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Reports suggest Chicago falls in the middle of the pack for rent affordability

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Compared to other major US and global cities, Chicago places solidly in the middle when it comes to rent prices

Photo via the Curbed Chicago Flickr pool/Frank G

A pair of new reports on rent affordability in major US and global cities offers a look at how Chicago stacks up when it comes to the cost of living. Perhaps unsurprisingly, both reports suggest that Chicago ranks well below other major US and global cities when it comes to rent affordability.

According to numbers crunched by Nested, a London-based real estate brokerage, Chicago comes in 8th place compared to other US cities but drops to the 13th position on the global list. The firm estimates the average cost of rent for a single person in Chicago to be around $1,047 when considering that the price for apartment to be about $2.50 per square foot. The group estimates that the monthly rent for Chicago families is somewhere around $1,986, meaning that families need to earn just over $82,000 to pay rent.

In terms of US cities, Nested ranks Chicago behind cities like Miami, Seattle, and Boston, but Chicago leads Houston and Detroit. On the global stage, Chicago is estimated to be pricier than cities like Copenhagen, Tokyo, and Vancouver, but it falls far behind economic giants like Zurich, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Not surprisingly, San Francisco and New York are ranked the number one and number two most expensive cities in the world.

Another report, this one from AppFolio utilizing data from Axiometrics, also suggests that Chicago places solidly in the middle in terms of rent affordability. One important thing to note is that this report only focuses on Chicago’s North Side neighborhoods, certainly skewering a more holistic look at the cost of living in the Windy City.

Compared to the 20 cities highlighted in the report, Chicago ranks 13th. While this report doesn’t break up the average cost of rent for individuals versus families like the one from Nested, AppFolio pegs the average cost of rent for Chicagoans (for all types of residences) to be $1,572, a figure which seems to corroborate the findings of Nested.

Similar to the report from Nested, the study from AppFolio/Axiometrics suggests that rents in Chicago (specifically the city’s North Side) are less than those in cities like Boston, Los Angeles, and Miami. However, rents in Chicago are certainly more expensive than in other regional cities like Detroit, Minneapolis, and Indianapolis.

While rent prices across the country have been increasing for the last several years, pricey cities like San Francisco and New York appear to finally be stabilizing (somewhat). And with Chicago expected to get several thousand new apartment units this year alone, some experts suggest that a possible oversupply of new rentals could finally drive the record downtown rent prices down.