Downtown’s rental inventory: a year in review

Homes listed for rent in 14 downtown Chicago ZIP codes

Fifty-two weeks ago, we started tracking the number of homes listed for rent in 14 different downtown-area ZIP codes. (Every Friday, using the “rental” filter in Coldwell Banker‘s Quick Search, we pull up the number of listings for 60601, 60602, 60603, 60604, 60605, 60606, 60607, 60608, 60610, 60611, 60616, 60622, 60654, and 60661, and record them in a Google Docs spreadsheet.

The chart above is the week-by-week trend line for total listings in all 14 ZIP codes. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, 2009, 1,979 homes were listed for rent. That number decreased gradually throughout the first half of 2010, moving to as low as 1,286 listings at one point. Inventory spiked, passing the 1,600-home mark in the first week of August, then plunged to a year-long low of 1,043 homes listed. As of this morning, 1,316 homes were listed for rent.

Realize that these are units designated as rentals on the MLS — these units, for the most part, are individually owned homes in condo buildings or townhome developments, or in cases of ZIP codes outside the core of the city, single-family homes. A few dedicated apartment buildings have units listed on the MLS, but most don’t — for example, Alta at K Station had 357 unleased units going into October, but the development has no presence on the MLS right now outside of one listing for its commercial space. We don’t attempt to track rental listings on Craigslist, Domu,,, or on specific development or property management websites.

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