by Dan Rafter
The Chicago Cubs made history this year when they won their first World Series since 1908. As you can guess, the Cub’s hometown city has changed significantly during the last 108 years. And that holds true when it comes to the city’s apartment market.
RentHop, an apartment search site, recently asked the obvious question: How has renting an apartment in Chicago changed since that long ago Cubs’ World Series win in 1908?
The answer isn’t a surprising one: It’s changed quite a bit.
According to RentHop, the median rent of a one-bedroom apartment in Chicago stood at $1,852 in October of this year. Back in 1908, the median rent of a Chicago apartment was $32.50. Adjusted for inflation, that 1908 figure equals $795.
There were other benefits to renting in 1908, too. RentHop found that the average apartment being rented in Chicago back then was larger, with most listings boasting at least five rooms. Many had as many as seven or eight. As a renter in 1908, you could expect a five-room apartment to have two to there bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room and living room. Today, the Chicago apartments average just 1.387 bedrooms, according to RentHop.
Another big difference? Back in 1908, RentHop found, there were nearly no apartment listings in Chicago’s downtown Loop area. That’s because the Loop more than a century ago was even more focused on business than it is today. RentHop found that the Near West Side had the most apartment listings in 1908, with a median rent of $25 a month, or about $610 in today’s dollars.
At the same time, Chicago’s South Side neighborhoods — especially communities such as Douglas and Grand Crossing — boasted far more listings in 1908 than they do today.