Category Archives: Statistics

Chicago real estate market stats and analysis for your viewing enjoyment.

Cook County Evictions Part 2: Yes, Virginia, there is a bias.

OK that was mean of me. I gave you a teaser at the end of Monday’s article, indicating that there was definitely a bias in the Cook County courts when it came to evictions. I even gave you a pie chart with the numbers intact but the categories redacted.

When I did my small-scale analysis in May 2012, I came to the conclusion that the system was biased when it came to money judgments but basically fair when it came to getting possession of apartments back from deadbeat tenants. Landlords stood to win their cases about 50% of the time, which is exactly what you’d expect to see in an unbiased system. However, once I obtained the large-scale data from 8 years of eviction history and crunched the numbers, a different picture emerged. This picture will allow us to temporarily put to bed the pervasive urban legend that the courts are biased against landlords.

That’s right. 222,323 cases were found in favor of the landlord. 131,423 cases were found in favor of the tenant. The division is consistent across all six districts and consistent regardless of if you filed for possession only, or for possession and money. So if you’re a landlord, you’ve got just about a 2 out of 3 chance of winning your case. So there. Ha.

Maybe Not. (more…)

Cook County Evictions Revisit Part 1: Intro

Returning to the Scene of the Crime

In May of 2012 I did a three part series that tried to debunk the urban legend that Chicago’s government entities are biased against landlords. I investigated the CRLTO and found it to be weighted heavily in favor of the tenant. I also investigated eviction proceedings using the Cook County Clerk’s website. Based on the information I used, I came to the conclusion that the courts were also biased in favor of the tenant. However, I didn’t feel too confident with those results.

I'm not doing so well in disproving the rumor that I count beans as a hobby, am I?

I’m not doing so well in disproving the rumor that I count beans as a hobby, am I?

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Rent Bacon: November AND December 2012

This is the end of Rent Bacon as we know it.

Today I’m posting the Rent Bacon data for two months: November and December 2012. It is the last time you’ll see it in this format. Next month we’re going to repurpose Rent Bacon in three ways.

More timely.

One of my pet peeves with the Chicago rental industry is the tendency of Realtors to leave their listings active for just a little too long. I’ve discussed this concern over leaving listings active for too long at length before. However, I took this matter into consideration when I started doing Rent Bacon last year. In order to make sure all of the leases for a given month are included in the stats, I’ve been waiting an entire extra month and therefore running 2 months behind with the data by the time it’s printed here.

November Rent Bacon.

November Rent Bacon.

We aren’t going to do that anymore. (more…)

StrawStickStone Rent Index: 4th Quarter 2012

Analysis

It’s winter in Chicago. We’ve discussed the Chicago rental off-season before and you’ll be seeing it reflected in all of the Q4 numbers today. Nearly every sector is down, and that’s to be expected. Market activity has fallen off by 40-50% since Q3 as happens every year. What’s important in a situation like this is to look at the sectors of the market that bucked the downward trend.

4th quarter Chicago rental market activity has been the worst so far this year. All told it’s amazing prices have only dropped by less than 10% in most places.

Downtown, the smallest units saw upward movement on the price points. Studios and small one beds were in demand, which is pretty much always going to be the case in downtown Chicago. Students & in-town business make up most of the tenant population and their demand is consistent. Interestingly, the price point for 3 beds was also elevated. Given that we’re looking at an average price point over $5000 per month for these units, I’m thinking that the more budget-minded families stayed put in their units for the holidays while groups of adults and the extremely wealthy were able to move. This would tilt the price point towards the more expensive units favored by the latter group.

