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Chicago Rents Soar To Five Year High

By Prescott Carlson in News on Jul 6, 2012 7:40PM

While it may be a great time for bargain seeking home buyers as Chicago real estate prices have yet to recover from double digit percentage drops in value, the same can't be said for those seeking to save money on rent.

Whether it's underwater homeowners walking away from their mortgages and turning back to the rental market or wannabe homeowners that can't scrounge together a down payment in a struggling economy, the demand on rental units continues to increase, in turn driving up the monthly rent prices.

According to Reuters, Reis, Inc., a real estate research firm that tracks property trends, states in a new report that rents in Chicago are 2.2 percent higher than last year, and are at their highest point since before the recession began in 2007. Effective rents—which take into account renter incentives and landlord paid amenities—rose 2.9 percent compared to last year, with an average of $1,032. Vacancy rates in turn fell to 4.1 percent in the most recent quarter, 0.6 percent lower than the national average.

The good news for those signing leases instead of purchase agreements is that Reis stated that the strong rental market has sparked developers to create more units, which will help ease the lack of supply and should keep rents steady next year.

So you can either hold on to that small glimmer of hope, or move to Wichita, Kansas, which Reis reports has the lowest rents of the 82 markets it tracks, at $510 a month.