Chicago Rental Market Trend Report – June 7th, 2021

The Chicago Rental Market Trend Report analyzes four key data points: active listing growth, renter lead growth, average renter leads per property, and the average rent price for two-bedroom listings.

Active Listings – Our first data set is the month-over-month change in the total number of active rental listings advertised on the TurboTenant platform. Factors such as seasonality will impact this number, with the rental season peaking January through August. Due to the pandemic, eviction moratoriums, and stay-at-home orders, more month over month fluctuations were reported in nearly every market we analyze. Traditionally, this data point helps us gauge the rental supply in each market and provides a more in-depth seasonality analysis. Through the lens of 2020, inconsistencies in baselines were noted. As we compare 2021 to 2020, we will work to glean insights into if and when the rental market is beginning to normalize and mirror moving and inventory trends of years past.      

Renter Leads – Our second data set is the month-over-month change in the total number of renter inquiries to a TurboTenant property listing. This data point is the demand side of our supply data point above. 

Average Number of Renter Leads Per Property – Our third data point brings together the first two to give us a better understanding of the competitive landscape in each location. We compare the total number on a month-over-month basis.  

Average Rent Price – Our fourth data point is the average rent price for a two-bedroom listing. Our analysis begins in January of 2020 and will continue throughout 2021. We want to understand how factors such as outmigration, changes in remote work and school, and eviction moratoriums impact rent prices in any given market.  

Chicago Rental Market Trend Analysis

Active Listings

In the first quarter of 2020, active listings reported for Chicago followed normal seasonal trends – January and February posted big jumps month-over-month. Inventory continued to wane for a few months and then spiked again in May, which may correlate to outmigration trends from urban areas, as reported by our survey respondents. August was on-trend seasonally, with a 77% increase month-over-month. In 2021, March reported a 31% increase in listings – a recovery from the previous two months – while April and May showed decreased.

Renter Leads and Average Leads Per Property

Demand on the renter side has experienced similar volatility throughout 2020 and 2021. We saw the most demand in March of 2020, with 26 leads per property on average. After a double-digit dip for the following three months, July and August reported 18 and 14 leads per property. Listing inventory increased in the latter half of the year and into 2021. However, demand did not follow suit, with leads per property decreasing to single digits in September. In 2021, leads have remained low, with the current average sitting at only four leads per property. This may be another indicator that city and urban areas experience greater out-migration and negative impacts from the pandemic.  

Average Rent  

Year-over-year the average rent amount for a two-bedroom listing is up by about $100 for June of 2021.  A decrease was reported in the late summer of 2020 and was sustained through the winter months and into 2021 as demand continued to decline with per property inquiries reaching their 15-month low in March. May’s average rent amount was almost equal to that of 2020.

We will continue to update this data every month. If you have data requirements that are outside the scope of this article, please email [email protected]. We have ongoing data collection and are happy to supply another data set if it is available. Check out all of our COVID-19 landlord resources here

If you are in the process of filling your properties, TurboTenant can help streamline your rental process with easy and free online rental applications as well as thorough tenant screening so you can find the best renter for your property.

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