Apartment Performance in Champaign-Urbana Bucks National Trend

  in   Insights

Champaign-Urbana bucked the trend of increasing vacancies seen across much of the U.S. in September. Occupancy in this market located about two hours outside of Chicago climbed a significant 80 basis points (bps) month-over-month and 70 basis points year-over-year to 97.8%, a top five national performance. September’s occupancy rate also outpaced the market’s five-year average by about 200 bps and was roughly 300 bps ahead of the Midwest average (95%) and U.S. norm (94.4%). A strong renter pool helps to fuel demand in this small market which is home to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The metropolitan area boasts a population of more than 236,800 people based on 2021 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, with around 57,000 students enrolled at the university. According to data from RealPage Market Analytics, there are 27,190 existing apartments in this small market which includes nearly 8,500 student competitive beds (conventional beds within close proximity to campus, often leased by students). If we focus on student competitive beds, occupancy proves even stronger at 98.4%. Such hefty demand fosters rent growth across the market. Although rent growth has fallen from the record high of 11.8% reached in January 2023, operators still pushed rents a strong 5.4% in September, above the market’s five-year average (3.6%). Yet, despite consistent increases over the past 34 months, rents in Champaign-Urbana ($988) remain reasonably priced at more than $800 below the U.S. norm ($1,821) as of September.