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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Wade Williamson, Lori MacVittie

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Chicago Renters Will Have a Greater Selection Come May, According to Q1 RentJuice Rent Index

Most Expensive Neighborhoods Fall in Price, Least Expensive Neighborhoods Rise

CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwire) -- 04/18/12 -- At the close of the first quarter, only one third (33%) of rental listings were available immediately, according the Q1 RentJuice Rent Index for Chicago. The analysis today released by RentJuice, which offers lease marketing technology to thousands of real estate property managers and brokers, revealed that renters will have a much greater selection come May when 47 percent of listings are noted as becoming available for move-in.

Popular Chicago Area Rents Decline

Chicagoans may be thrilled to hear that several neighborhoods surrounding "The Magnificent Mile" are decreasing in rent, such as the Gold Coast (-13%), River North (-7%), and Streeterville (-4%). However, the cost to live in The Loop still remains high with an average asking rent of $1,958, which increased in the first quarter by 13 percent.

Renters will now find themselves with a smaller percentage of apartments with two bedrooms or less from which to choose: the availability of both studios and one bedroom units fell by two percent, and two bedroom apartments currently make up nine percent less of what's on the market than during the previous quarter.

"The high occupancy rate we're seeing in the Chicago metro area is a sign that the city's rental market remains strong," said RentJuice CEO David Vivero. "RentJuice is striving to help real estate professionals efficiently manage the shift toward rentership by streamlining the industry's way of doing business with the most advanced technology available."

Higher Walkability at Lower Prices

Chicago renters value the ability to reach frequented destinations on foot. As the name implies, "The Windy City" often puts Chicagoans against extreme elements during their commute. Being able to walk to the store from your apartment or having a short commute to work can easily make those without this luxury of convenience jealous. One Chicago renter told us, "To determine where you want to live in Chicago, you need to ask yourself, 'How far am I willing to trudge through the snow?'"

Walkability is said to directly influence the value of properties. However, highly walkable properties don't always come at a higher price for renters. Neighborhoods such as Logan Square - Palmer Square (87.3), Hyde Park (87.4), Edgewater (89.5), Uptown (91.4), and Lakeview (91.6) have high walk scores near or above the city's overall average (90.5), but asking rents below the city's average overall ($1,378).

The Asking Rent Seesaw

In contrast to ritzy neighborhoods along the famous "Mag Mile" experiencing declines in rent, residents may be surprised to hear that apartments in many of Greater Chicago's least expensive neighborhoods aren't getting cheaper. Some of these areas actually saw significant increases in rent over the last quarter. Although those leasing in Ravenswood, Edgewater and Evanston are still forking over less than Chicago's average renter every month, these neighborhoods saw 10 percent, six percent and three percent increases in asking rent, respectively. The third least expensive neighborhood Rogers Park, on the other hand, plummeted in asking rent by 18 percent.

    Chicago Metropolitan Area: Changes in Asking Rent, Q4 2011 to Q1 2012

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Neighborhood       Q4 2011            Q1 2012            Percent Change
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Evanston            $1,159            $1196              3%
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Edgewater           $848              $903               6%
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Ravenswood         $904               $994               10%
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Rogers Park         $1,109            $913               -18%
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The RentJuice Rent Index is included as a benefit to all RentJuice users. The whitepaper and data tables are available for download at: http://info.rentjuice.com/Chicago-Rent-Index-Q1-2012.html

RentJuice is an online platform that allows property managers and landlords to instantly share their availabilities with partner companies for free to shorten vacancies and improve communication. The Company also offers a paid upgrade that provides agents, brokers and leasing offices a "virtual rental office," available from a browser, iPhone or iPad. From powering a leasing agent's Facebook page and WordPress website to offering outsourced data entry, online lease signing and automatic ad syndication to dozens of consumer websites such as HotPads, Zillow and Trulia, RentJuice makes every step of the rental marketing process simpler.

About RentJuice
RentJuice was founded in 2009 by CEO David Vivero -- recently named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Real Estate list -- and CTO Kunal Shah and is led by a team that has helped grow companies like TripIt, HubSpot, Vimeo and CollegeHumor. The Company pioneered the online software category Rental Relationship Management (RRM) and currently serves the Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York and San Francisco markets.

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