Suburban apartment construction poised to smash modern records this year — and next

More than 3,000 apartments are set to come online in the suburbs by the end of the year, holding down rents

Chicago /
Dec.December 04, 2018 01:00 PM

The city’s suburbs are on pace to have most productive year for multifamily construction outside the city since at least 1996. (Credit: iStock)

Apartment developers built nearly 2,500 units in Chicago’s suburbs during the first nine months of this year, putting 2018 on pace to become the most productive year for multifamily construction outside the city since at least 1996.

Just 1,843 apartments were built outside the city in all of 2017, according to an Integra Realty Resources report cited in Crain’s. At the current pace, more than 3,000 units are expected to come online before the end of this year.

Suburban builders have only cracked the 2,500-unit threshold during two of the past 22 years Integra has been tracking the figures, in 1997 and 2016.

The building boom is likely holding back suburban rent growth, according to the report. Apartment rents outside the city climbed by between 3 and 5 percent each year between 2014 and 2017, but the $1.47-per-square-foot median registered during the third quarter of 2018 is just 1.2 percent higher year over year.

Nearly half the growth has been measured in the city’s northern suburbs, where 1,322 apartments are under construction and at least 1,600 others have been proposed. They include the 241-unit complex being built near the Foster CTA Purple Line station in Evanston.

Of the more than 4,200 apartments being built across the suburbs, about 3,000 are expected to come online next year.

Rents have grown faster inside the city, where median rents in about half of ZIP codes have become unaffordable to the average resident. Rents grew sharply in the West Loop this year but were held to roughly 1-percent growth in Downtown neighborhoods like Streeterville, Lakeshore East and River North. [Crain’s]Alex Nitkin


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