Suburban rent growth is losing steam, new report shows

Net median rent outside Chicago ticked up by just 1.2 percent year over year, a slower pace than previous years

Chicago /
Sep.September 10, 2018 04:00 PM

Evanston apartments shown against Chicago’s skyline

Apartment rents in Chicago’s suburbs hit record highs this year but might headed for a plateau.

The second-quarter median net rent for Chicago-area suburbs ticked up by 1.2 percent year over year, ending at $1.47 per square foot, according to Integra Realty Resources data reported in Crain’s. That’s compared to a 2.8 percent median rent bump between 2016 and 2017, and a 5.2 percent hike the year prior.

The slowing rent growth might be a symptom of corporate offices migrating from the suburbs to downtown Chicago, while multifamily construction outside the city keeps a robust pace.

The Integra report counted 1,363 new apartments completed in the suburbs so far in 2018, with another 4,148 under construction. A record 2,831 rentals were built in suburban Chicago in 2016, and another 1,843 came online last year.

Suburban apartments held to a 95.6 occupancy rate during the second quarter this year, about the same as last year.

Median net rents rose in eight of the 10 submarkets included in the Integra report, led by a 5.5 percent spike in McHenry County. The average dropped by 6.2 percent on the North Shore and by a half-percent in the Naperville-Aurora submarket.

Second-quart rents surged in Chicago proper by 5.7 percent year over year, according to a previous Integra report.

An August study from Renthop showed evidence that average rents are outpacing average incomes in more than half of Chicago’s ZIP codes.  [Crain’s] — Alex Nitkin


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