New low for downtown’s rental inventory (plus what $2,000 will rent)

540 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago

540 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago 540 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago

Over a three-week period in August 2010, the number of downtown-area condos, townhomes, and single-family homes listed for rent on the MLS plunged from 1,628 to 1,043. From there, the number of listings rose gradually, peaking on the Friday before Thanksgiving with 1,316 homes available, and has been going down ever since.

As of this morning, there are just 1,041 homes listed for rent in downtown’s 14 ZIP codes, the smallest number we’ve recorded since starting this process in late 2009. As usual, the majority of those homes are located in three ZIP codes — 60611 (Streeterville), with 240; 60610 (Gold Coast, Old Town, and the Near North Side), with 196; and 60605 (South Loop), with 121.

The median list price for a rental is $2,000, and there’s plenty to choose from at that price — 46 units, to be exact. Examples include:

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