Wealthier Renters on the Rise in Chicago – Is Buying a Home the More Affordable Option?

If you want to rent an apartment in downtown Chicago, be prepared to pay up. It’s not cheap to rent in the center of the city.  Maybe that’s why the number of affluent renters in the city is on the rise.


A recent report by RENTCafe found that the number of affluent renters — those who earn more than $150,000 a year — rose by 36 percent in 2015. At the same time, the number of affluent home buyers rose by just 9 percent, according to RENTCafe.


RENTCafe reported, too, that Chicago is now home to more than 33,000 high-income renters. That is the fourth highest number in the nation.


What does this mean to me? First, it shows that people want to live in downtown Chicago and its surrounding neighborhoods. People are not renting there because they have to. They are renting in downtown Chicago because they want to.


Secondly, it shows me, too, that rents in the most desirable locations in the city are continuing to rise. One of the reasons why there are so many high-end renters is because so many of these apartment units are expensive enough so that only affluent renters can afford them.


Finally, the RENTCafe story tells me that now is a better time than ever to buy a home in Chicago instead of renting.


There’s long been a debate over whether it makes more financial sense to buy a home or rent an apartment. Sometimes, the financial arguments are fairly close. Today, though, that’s not the case. Renting is far more expensive today. That’s partly because rents are so high in urban areas like the center of Chicago.


But you should also look at mortgage interest rates. They remain at historically low levels. That makes borrowing money for a mortgage loan far less expensive, and also reduces greatly the cost of buying a home.


So if you do want to live in Chicago, contact a city REALTOR®. This professional can help you find the right home at that price. A REALTOR® can help you determine, too, whether it’s financially smarter to buy in your preferred Chicago neighborhood or rent.