Chicago Multifamily Market
Renters Returning to the Urban Core as
Conversions Present a Changing Landscape
Lower-tier options back continued downtown momentum. Following suburban migration from 2020-2021, the urban core saw resumed popularity last year. At the beginning of 2023, the city’s CBD — comprising of the Loop and adjacent neighborhoods — maintained a vacancy rate 80 basis points below its five-year average. This trend is partially supported by Class A demand, recording tighter availability and stronger year-over-year rental rate gains than the mid-tier segment entering the second quarter. As companies increasingly encourage in-person and hybrid work schedules, preferences for shorter commute times likely reflect a continued rise in downtown Chicago apartment leasing activity. The Lincoln Park-Lakeview area is a prime example, having registered a triple-digit-basis-point drop in Class A availability year-over-year in the first quarter.