In name brand neighborhoods people are scaling down their expectations – vintage 1 beds and 2 beds were up while the more fancy units were down. In fact, even though only 10 vintage 1-beds rented in this zone, their average rent rate was higher than their modern counterparts. This may indicate that the drawing power of granite, stainless & condo-quality has weakened among the renting contingent in these trendy areas. I don’t think it reflects renters “settling” for the lesser quality vintage. It reflects a view that both styles, vintage and new, are seen as closer to equal now. Overall what I’m seeing in these areas is that the demand for space & privacy is paramount, outstripping high-end finishes and deluxe appliances. Studios and single family homes increased in value. The larger vintage units increased as well. That’s one claustrophobic, isolationist group of renters in the trendy areas this fall.

One other factor may be inspiring the shift in the name brand areas – vintage units are far more likely to come with heat included, and the fourth quarter brings the concern about heating costs to the forefront of tenants’ minds. The individually controlled (and funded) central heat in the newer condos is not so attractive when you’re looking at 4 months of below-freezing temps immediately upon moving in.

Moving out to the generic, budget-friendly neighborhoods in our outer ring, it’s a story abount laundry. The only segment to see an increase in rent out here during Q4 was the one bedroom apartments with laundry in the unit. Meanwhile, looking at the 3 bedroom rental activity, I’m seeing equal numbers of apartments in the “3 bedroom condo” and “3 bedroom with laundry” segments. Some of the rentals with laundry were likely single family homes instead of condos. However, we must remember that for every unit rented, several were passed over and remain vacant. The lesson we learn here is that renters working through the MLS for 3 beds in the outer ring expect in-unit laundry. Washer/dryer in unit is no longer optional. In the slower market where tenants can pick and choose, they’re basically ignoring buildings with coin laundry and absent laundry.

gonna have a bad time

Again, this may be due to the onset of winter. Many basement laundry rooms require trekking down a rear outdoor stairwell, frequently icy and usually cold, in order to get laundry done. Wintertime makes in-unit laundry far more critical, especially among the larger family groups that favor the “generic” neighborhoods for their lower rents.

Predictions

The real estate industry took a while to learn how to sell short back when the market first started to dive. Former homeowners who short sold during this time have seen their short sales drop off their credit already and have been able to buy for some time. However, many were so burned by the experience that they chose to remain renters. However, 2010 was when the first-time homebuyer tax credit ended. The folks who short sold towards the end of 2010 got Realtors who knew what they were doing. They are likely to be more optimistic and they will be able to buy again this year. I see them leaving the rental market pretty quickly as soon as they can buy.

Therefore, I predict overall market stasis for Chicago rentals next year, based on the trends we were seeing in Q2 and Q3 2012, as well as signs of life from the sales market. I anticipate a slow flow of renters back into the purchase market this year, especially in late Q3 and Q4 of 2013. This will lengthen market times a bit and the rent rates may stagnate, especially in the generic neighborhoods, but I think it will be another year before the rent rates decrease at all.

I’m going to repeat the advice that I gave last quarter. If you’re an accidental landlord, it’s time to consider selling this year. You can help keep the rental rates up and solve some of your own headaches. Sales inventory is at an all time low. I’m seeing properties spend less than a week on the market, and in some cases renters are purchasing their rented condos.

As for those who stay in the rental market, I do think that in-unit laundry is going to jump from “a nice luxury” to mandatory in the generic neighborhoods this year, at least among the renters who work with Realtors. I already see most of my renter clients demanding it and these wintertime numbers are very telling.

