For many people, rent is one of the biggest factors when moving. In Chicago, premium housing and prime neighborhoods come at premium prices. Utilizing data from Zillow, we examined the average rents of housing units in the city of Chicago across 176 neighborhoods.
As of February 2017, the neighborhood with the highest average rent within the city was West DePaul. This Lincoln Park neighborhood had an average cost of $2,700. The Albany Park neighborhood Ravenswood Manor took second place with an average rent of $2,614. Taking third was Lincoln Park’s RANCH Triangle neighborhood. The average rent in RANCH Triangle was $2,598 in February 2017. In looking at the year over year change in rent, the two most expensive neighborhoods experienced large increases. West DePaul saw the average rent increase by 3.4%, while Ravenswood Manor saw a 10.1% increase in rental prices from February 2016. Of the 176 neighborhoods examined, Ravenswood Manor experienced the largest increase in rent in comparing the year over year change. RANCH Triangle saw a minor decrease of 0.8% in the average rent.
The neighborhoods that have the lowest rent for housing are East Chatham, South Shore, and West Woodlawn. East Chatham saw rent increase by 3.8% from February 2016 to $1,234 this past February. The South Shore had an average rent of $1,254, a 1% increase from the previous February. Finally, West Woodlawn experienced a 2% decrease year over year for an average rent of $1,258 in February 2017.
The map below shows the average rent in Chicago’s 77 community areas in February 2017. Darker shades of green indicate higher average rents. Overall, Wicker Park was the most expensive community to live in, averaging $2,263 each month. Even though the area saw a 2.8% decrease in rent from February 2016 to February 2017, it was still the most expensive neighborhood. Wicker Park narrowly topped Lincoln Park, a historically expensive community, by $1. The average rent in Lincoln Park in February 2017 was $2,262, a 5.3% decrease from the previous February. The community area with the lowest rent was Englewood, where the average rent was $1,261. This was a 0.7% increase in rent from the year prior.
The neighborhoods that experienced the largest percentage increase in average rent year over year were Ravenswood Manor (10.1%; Lincoln Park), Chrysler Village (7.9%; Clearing), and Wildwood (6.8%; Forest Glen). River North, Cabrini Green, and Streeterville were the neighborhoods with the largest percentage decreases. These Near North Side neighborhoods experienced decreases of 10.2%, 10.1%, and 9.5% respectively. Even with these large decreases, residents of these typically pricey neighborhoods continue to pay a pretty penny in average rent. On average in February, River North residents paid $1,892, Cabrini Green $1,876, and Streeterville $1,962.
The map below shows the change in rent between February 2016 and February 2017 in Chicago’s 77 community areas. Red indicates larger decreases in rent, while green indicates increases. The Edison Park community saw the largest increase over a one year period of 5.9%, leading to an average rent this February of $2,059. The Near North Side community saw the largest decrease, 7.3%, resulting in an average rent of $1,812 for 2017.
There is a silver lining for Chicago renters though. Curbed Chicago reported in February that Chicago scores higher in rent affordability in comparison to other major U.S. and global cities. Reporting on a study by U.K.-based brokerage firm Nested, the numbers revealed Chicago to be the 8th most expensive in America, and 13th world wide. San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Los Angeles, and Miami are all more expensive rental markets than Chicago.
For more data and additional graphs, download the worksheet used here.