Apartment-hunting in Chicago is always a stressful, time-consuming experience. The last few years have allowed apartment seekers to engage in a more leisurely search. The rental season of 2019 is different from past years.
Over the course of the past two years, the rental market has experienced rent stagnation due to a large crop of new construction projects and condo deconversion apartments. Even though streets are full of rehabs and new construction, the market seems to have absorbed these new units without affecting prices. In 2018 rents were flat or even decreased. In 2019, rents are seeing a small increase.
The speed at which apartment seekers are acting has greatly increased compared to past seasons. In 2018, apartments for a specific move-in date were readily available two weeks prior to move-in. This year, most apartments for a specific move-in date are gone four weeks prior to move-in. For example, Seminary Properties was done renting out its available June apartments three weeks prior to June 1st, the July 1st apartments are 95% rented three weeks prior to July 1st, and the August 1st apartment are over 50% rented with over 45 days to go.
Many people are still excited about the new construction and rehabs with loads of amenities. However, they also seem to have lost interest in the micro units and have gone back to large units in walk-up building with fewer amenities. The most common request Seminary Properties receives from clients is that they want bedrooms that can fit queen size beds and common rooms that can fit a couch and table. Luckily, the Seminary Properties inventory can easily accommodate those needs.
If you are still looking for a new home, do not wait! Apartments are going fast, and rents are slowly rising. Start your apartment search soon and be aggressive. Spend 1 to 4 days seeing every apartment of interest and if one of the apartments meets all your requirements, grab it. Don’t be one of the many people who acted a day late and lost the opportunity to call the apartment they wanted HOME.