Like many other major cities throughout the country, rents in Chicago have been on the rise in recent years. According to a new report from smartasset, an online consumer investment database and research center, Chicago households need to be earning just over $75,000 annually to cover the rent of a two-bedroom apartment. Considering the often cited advice that rent should be no more than 30% of a household's income, smartasset concludes that Chicagoans paying $1,775 per month for an apartment need to be making about $75,000 per year.
The numbers are pretty consistent with many of the new rental units coming online throughout the greater downtown area and even in some neighborhoods. For example, a studio apartment at the brand new Wolf Point West tower will set one back nearly $2,000 per month. Considering the cost of rent in buildings like this, residents will need be earning $75,000 per year at a minimum. Hundreds of new apartments are also being built on Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park, Bucktown, and Logan Square, and these units aren't going to be cheap either. A proper one-bedroom apartment in the new L Logan Square building next to the Congress Theater will cost renters around $1,900 to $2,050 per month—and this is in Logan Square.
Chicago still fares much better than other cities, primarily those located on the east and west coasts. According to this report, rents are highest in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, which should be no surprise to anyone in Chicago. So, what kind of income do you need to be earning to afford a two-bedroom in SF? You'll need a combined income or a salary of $150,000 per year.