Tech sector fuels rental demand in thriving urban core. Chicago will continue to witness rent growth in 2020, lifting the average effective rent above $1,600 per month. Suburban rent growth will remain stable this year as vacancy sits below 4 percent; however, rental gains in the urban core will drive the marketwide increase. Employment growth is focused in downtown Chicago, particularly among tech firms, providing a boost to apartment demand here as vacancy has pushed down 180 basis points since 2017. Companies including Relativity, Truss and Vistex continue to add jobs, encouraging developers to meet the additional housing demand from new employees. The urban core is set to receive 65 percent of this year’s completions, with construction activity in the West Loop and Near North Side. Several inner-ring communities will also receive a portion of the new supply, such as Logan Square and Uptown, which have become viable options for renters who have been priced out of downtown Chicago. Suburban completions will be largely confined to a variety of northern cities, where demand continues to steadily increase.