Chicago rent evolution, click to enlarge

Chicago rent evolution

As Illinois nears the final steps in the state’s reopening plan, the road to economic recovery is slowly gaining ground. As is the case with other hard-hit gateway markets, Chicago’s rebound is gradually taking shape. Although faced with challenges through 2020, the metro’s multifamily fundamentals have endured—as of April, rents were up 0.5 percent on a trailing three-month basis, to $1,532, above the $1,417 U.S. average.

Chicago sales volume and number of properties sold, click to enlarge

Chicago sales volume and number of properties sold

In the 12 months ending in February, Chicago lost a combined 394,300 jobs, for an 8.4 percent contraction. As of March, unemployment stood at 7.1 percent in Illinois and 7.7 percent in metro Chicago, both behind the 6.0 percent U.S. rate. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan allocated an estimated $7.5 billion in direct aid to Illinois and $5.5 billion to local governments, including $1.8 billion earmarked for the city of Chicago.

Chicago had 16,959 rental units under construction as of April, with 86 percent of those targeting high-income renters. In total, Yardi Matrix expects 7,855 units to come online across the metro this year, virtually on par with deliveries recorded in 2020. Meanwhile, investment sales were off to a solid start in 2021, with 22 assets totaling 4,760 units trading for $522 million in the first quarter of the year.