Chicago may be home to almost three million residents but it's also one of the most expensive cities in which to live, with rents increasing eight percent over the past year. However, other cities in Illinois have experienced similar rate hikes, too.
Renters in these cities are drawn to the rich amenities, as well as convenient access to transportation and are still living comfortably and paying between $750 and $2,000 each month for a roof above their heads.
Here's a look at the 10 Illinois cities and towns where rent is increasing the most.
Rental apartments in Mundelein run around $1,212 per month on average, an increase of six percent over the past year. Located 33 miles northwest of Chicago, the Potowatami Indians were among the early settlers back in 1650. Today, approximately almost 32,000 residents call it home.
Fun fact: At one point, Mundelein was called Rockefeller.
Once a rural community, Glendale Heights is a relatively new city when it incorporated as Glendale in 1959 (the name would later be changed to Glendale Heights since a city in southern Illinois already claimed Glendale as its name).
Today, the modern residential suburban community features ranch homes and split levels among apartments and condos. Children enjoy its neighborhood parks and adults can play a round of golf at the Glendale Lakes Golf Club. Apartments average $1,186 per month, an increase of nearly eight percent from last year.
Fun fact: History enthusiasts can step back 100 years and see how families used working pumps in the kitchen and oil burning light fixtures when they tour the Glendale Heights Historic House, built in 1888, during the summer.
As of 2016, 2.7 million people called Chicago home, making it the third largest city in the United States, behind New York City and Los Angeles. Apartment rents really range in the city but expect to pay about $1,956 per month.
It's entirely possible not to need a car to get around Chicago since most of the city is accessible via public transportation, whether it's the el train, buses, DIVVY bikes and, most recently, scooters.
It's a city of neighborhoods, each with its own personality and cuisine local to the area since immigrants settled in specific neighborhoods upon arriving in Chicago to connect with family and friends.
Fun fact: The world's first skyscraper was erected in Chicago in 1884-1885.
Wayne and Garth in "Wayne's World" once called Aurora home. The city 35 miles west of Chicago includes other notable homes, among them properties built by Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe and Bruce Goff.
You don't need to be an architecture buff to appreciate what Aurora has to offer its residents, which includes a Riverfront Playhouse Theater, First Fridays, which feature a night full of fun, art and music, and Raging Waves, Illinois' largest waterpark. Expect to spend around $1,111 per month for an apartment here, an increase of nine percent from last year.
Fun fact: Aurora was one of the first in the country to illuminate its streets with electric lights.
Nature lovers will have fun exploring any of the 23 miles of paths and trails. The Great Western Trail runs through Carol Stream, adding another 61 miles of hiking, biking, equestrian and nature paths.
A relatively new village of DuPage County, having incorporated in 1959, it's now home to almost 40,000 residents and the average rent for an apartment is $1053.
Fun fact: Some people think Carol Stream was named for a local waterway but it's actually one of the few communities which took its name from the first and last names of a living person. Carol Stream is the daughter of the city's founder, Jay Stream.
Easy access to public transportation and expressways, a diverse housing market and range of cultural arts, entertainment and recreational activities make Elgin an attractive city to live. Just 38 miles northwest of Chicago, it's home to more than 112,000 residents and an apartment costs an average $1,329 per month to rent.
Fun fact: The Elgin Watch Company (formerly the National Watch Company) sold more than 600,000 watches, almost one-third of the market share, by 1907. The Elgin National Watch Company Observatory was built in 1910 to measure time more accurately than other facilities in the U.S. Today, it's the Elgin U-46 Planetarium.
Villa Park united two subdivisions of 300 people in 1914 and was sustained in large part to the Ovaltine chocolate factory, which helped it grow by supplying jobs. While the factory closed in 1988, the small town feel of this village, coupled with strong schools, recreational facilities and access to transportation, make it an attractive home for its 22,517 residents. Apartment rents average $1,230 per month, an increase of 11 percent from last year.
Fun fact: There are only two street lights and no parks in Villa Park, CA, not to be mistaken with Villa Park, IL, which includes several within its 4.6 square miles of village land.
Des Plaines is conveniently located five minutes from O'Hare International Airport, near the Kennedy Expressway and has an active downtown with a Metra train stop that can have residents in Chicago within 33 minutes.
The bustling city offers plenty of indoor and outdoor activities, whether it's picking up a book from the beautiful Des Plaines Public Library, checking out a new exhibit at the Des Plaines Historical Museum or hitting some golf balls at the golf course.
Nearly 100 restaurants offer a range of cuisine, from American fare to Greek, Polish and Mexican to Asian and Middle Eastern. Expect to pay around $1,337 per month for an apartment.
Fun fact: Des Plaines was named after the Des Plaines River, which runs near the city's downtown area.
Conveniently situated near the expressway, Wheeling features many of the amenities one appreciates in a small town, including parks, shopping centers and year-round special events, but offers easy and quick ride into Chicago for work or other attractions.
Nearby attractions include Six Flags Great America, Chicago Botanic Garden and Arlington Park Race Track. The average monthly rent in Wheeling is $1,679, an increase of 20 percent from last year.
Fun fact: Wheeling, located 30 miles from downtown Chicago, once served as an overnight stop for Chicago travelers heading to Wisconsin. Today's Restaurant Row of Wheeling used to house a number of taverns, inns and eateries to accommodate weary travelers. Today, it's a popular dining destination located along the west bank of the Des Plaines River.
Located in central Illinois, Bloomington is home to Illinois State University (technically in neighboring Normal), Illinois Wesleyan University and State Farm has its headquarters here. Since it's so close to Normal, the area affords its residents two cities and lifestyles to enjoy.
Turn-of-the-century storefronts house boutiques and mom-and-pop eateries and the cultural institutions, whether it's thanks to the universities or museums and libraries, provide plenty of things to do year-round, including a robust artist community. Nearly 78,000 residents live in Bloomington today and apartment rentals run about $752 a month, an increase of 21 percent from last year.
Fun fact: America's first Steak and Shake opened in 1934 in neighboring Normal, IL. While it started as a gas station with a chicken restaurant attached, Gus and Edith Belt realized their town had too many chicken restaurants so it changed their main entrée to steak burgers. Today, the original location has become a pizza joint between Bloomington and Normal but Steak and Shake lives on in almost 500 locations throughout 22 states.
In total, we found 30 cities in Illinois where rent prices have increased compared to last year. Here's the full list.
|Rank||City||State||Average 1-BR Rent||YoY Price Trend|
|25||Elk Grove Village||IL||$1,145.55||0.90%|
Fortunately for renters, there are plenty of desirable communities in Illinois where prices are holding steady or actually dropping from the previous year. Here are the 15 cities where we found decreasing prices.
|Rank||City||State||Average 1-BR Rent||YoY Price Trend|
The rent information included in this article is based on multifamily rental property inventory on ApartmentGuide.com and Rent.com from June 2018 to June 2019 and is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.
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