The Numbers

Downtown*
Avg (Count) Change since Q3 Low / High
Studio $1323 (63) Up 0.4% $790 / $2700
1 bed, Vintage Invalid (0) n/a
1 bed, Condo $1904 (305) Up 7.0% $1100 / $9500
1 bed w In-Unit laundry $2058 (161) No Change $1275 / $9500
2 bed, Vintage Invalid (1) $1550 / $1550
2 bed, Condo $2741 (237) Down 2.0% $1300 / $6500
2 bed w In-Unit Laundry $2859 (158) Down 2.1% $1300 / $6500
3 bed, Vintage Invalid (1) $4200 / $4200
3 bed, Condo $5502 (40) Up 1.5% $2000 / $11500
3 bed w In-Unit Laundry $5695 (30) Up 7.7% $2900 / $11500
3 bed Single Family Invalid (0) n/a
Pets**** Dogs OK: $2457 | No Pets: $2295 | Cats Only $2052
Name Brand Neighborhoods*
Avg (Count) Change since Q3 Low / High
Studio $1057 (35) Up 2.7% $975 / $1250
1 bed, Vintage $1677 (10) Up 23.0% $1100 / $2800
1 bed, Condo $1504 (121) Down 1.8% $995 / $2700
1 bed w In-Unit laundry $1537 (35) Down 6.2% $1000 / $2700
2 bed, Vintage $1985 (12) Up 13% $1150 / $2800
2 bed, Condo $2213 (187) Down 2.9% $1150 / $4000
2 bed w In-Unit Laundry $2289 (144) Down 2.7% $1150 / $4000
3 bed, Vintage Invalid (5) $2050 / $4000
3 bed, Condo $2965 (67) Down 1.1% $1300 / $5600
3 bed w In-Unit Laundry $3162 (99) Down 0.3% $1950 / $6000
3 bed Single Family $3696 (16) Up 12.4% $2300 / $6000
Pets**** Dogs OK: $2537 | No Pets: $1973 | Cats Only $1640
Generic Neighborhoods***
Avg (Count) Change since Q3 Low / High
Studio $817 (22) Down 6.5% $550 / $1175
1 bed, Vintage Invalid (5) $800 / $1375
1 bed, Condo $1358 (108) Down 0.9% $800 / $2300
1 bed w In-Unit laundry $1573 (42) Up 5.4% $900 / $2600
2 bed, Vintage $1287 (15) Down 12.4% $800 / $2300
2 bed, Condo $1636 (214) Down 3.3% $650 / $3250
2 bed w In-Unit Laundry $1725 (139) Down 0.9% $920 / $3250
3 bed, Vintage Invalid (7) $1200 / $2850
3 bed, Condo $2087 (58) Down 7.1% $1100 / $3900
3 bed w In-Unit Laundry $2095 (59) Down 5.4% $1150 / $3900
3 bed Single Family $1669 (16) Down 13.7% $850 / $2900
Pets**** Dogs OK: $1902 | No Pets: $1771 | Cats Only $1477

* Downtown: Within 1.25 miles of the intersection of State & Madison, Chicago
** Name Brand Neighborhoods: Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Bucktown, Wrigleyville / Lakeview
*** Generic Neighborhoods: Uptown, NorthCenter, Logan Square, Avondale, Irving Park, Humboldt Park
**** Average rent rates based on pet policy across all sizes of apartments.

Read more about Name Brand & Generic Neighborhoods.
Read more about why cat-friendly apartments are cheaper.

Stats based on printed rent rates for the fourth quarter of 2012 as listed in MRED LLC’s ConnectMLS for the city of Chicago. Completed rentals only, no active listings.

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Rent Bacon: October 2012

The Offseason is Upon Us!

As I’ve discussed before, the rental market slows down in Chicago once October 1 passes. Rent Bacon is a year-over-year analysis, and as the quickie image shows, the market is still up as compared to where it was this time last year, but compared with the activity and prices of two months ago we’ve slowed down considerably. This is to be expected. However, the average rent for a 2 bed/2 bath rental downtown remains firmly stationed above $2500 per month and for the near north area it’s sitting pretty over $2000.

Detailed Analysis

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Chicago Renters and Owners: A Snapshot

I’ll be off on Friday for the Thanksgiving Holiday, so I thought today we’d do a chart-based photo essay. As I promised at the end of Monday’s article counting Chicago apartments, I went back into the American Housing Survey from 2009 and dug up some more results. There’s a little something for everyone in the following charts and graphs. Take home a few select morsels to argue with Uncle Bob about at the dinner table.

