Available MLS-listed downtown rentals at 6-month low

Just over 1,000 homes and condos were listed as available for rent yesterday in the 14 downtown ZIP Codes that we track. The 1,008 listings were the lowest number we’ve seen in more than 6 months.

Available units in South Loop ZIP Code 60605 dropped from 130 early last October to 87 yesterday, a one-third reduction.

This is the time of year when we usually see a spike in “Address not available” listings. It’s no coincidence that these listings are almost always represented by one of Chicago’s rental services rather than by a full-service brand-name broker.

MLS-listed condos are often very price-competitive with nearby managed rental buildings, but the rental services typically don’t show them. Our take: they’d rather steer a renter to a building where they don’t have to split their commission with another broker. Rental service agents, many of whom are rookies, frequently don’t know how to navigate the process of getting a renter approved for a condo lease or prefer to avoid the time and work involved in doing so.

Tip: Make yourself unavailable to “Address not available” listings from rental services.

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