Downtown Chicago Apartment Rental Deals Explained

December 17, 2013 | By Aaron Galvin
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and we’re not just talking about the holidays.

If you’re currently in the market for a downtown Chicago apartment, your timing could not be better. Rental pricing is about as low as it will get until it starts to increase in the spring. So jump on that great apartment deal while you can.

I’ve written about buildings offering concessions of one and two months free rent deals, which is how property owners drive rent prices down.

I’m often asked: Why don’t properties just lower prices instead of offering concessions?

The reason is owners and investors want to see a higher number on their rent roll. By keeping the market rent on the books, they effectively keep the value of their building higher. It’s mostly just a function of accounting and valuation.

The question that always follows: What will my rent increase to next year if I’m getting this deal now?

While property owners would always love to increase rent, the surplus of supply, coupled with retention goals, lends itself to nominal rent increases.

Two months free rent on a $2,000 apartment equates to an increase of over $300 a month in the second year. If rent increased that much, properties would see mass exists. And while owners love high rent, they hate vacant apartments. Most owners are realistic in their rent increases.

In fact, most of my clients do end up staying in their apartment for a second year and report back their rent went up just slightly.

Don’t be afraid of taking the great apartment deal right now. Based on the current apartment market, there is a strong likelihood you’ll get another great deal next year.

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