The Real Deal Chicago

Downtown is seeing a surge in new apartments — is it enough?

A new forecast said multifamily developers might be pulling back due to rising taxes, political uncertainty
February 28, 2019 01:00PM

Ron DeVries (Credit: Integra Realty Resources)

Chicago is expected to get nearly 8,000 new apartments in the next three years, but a new report suggests that may not be enough to meet demand.

A near-record of 4,200 new apartments are expected to come online this year, but that number will slow to 3,500 in 2020 and 2021, according to a forecast from consultant Integra Realty Resources reported by the Chicago Tribune.

But growing political uncertainty and rising property taxes could curtail further multifamily development, slowing new deliveries to a crawl in the years that follow, the forecast said.

“We have a change in the governor, change in the mayor, change in the assessor,” Integra’s Ron DeVries said. “There’s just a lot of uncertainty out there right now.”

New people in key government posts could lead to changes in affordable housing requirements, rent control, even higher taxes and more that could turn off developers and lead to a shortage of units in a few years, DeVries said. That could lead to higher rents in existing apartments.

New Assessor Fritz Kaegi already made several changes to his office and new Gov. J.B. Pritzker is pushing for a graduated income tax and has voiced support for statewide rent control. And the two mayoral candidates who made it Chicago’s April 2 runoff, Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle, have taken several positions opposed by the real estate industry.

[Chicago Tribune]John O’Brien