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Rent Bacon: September 2012

Zone 3? What are you doing?! Zone 3! Stop!

Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s the Offseason!

Remember last month when I said that the August rental stats would probably be the last reliable analysis we get on the Chicago market until spring? Well, the September stats are here, and I was correct to a certain extent. They are definitely all higgledy-piggledy. However, there is some amount of information we can wring out of the numbers if we look closely.

Zone 1 – big slowdown

The rents in the downtown area (Zone 1) once again showed improvement, both over where we were 12 months ago and where we were one month ago. However, the market times, while better than they were last year, are a little longer than we saw in August. After all of my talk about how the market slows down in the late summer you’d think we’d see those rent rates drop, but instead we see the change in the number of units rented. Yes, the rents went up, but fewer of them filled, leaving more to coast into October. In August we saw 215 units rent, and in September of 2011 it was pretty close to that same number at 212.

So for Zone 1, this means the agents probably were hoping that the standard seasonal downturn would be offset by the extremely hot rental market that we’ve seen over the pat 12 months and did not lower their prices in anticipation of the annual 50% drop in demand that occurs as September ends. I’m thinking based on these numbers that the average Zone 1 asking rent on a two bedroom apartment needs to come down by about 10-15%. My bet is that next month we see a much higher market time as many of the units will have remained on the market into October.

Zone 2 – Slight slowdown

Moving out of the luxury market into neighborhoods with trendy names and smaller architecture, the Zone 2 results show a more gradual relaxation but there is no doubt even here that the end of season had an effect on the September numbers. While rents were higher than they were in 2011 by about 3.5% and market times were two days shorter, they actually fell 2.8% from where they were just a month ago in August of 2012.

Market times were consistent, so it looks like the Zone 2 agents have a better ability to anticipate the end of the rental season. I think that downtown/Zone 1 is seeing some Realtors dabbling in rentals when they normally handle sales only. The Zone 1 market has for years been the near-exclusive province of the property management companies with in-house leasing staff. It’s only in the past two years that the condo-to-rental market has necessitated that downtown Realtors sidestep into leasing. Many of them probably started doing rentals sometime this year and couldn’t predict what was coming as the weather turned colder. By contrast Zone 2 agents (and Zone 3 agents as we’ll see) are more practiced in the apartment market and were able to warn their clients. As a result, while the total number of units rented was still a 23% drop over last month, it was pretty consistent with the 2011 performance. Well done, Zone 2!

Zone 3 – Ouch.

Oh my goodness what the heck happened in Zone 3? 5.6% lower rents and almost 50% longer market times compared with 2011. A 10% drop in rents since August. The lowest attained rents since January. What happened? The answer lies in what happened at other sizes. Remember, Rent Bacon is a snapshot of 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartments only. Our drop in Zone 3 was absorbed by the larger 3 bedroom, 2 bath apartments.

Renting at an average price of $1615 this year, 3 bedroom apartments in Zone 3 are far more affordable than a 2 bed in any other zone, and not terribly much more expensive than a two bedroom. Renters have noticed this. They only rented eight 3 beds in September of 2011, but this year they rented 21 of them. Almost 300% growth in demand. Coupled with the standard price drops and increased market times of the off-season, this shift in popularity is what caused such disastrous numbers for Zone 3 two bedroom apartments.

The Numbers

Average RentAverage Market TimeTotal Rented
Zone 1
September 2011$245233 days212
September 2012$255826 days163
Zone 2
September 2011$196323 days87
September 2012$203121 days80
Zone 3
September 2011$140529 days26
September 2012$132746 days24

Stats reflect pricing and activity for 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartments listed in ConnectMLS as with rented dates during the month of April. Analysis of specific areas is available upon request.

What is Rent Bacon?

Rent Bacon is a quick visual summary of what’s happening in the rental market this month compared with this time last year. It breaks the city down into three zones. For each zone, it takes the change in average rent rates and the change in average market times as percentages, and then averages the two percentages together.

