Rent Bacon: April 2012

Rents once again increased over last year, and market times decreased in 2 out of 3 zones. (corrected July 2012)

Details for April 2012

The downtown mid-north side zones continued their patterns of serious rent increases and shortened market times in April. However, it is interesting to note that in both Zone 1 and Zone 2 the number of MLS-listed 2 bedroom apartments actually decreased slightly year-over-year. This makes sense in a strong landlord's market, as landlords are finding success in renting on their own this year.

Also of note - this is the first time that we've seen the average market time in any zone fall below the 1 month mark. In this case, it was Zone 2, with an average market time of 31 days. When dealing with rentals, paid in one month increments, the difference between a 31 day market time and a 32 day market time has a major impact on cash flow and therefore on relative value.

While Rent Bacon normally looks at year-over-year data, this month it's also worth looking at the month-over-month growth when compared with the rent rates for March. Zone 1 saw a 10.4% month-over-month increase in rents, Zone 2 up by 1.7% and Zone 3 up by 3.8%. The zone 3 increases are particularly worrisome considering that Zone 3 neighborhoods are usually the least expensive options available to lower-income tenants. Some of the rent growth can be attributed to April being the first "on-season" month in the Chicago rental market, but not all.

 Average RentAverage Market TimeTotal Rented
Zone 1
April 2011 $230744 days229
April 2012 $262232 days202
Zone 2
April 2011 $186242 days97
April 2012 $197631 days84
Zone 3
April 2011 $130052 days20
April 2012 $141354 days24

As always, 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 Bacon? Here's last month's update.