Chicago Rental Affordability Has Actually Improved

A new study was just released by the NYU Furman Center and Capital One on Renting In America’s Largest Cities. The Chicago rental market is one of the markets profiled. Their report shows that, while renting in Chicago is still damn expensive for a lot of people, there have been some marginal improvements.
The report is full of some great statistics and graphs that allow you to compare the statistics across cities. In addition, there is this summary table for Chicago that I have reproduced below.
Chicago rental stats
One of the more interesting statistics, and it’s actually not in the table above but you can find it in figure 10, is that 51% of the Chicago renters are rent burdened to some extent. However, that is a slight improvement over 2006 when it was 53% and it’s pretty much the middle of the pack with respect to the other cities profiled. Also, note that they define severely rent burdened as having at least 50% of your income going towards rent and utilities. But they don’t define moderately rent burdened, which is a little under half of the rent burdened population.
Some other interesting findings – and these are especially interesting to landlords:

  • Vacancy rates have dropped from 9.7% to 7.0%.
  • That is probably related to the fact that 52.3% of the population is now in rental housing, up from 46.3% in 2006. This is no surprise since the bursting of the housing bubble cost many people their homes.
  • Supposedly median monthly rent only went up from $909 to $943. That seems to run counter to other statistics I’ve seen that I believe are pretty credible. Then again these are median numbers and we all know how deceptive median numbers are.
  • No surprise that a huge percentage – 78.2% – of low income households are severely rent burdened and that’s up from 76.2% in 2006.

#ChicagoRental #RentingChicago
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