartment in New York City of San Francisco. Also, even though rising demand since the 2008 financial crisis has caused rent prices to increase slightly over the last few years, they are increasing slower than the rest of the country, about 0.2 percent less than the average.
Amidst this influx of new residents, landlords and developers are taking notice. The majority of new housing constructed in the city is in the form of high-rise buildings, meant to hold many people. Neighborhoods like The Loop are experiencing massive building booms because of the demand for condominiums in the heart of downtown. Close to 9,000 new condos are expected to be completed in The Loop by the end of 2017. Barring certain economic factors, demand is actually expected to increase in the next few years.
It's no surprise that people are scrambling to find housing in the heart of the city; a prosperous job market, a plethora of entertainment choices and the greatest sports teams in the world keep people happy and fulfilled. Anything can happen, but for now, the future of Chicago's rental market looks remarkably bright.