Rising rents lead to a buyer’s market in Chicago

The second quarter demonstrated a rise in rents not seen since before the financial crisis in 2007, with record low vacancies across the nation, according to a recent report by real estate analytics firm Reis Inc. Reuters reported.

Chicago is no exception to national trends, with the second quarter showing only 4.1 percent of Chicago apartments were vacant, which is 0.2 percent less than the first quarter, according to the news source. Rents rose 1.3 percent across the city, with an average asking price of $1,032. Comparing this data with conditions one year ago, Chicago asking rents are 2.2 percent higher and effective rents 2.9 percent higher. These numbers may actually be good signs for those looking for homes for sale in Chicago.

A recent article in the Chicagoist detailed that while the rental market is making it harder for those looking to save money on rent, this may make it an ideal time for those who would rather buy in Chicago and are looking to do so on a budget. This is due in part to double-digit percentage declines for numerous properties in the city's real estate listings. 

Local real estate expert Bob Floss may agree, telling WBEZ, “First-time homebuyers, move-up buyers and investors are finding compelling pricing and historically low interest rates as a perfect incentive to buy now,” commenting that the increases in rental prices are pushing some to take that step to purchase.

An attractive Chicago neighborhood for upscale living is Old Town, north of the downtown area known as The Loop. Old Town has many historical ties, with theaters and venues hosting many famous, award-winning celebrities over the years. This area has 19th century townhomes and cobblestone streets which make sense given the area's name. Residents enjoy a taste of a picturesque old-style community that is tucked into the otherwise bustling metropolis.

Old Town is more than just a window to the past, with some saying the neighborhood continues to reinvent itself every decade or so. Today’s Old Town is made up of a well-known restaurant district along Wells Street, and the famous Wells Street Art Fair takes place every June.

Old Town is also known as the home of the Second City improvisational comedy club, famous for introducing comedic greats to world, such as Tina Fey, Chicago’s beloved Chris Farley and the unforgettable Bill Murray. Zanies, A Red Orchid Theater, and Steppenwolf Theater are in Old Town as well. Zanies is a theater for stand-up comedians that has been around for over 30 years, and A Red Orchid Theater is known for having Oscar nominee Michael Shannon as a founding member. Finally, Steppenwolf Theater on Halsted Street has seen many Tony Award-winning actors perform there over the years, including John Malkovich and Joan Allen.