The rental market gets tighter

893 Elm, Winnetka IL

We've been tracking the MLS-listed inventory of homes and condos offered for rent in Chicago's North Shore communities every week for the last 51 weeks. This week the inventory reached a new low of 234, despite the addition of 30 new listings.

The number of rentals peaked at 377 in August of last year and now stands 38% below that level.

A number of the homes available for rent have lingered on the for-sale market for years and are being offered at rents significantly lower than the cost of ownership - at least at current asking prices.

The 5-bedroom, 4 ½ bath home on a 50 x 187 lot at 893 Elm in Winnetka, for example, was just listed for rent at $5,750. It has been offered for sale since October of 2007, and is currently listed at $1,575,000 after serial price reductions. The rent vs buy calculation is clearly skewed in favor of renting.

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The home is half a block from Winnetka's Elm Street shops and restaurants, and two blocks from a Metra station.

Prudential Rubloff's Alla Kimbarovsky has the listings.

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