Luxury Living Chicago, a high-volume real estate brokerages focusing on the luxury market, compiled data on its work in 2015, noting trends and price points that the market will bear. Their primary findings related to the top reasons renters chose a specific home. Location and price were the most popular driving factors, with apartment finishes coming in just after those top two.

  • Luxury Living Chicago, a high-volume real estate brokerages focusing on the luxury market, compiled data on its work in 2015, noting trends and price points that the market will bear.
  • Location and price were the most popular driving factors, with apartment finishes coming in just after those top two.
  • The psychological barrier of $2,500 for a well-appointed one-bedroom unit was broken.

Luxury Living Chicago, a high-volume real estate brokerages focusing on the luxury rental market, compiled data on its work in 2015, noting trends and price points that the market will bear.

Their primary findings related to the top reasons renters chose a specific home. Location and price were the most popular driving factors, with apartment finishes coming in just after those top two.

When making a selection based on location, 15.8 percent of the brokerage’s clients chose their apartment because of its proximity to work. Another 21 percent made their choice based on the neighborhood, with the most popular neighborhood being River North.

Average luxury rental price

The brokerage reports and average company rental price of $2,577, slightly more than the $2,565 recorded in 2014. Two-thirds of its rentals were a combination of studios, junior one-bedrooms/convertibles and one-bedroom apartments.

Renters are paying more on average for their units, with the newest apartments being the most expensive. Young professionals who choose to live downtown are willing to pay for a luxury apartment with quality finishes in the best location.

And, the brokerage believes that the psychological hurdle of the $2,500 price point for a well-appointed one bedroom has been overcome.

Now the barrier is closer to $3,000.

What else do we know about these renters?

  • Sixty percent of the brokerage’s luxury renters are living on their own and 32 percent were couples. Only a small number had children living with them.
  • Nearly 50 percent are relocating to downtown Chicago for work, as many corporate headquarters are moving their offices into the city.
  • Average tour time is 36 days before move-in date.  
  • Clients see an average of four properties before choosing a unit.
  • More than half required a parking spot, and of this number all clients rented a parking spot on site in an attached garage.
  • While 34 percent of studio or convertible renters own a car, 55 percent of one- bedroom and 68 percent of one-bedroom plus dens renters have cars.
  • In larger units, 78 percent of two-bedroom renters own a car and 93 percent of three-bedroom renters have at least one vehicle.
  • About 19 percent of renters at Class A buildings in downtown Chicago have dogs. Luxury renters with dogs pay an average of $334 more in monthly rent, since dog owners tend to rent larger units.

In the way of prognostication, the brokerage says that it sees tremendous opportunity in the market for developers to build more one-bedroom plus den apartments. In a market where it is starting to make more sense to buy a two-bedroom condo versus renting a one-bedroom-plus could keep people in the rental market longer.

Luxury Living Chicago Realty rented more than 500 luxury apartments in the immediate downtown Chicago neighborhoods, which is 20 percent of the downtown apartment rentals in 2015.

Email Kimberley Sirk.

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