Zone 1 covers central Chicago from South Loop through Lincoln Park. (Actual coordinates: 2000 South to 2000 North, from Western Ave to the Lake).

Zone 2 covers the near North side of Chicago, including Lakeview, Bucktown, Uptown, Lincoln Square, Roscoe Village and NorthCenter. (Actual coordinates: 2000 North to 5200 North, from Western Ave to the Lake.)

Zone 3 covers the Far North and Near South side of Chicago, including Edgewater, Andersonville, Rogers Park, West Ridge, Chinatown, Bridgeport and Douglas. (Actual coordinates: 5200-7600 North plus 2000-4500 South, from Western Ave to the Lake.)

Want more Rent Bacon? Here’s all of them on one page!

 

 

Mapping Chicago by School performance

Happy November everyone! Hope you all had a great Halloween. Operation Porchlight was a great success and I’ll have a report on it for you very soon. I’m still assembling all the results and feedback, though, so it may be a week or two before I can get to it. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you the results of some recent research I did for a buyer client.

These buyers are open to many neighborhoods in Chicago, but want to be able to send their kids to a good public school. So I utilized some of the new technology available through Google’s Fusion Tables to make a map for them.

Of course, I am personally no arbiter of school quality so I went to a source that is. I made a list of all of the elementary schools ranked on GreatSchools.org as either an 8, 9 or 10. Greatschools bases their rankings chiefly on test scores using a 10 point scale, with 10 being the best. They also offer the opportunity for students, parents and school faculty to give feedback. I included magnets, charters and neighborhood (“district”) schools in the list, but did not include private schools. I find them to be a very useful resource for both objective and subjective critiques of not only the grade schools that I surveyed but also the high schools and private schools.

After assembling my list of schools I paid a visit to the fabulous data warehouse for Chicago public information located at data.cityofchicago.org. I pulled down the freely available geographic locations for each of the schools on the list, including the attendance boundaries for the schools that have them. I mashed it all up in a fusion table. Enjoy.

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All the Single Renters!

From the cover of “Living Alone and Loving It” by Barbara Feldon. I haven’t read the book but I liked looking at the pictures.

Does the size of rentals shift in the Chicago off-season from larger units to smaller ones? Most of my rental clientele in the wintertime are singles and smaller groups. Even Snopes, that bastion of truth, verifies that January is the worst month of the year for breakups. With all of those newly single people getting forced out of their homes, I wondered if they would have any statistical impact on the traditional winter slowdown in the rental market.

Going into the research for today I was pretty much certain that I’d more small units available in the winter than I would larger units. As it turns out, from a supply point of view I was very wrong. However, in terms of demand my anecdotal evidence was proven to be pretty accurate. Single renters drive the off-season rental market in Chicago. It probably doesn’t make you feel any better to know that your heartache is serving to line the pocket of a landlord. But if it’s any consolation, at least now you know you’re not alone, and you can plan accordingly!

Seasonal Supply

The paramount dogma of economic theory is that of supply & demand. If a market is truly balanced you’ll see supply and demand rise and fall in sync with each other. My original hypothesis going into this was that the market for smaller units wouldn’t see as substantial of a drop-off in the winter as would be seen in the market for larger units. I started by looking at the supply.

Below is a chart showing the number of small (studios & 1 bedroom) apartments that came on the market as compared with the number of larger (2-3 bedroom) apartments on a month by month basis reaching back 3 years. If my hypothesis was correct, the two lines on the following chart would be vastly different in the winter months. You’d see the blue line get much higher than the red line in the winter every year.

Obviously, I was wrong at least on the supply side. The landlords who are listing their properties in the MLS are definitely aware that there’s a seasonal slow-down in late autumn. However, if there’s more single people than families looking for apartments in the wintertime, the trend hasn’t affected the inventory of available apartments. Small or large, the number of units on the market is consistent even if it varies wildly by season.

