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Gift Cards and Ride Sharing Codes are Some of Chicago's Most Popular Move-in Specials
Gift cards make up 14 percent of move-in specials in the Chicago area, while ride sharing codes account for almost 10 percent

SAN FRANCISCO, May 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Renters searching for a new apartment in Chicago will find nearly 18 percent more move-in specials now compared to last year, including rent discounts, gift cards, ride sharing codes and free streaming service subscriptions, according to a HotPads® analysis.i

HotPads analyzed apartment listing descriptions in the Chicago metro area to find the number of listings mentioning concessions, or move-in specials offered to renters signing new leases. More than 67 percent of listings with move-in specials in Chicago offer rent discounts for those who sign a new lease, while more than 14 percent offer gift cards.

Other common offers include free rent for a period of time, waived deposits or fees, cash bonuses and gift cards. Renters can expect to find move-in specials in about 1 in 100 Chicago area rental listings.

The median rent in Chicago is $1,757, up 2 percent from a year ago. The median rent has not increased by more than $100 in nearly two years.ii Flattening rent growth and a rise in the number of move-in specials can come from similar changes in the market – both can be caused by an influx of new supply or a decrease in demand.

"As rent in Chicago remains steady and property managers look to attract qualified renters to their listings, the number of move-in specials is on the rise," said Joshua Clark, economist at HotPads. "In Chicago, move-in deals are more common at the high end of the market, where demand is lower and supply is higher, especially because new construction is typically priced at the higher end. Renters looking to capitalize on this growing trend are more likely to find move-in specials in Chicago's northern suburban cities, but they are also becoming more common in the city's northern neighborhoods."

Move-in specials are offered in 39 percent of Crest Hill, IL rental listings -- far more than any other city in the Chicago metro. Gift cards are more common than any other concession in Crest Hill, followed by discounts on rent. Gift cards are the most popular perk for renters in Chicago's University Village/Little Italy neighborhood, where 1 in 10 rental listings mention a lease-signing bonus.

HotPads is a Zillow Group-owned apartment and home search platform for renters in urban areas across the United States. For more information on Chicago's rental market, visit

Rental Concessions by City


Median Rent

Percent of Listings Offering
Concessions, Q1 2018

Most Popular Concession

Chicago Metro



Rent discounts

Crest Hill, IL



Gift cards

Naperville, IL



Rent discounts

Glenview, IL



Rent discounts

Heights, IL



Rent discounts

Heights, IL



Rent discounts

Schaumburg, IL



Gift cards

Waukegan, IL



Rent discounts

Aurora, IL



Rent discounts

Chicago, IL (city)



Rent discounts

Oak Park, IL



Rent discounts


Rental Concessions in the Chicago Metro


Percent of Listings Offering
Concessions, Q1 2018

YoY Change

All rentals













HotPads is an efficient rental search platform for urban areas across the United States, with features designed for competitive markets such as map-based search, real-time notifications and detailed information on landlords and property managers that help renters spend less time searching and more time feeling excited about their next home.

Launched in 2005, HotPads is based in San Francisco and is owned and operated by Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:Z and ZG).

HotPads is a registered trademark of Zillow, Inc.

i HotPads analyzed apartment listing descriptions in the Chicago metro area to find the number of listings mentioning concessions in the first quarter of 2018. For the purpose of this analysis, concessions were defined as perks in the rental listing description offered to renters signing a new lease. The full list of concessions analyzed includes: free rent (i.e. mentions of free weeks/months of rent, or listings mentioning "no rent for" a length of time), waived deposits, cash bonuses, gift cards, no rent increases for a length of time, ride sharing promo codes, and free streaming service subscriptions (including Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime).
ii Chicago rents have remained in the $1,700 to $1,800 range for the last 22 months

SOURCE Hotpads, Inc.

For further information: Lauren Thompson, HotPads,