Market for MLS-listed downtown rentals softens

We’ve been tracking the number of homes and condos listed for rent in the MLS in 14 downtown ZIP Codes for nearly 4 years.

It would be reasonable to expect that this year’s strong for-sale market and increasing prices would motivate “accidental landlords” to list their properties for sale, reducing the number of units available for rent. That may have happened, but the inventory of homes listed for rent has grown sharply since earlier this year.

At the end of March there were 738 homes and condos listed for rent in the 14 ZIP Codes. As of yesterday that number had grown by just over 50 percent, to 1,111. That’s the highest number we’ve seen since December of 2010.

MLS-listed condos had enjoyed, by and large, a price advantage over comparable apartments in managed rental buildings. We’ve recently seen a spate of seasonal discounting on the part of the managed buildings, making them more competitive with MLS-listed units. It’s a good time to be a renter in Chicago.

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