Chicago Real Estate: It's a Renter's Market?

Today’s post on the Chicago rental market was submitted by Rick Marks from Oodle.

With unemployment levels soaring and the great recession in full swing, more and more would-be Windy City home buyers are turning to the Chicago apartment rental market for their housing needs. But just what does this mean to the average Midwesterner looking for a new place to live?

Thanks to the current economic downturn, virtually every demographic has
felt some kind of repercussion when it comes to housing over the course
of the past three years. The Chicago apartment market is closely tied
to the city’s home market–the latter of which (like the rest of the
country) has seen a distinct spike in the number of foreclosures of
late. With so many people losing or walking away from their homes (and
their mortgages) renting has become a much more attractive alternative
for singles and families alike.

And while there are still many attractive and comfortable Chicago apartments
on the market, finding one that suits your needs might not be as easy
as you once thought. There was a time when the average Chicago apartment
hunter could look over several listings and then retire to the sofa to
knit pick each to death before reaching their ultimate decision to keep
one and dump the rest. This way of home hunting is no longer the most
prudent course of action, as more and more people are turning to
apartment rentals as their housing of choice. Wait too long to fill out
an application and you may just find that the decision has been made for
you by someone who was a little quicker on the draw.

foreseeing this state of affairs as soon as the housing market began
its long slow downhill slide, have been busily bolstering the city
skyline with some high end Chicago apartments to fill the needs of those
seeking more than the average rental experience. New towers, especially
south of the downtown area, are offering not only magnificent city
views, but enough amenities to make a luxury resort jealous. Over 2,000
high end Chicago apartments were added to the rental market with the
opening of these high rises, many of which boast swimming pools,
basketball courts and gyms. If you’ve got the cash and credit score,
these not so humble abodes may be the perfect alternative to buying a
home or fighting the crowds scrambling to get into some of the more
affordable Chicago apartment buildings.

This of course, only
serves to accentuate a point that’s been made time and again when it
comes to relocating–it all depends on where you want to be. Commute,
rent, school zoning, and distance from the city center continue to
affect the Chicago apartment rental market, as they have for years.
Competition may be getting stiffer, but for those looking escape the
housing crunch or rebuild their credit after a bad breakup with a
mortgage company, it’s well worth the cost to get into the perfect
apartment complex.

Perhaps the only real certainty in today’s
rental market is that it will remain uncertain for the foreseeable
future. Property Hunters: beware and good luck as you tread the concrete
streets of this Windy City. 

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