Note: there are actually a lot more 2-3 bedroom units in the MLS at any given point than there are studios & 1 bedrooms. I’ve normed the data to make the chart easier to comprehend. My methods are explained in the methodology section below.

Seasonal Demand

So, I was wrong on the supply side. And I’m into the science so I’m OK with being wrong. But it did make me wonder if my anecdotal evidence of seeing more singles looking for apartments would bear out on the larger scale. I went back and did some more digging to figure out the comparative demand for those apartments.

Demand via MLS statistics is a little more difficult to gauge. The best metric I can think of for figuring it out is how long each listing spent on the market. High demand means short market times. So I pulled the average market times per month using the same size breakdown – studios & 1 bedroom apartments for the single folks and 2-3 bedroom apartments for the families & larger groups.

You have to read the next chart a little bit backwards. The lower the line, the higher the demand. In this case, if my hypothesis was correct, we’d see substantially lower market times in the winter for the smaller apartments (the blue line) than we would for the bigger ones (the red line).

… and I was right. Look at the huge gaps between the lines towards the later part of each year. Science or not, I feel much better now.

The demand for studios and 1 bedrooms does weaken in the off-season, but nowhere near as badly as the demand for 2-3 bedrooms. We can also see depicted here the overall increasing demand as the market times get shorter and shorter over time. But the wintertime difference is pretty shocking. In fact, it looks like last winter the single folks snapped up their apartments before the landlord lost a full month of rent, while their bigger cousins sat empty for nearly 2 months on average. For a landlord looking to maximize cash flow, that could make a big difference in your business model in regards to lease break policies and structuring of lease expiration dates.

The Surprise: Small Apartment to Large Apartment ratio is very consistent!

The most surprising little factoid to emerge from this research is bundled up in the norming of the numbers for the first chart above. I knew there would be more big units than small units in the MLS. Realtors work on commission, they will spend more time pursuing the bigger, more expensive listings. What amazed me, though, was how consistent the gap was between the bigger and smaller units over the past three years.

On average there were 1.61 times more 2-3 bedroom apartments coming on the market in the MLS in a given month than there were studios & 1 bedroom apartments. The standard deviation on that was just 0.17, or 10%, across the entire 3 years of data that I pulled. This means that if you’re working with a Realtor to find an apartment at any point in the year, you’re between 3.2 and 4.8 times more likely to find a big place to share with a roommate or two than you are looking alone. If you really just want a studio or a 1 bed – especially a high end one – you can certainly still try work with a Realtor but be prepared to make up your mind quickly.

Methodology

To calculate the available supply, I pulled the number of apartments that came to market in the MLS for each month going back to October of 2009. I counted the studios & 1 bedroom units available separately from the 2 and 3 bedroom units in order to determine what might be within reach of a single renter as opposed to a family.

Calculating demand was a lot more labor-intensive. I had to download all of the rented units in 3000 unit chunks, as that’s the maximum I can export from the MLS in one shot. I then used Excel’s subtotaling functions to get the average market times for all the units rented each month.

Questions? Comments? Fire away! I’ll be back Monday with something a little spooky.

Porker’s Index III

It’s been a while since I did a Porker’s Index and they’re always fun.

Since I’ve got foreclosures on my mind lately let’s start with…

… not quite what I had in mind.

The Shadow Market

“Shadow market” in terms of home sales refers to incomplete short sales, pending foreclosures, and homeowners who are at least 3 months behind on their mortgage payments.

Unemployment in Chicago
August 2010: 11.4%
August 2012: 10.3%[1]

Mortgages over 90 days past due in Chicago
August 2010: 10.4%
August 2012: 10.2%[2]

Amazing how little has changed over the past two…

Months’ Inventory of Distressed Property, Chicago Metro Region
August 2010: 30.2
August 2012: 19.4[3]

Wait… what?

Moving right along, one of the main problems with distressed properties (short sales, foreclosures, and delinquent mortgages) is people spending too much on their mortgage payments.

