When we last checked in on the Chicago rental market in January, the Windy City ranked as the 12th most expensive market in the nation for lessees. Since then, Zumper data shows Chicago renters getting a bit of a break. The city now comes in 16th place out of the top 100 largest markets in the U.S.

RentCafé, a website that exclusively advertises apartments and gathers accurate prices directly from property management databases, puts the average apartment rent in Chicago at $1,795 per month, down from $1,821 per month just one year ago.

Nearly a third of all Chicago apartments cost $2,000 or more per month. The most expensive neighborhoods this month are River North ($2,483), River West ($2,450), Streeterville ($2,427), the Loop ($2,419) and Lakeshore East ($2,417).

Chicago apartment prices by unit size

Currently, studios in apartment complexes cost an average $1,248 per month for 474 square feet, one beds an average $1,761 per month for 687 square feet, two beds an average $2,372 per month for 1,001 square feet, and three beds an average $2,670 per month for 1,329 square feet.

All unit sizes dropped in price by 1 to 2 percentage points since last year, except for three bed prices, which rose a more dramatic 9 percent. Last May, three-bedroom apartments for rent in Chicago were listed at an average monthly rate of $2,636.

How much does a studio apartment in Chicago cost?

Studios in River North cost $1,729 per month – nearly $500 above the citywide average. However, River North studio apartments aren’t even the most expensive in the city. That title belongs to the Loop, where renters spend $1,825 per month for studio apartments, on average.

Out of all the major downtown neighborhoods, Gold Coast studios are most affordable at an average price of $1,482 per month. Head a little farther north to Old Town and the average studio costs $1,385 per month. In neighborhoods like Bucktown, Logan Square, Lincoln Park, Roscoe Village and Lakeview, studio prices average between $1,109 to $1,172 per month.

How much does a 1 bedroom apartment in Chicago cost?

Renting a studio is a great way to save, but some renters need a little more definition between their sleeping quarters and living space. Right now, River North holds the most expensive average one bedroom ($2,381), followed by River West ($2,337) and Fulton Market ($2,252). Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village tie for third at an average $2,243 per month. In nearly all of the neighborhoods closest to the Loop, one bedroom apartments will set you back at least $2,000 a month and up.

If you’re looking to cut costs without sacrificing proximity to downtown, consider South Loop, where renters spend an average $1,756 per month for true one-bedroom apartment layouts.  Although slightly farther north, one bedroom apartments in Lincoln Park are priced even better at an average $1,691 per month.

How much does a 2 bedroom apartment in Chicago cost?

Streeterville is the priciest place to rent a two-bedroom unit right now. Expect to spend around $3,535 per month. Predictably, the average two-bed apartment in River North is nearly as expensive at $3,453 per month. Other pricey two bed locales include Lakeshore East ($3,400), River West ($3,369), Fulton Market ($3,297) and Gold Coast ($3,157).

Although seemingly steep, a two-bedroom in River North split between two people comes to about $1,727 per person, which is why upgrading to a larger layout and sharing the rent is a smart savings tactic – even in the costliest communities. You’ll spend over $650 more per month to lease the average one-bedroom apartment in River North alone compared to splitting a two-bedroom with a roommate, family member or significant other.

If you prefer to keep your two-bed budget under $3k, consider Printer’s Row in the South Loop, where layouts of this size currently cost an average $2,893 per month. Apartments in West Loop ($2,898), Bucktown ($2,810), Wicker Park ($2,673) and Old Town ($2,725) are also considerably more affordable, yet still near the urban core. The least expensive two beds in the downtown area fall within Lakeview ($2,199), Roscoe Village ($2,368) and South Loop ($2,335).

Meanwhile, three bedrooms in Streeterville are steepest at $5,634 per month, followed by River North at $5,548 per month. While three beds in Lakeshore East, the Loop, Old Town, Lincoln Park, and Fulton Market District cost under $5k per month, you can also find less expensive apartments of this size in Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village (both $3,555). Three beds farther north in Lakeview and Wrigleyville are even less at an average $3,173 per month.


Thinking about renting in Chicago but don’t know where to start? Z Chicago has access to thousands of rentals and the know-how to help you navigate the rental market with ease. Whether you prefer to rent a private condo with a little more space or a luxury apartment chock full of amenities, we’re here to help!