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Chicago’s Apartment Market Dynamics: Q&A with Marcus & Millichap’s David Bradley and John Sebree

March 08, 2019

In common with other state and local jurisdictions around the U.S., Illinois is considering a law that would impose rent control on apartments. Much of the impact of the Illinois law—more properly, a repeal of a 20-year ban on imposing such laws locally—would be felt in Chicago. As John Sebree (pictured above), director of Marcus & Millichap’s National Multi Housing Group, explains, the rent control measure would target affordability in workforce housing but wouldn’t really address it.

The firm has scheduled a webcast for March 20 on the question of rent control in Illinois and elsewhere. To map out the current landscape for multifamily investing in the Chicago region, Connect Media spoke with Sebree and David Bradley (below), regional manager of Marcus & Millichap’s Chicago Downtown office.

Q: Chicago apartment investing is very diverse in terms of product type and neighborhoods. What are some of the common characteristics that investors have across this market?

David Bradley: In terms of large cities around the country, Chicago is unique. We’re an importer of capital from other parts of the country and the world, and also an exporter of capital. Some people that have owned real estate here for a long time are choosing to move their money outside of the city and into other markets.

In terms of the investors buying in Chicago, I’d put them into three buckets. First is brand-new capital formation: people who have done well in other industries and other businesses and are now looking for some sort of diversification in their portfolios.

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