Mortgage Overspending (more…)

  1. [1]Bureau of Labor
  2. [2]CoreLogic
  3. [3]CoreLogic

Rent Bacon: August 2012

Color Me Surprised. Kind of.

After several months in a row of the numbers telling me that Chicago’s apartment market is peaking, today’s installment of Rent Bacon is kind of surprising. While the downtown market remains pushed to its absolute limit, the outlying neighborhoods showed very strong growth just when I thought they were at the breaking point.

However, this sudden surge should not be mistaken for a permanent effect. August 2012 was now fully 2 months ago and encompassed the traditionally strong September 1 rental market. (Unfortunately I cannot really run Rent Bacon until at least a month has passed, as Realtors can be sluggish in marking their listings as rented.) More telling are last week’s quarter over quarter stats, which showed an overall slowing of the pace across the board. If Chicago continues to show upward motion in next month’s installment I may change my tune, but for now I’m still thinking we’re maxed out citywide. Even 4.9% growth – the lowest seen for any zone in August – is far in excess of standard inflation and not sustainable in the long term, especially in a slow economy.

Points of note

Zone 3’s market times have dropped from a 2012 peak of 62 days to 25 days, putting them right on track with the rest of the neighborhoods we’ve tracked. Remember that an average market time of 25 days means an actual market time of less than a week for the best units, given that the time to get from “off the market” to “rented” artificially increases the market time by about a week.

Zone 3 landlords are more reluctant to bump up their prices, showing consistently smaller increases year over year than their downtown and near north neighbors. While this has improved cash flow for these landlords by an incredible amount by shortening market times, it has also had the side benefit of keeping at least one section of Chicago affordable.

The total number of units on the market in all zones has remained remarkably consistent from year to year, rarely varying by more than 10 units rented. This tells me that the MLS has largely stopped adding new “accidental landlord” inventory and is instead recycling the same listings year after year. However, I would be remiss to not mention that all three zones saw a very slight decrease in total rental inventory compared with last year. Some units have sold out of the rental market. Other buildings are at their limit. A few landlords probably chose to go it alone without agent assistance this year.

The average price for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom rental downtown is nearly $2500. It’s easy when looking at these numbers to get caught up in the trends and ignore the face value numbers. The minimum was $1000, the maximum was $5000. If all of those tenants stay for 12 months, the downtown area generated $6,436,260 in rent just for 2 bed, 2 bath units in one month, just from the MLS alone!

The Numbers

Average RentAverage Market TimeTotal Rented
Zone 1
August 2011$230922 days225
August 2012$249423 days215
Zone 2
August 2011$194826 days113
August 2012$208920 days104
Zone 3
August 2011$144538 days35
August 2012$147125 days33

Stats reflect pricing and activity for 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartments listed in ConnectMLS as with rented dates during the month of July. Analysis of specific areas is available upon request.

What is Rent Bacon?

Rent Bacon is a quick visual summary of what’s happening in the rental market this month compared with this time last year. It breaks the city down into three zones. For each zone, it takes the change in average rent rates and the change in average market times as percentages, and then averages the two percentages together on a 3 to 1 weighted basis.

Zone 1 covers central Chicago from South Loop through Lincoln Park. (Actual coordinates: 2000 South to 2000 North, from Western Ave to the Lake).

Zone 2 covers the near North side of Chicago, including Lakeview, Bucktown, Uptown, Lincoln Square, Roscoe Village and NorthCenter. (Actual coordinates: 2000 North to 5200 North, from Western Ave to the Lake.)

Zone 3 covers the Far North and Near South side of Chicago, including Edgewater, Andersonville, Rogers Park, West Ridge, Chinatown, Bridgeport and Douglas. (Actual coordinates: 5200-7600 North plus 2000-4500 South, from Western Ave to the Lake.)

Want more Bacon? Here’s last month’s update.