It’s still early in the year, but it’s clear that a few neighborhoods in Chicago are frontrunners for renters. Places like Ravenswood and Bucktown had the most significant increases in apartment searches on Chicago-based rental website Domu in early 2020 compared to the year before.
Below are the top five neighborhoods that have surged in popularity, plus what you need to know if your considering living there. Read Domu’s report for the full list of neighborhoods.
The biggest surge in Domu apartment searches occurred in the North Side community of Ravenswood, which is up 18 percent year-over-year, according to the data. Renters here are drawn to the neighborhood’s restaurants and its convenient commuting options, which include multiple CTA Brown Line stops and speedy Metra service to downtown. It’s little wonder that Ravenswood has adding several new rental developments to meet rising demand.
It’s not difficult to see why Bucktown attracted 16 percent more apartment searches in the first part of 2020. The increasingly trendy ‘hood offers a mix of quiet tree-lined streets, hip bars and restaurants, the popular elevated trail known as The 606, and easy access to the Kennedy Expressway, the CTA Blue Line, and downtown. Compared to its neighbors, Bucktown, is “not quite as pricey as Lincoln Park, and renters may prefer renting in Bucktown to be a bit closer to the Loop than Logan Square apartments,” says the report.
Domu attributes the yearly uptick in apartment searches in Andersonville to the retail renaissance taking place along North Clark Avenue, which is home to bustling restaurants, vintage resale shops, and beloved cultural institutions like the Swedish American Museum. The study also found that the thriving shopping corridor is also experiencing a boost in foot traffic due to Dispensary 33, which has been offering customers recreational marijuana since Illinois legalized cannabis on January 1, says Domu.
When it comes to apartment hunting, this far north side community experienced a 10 percent year-over-year increase. While Loyola University continues to be a big draw for renters, Domu says that Rogers Park also benefits from its ten public beaches along the Chicago Lakefront as well as the Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest. Though not quite as walkable as the other ‘hoods in the top five list, Rogers Park has robust transit access to both downtown Chicago and neighboring Evanston. A Domu study released in January also named Rogers Park as one of the most affordable places in Chicago for renting a one-bedroom apartment.
It’s probably not shocking that more and more renters are scoping out digs in Chicago’s red-hot West Loop, which continues to be a magnet for tech firms, chef-driven restaurants, and trendy boutique hotels. The neighborhood has welcomed a number of large luxury apartment developments opened over the past year—such as Union West and Milieu—and will soon add 586 more rental residences in the upcoming block-sized Porte development. The near-downtown neighborhood is undoubtedly popular, but also more expensive than the areas listed above.