I've written before that no source of rent rates in Chicago is entirely accurate. But let's be quite honest – if Craigslist ever released the stats on the rent rates of listings posted to their site we'd come pretty close. Over 2500 apartment listings appear on Craigslist every day. Many of them are duplicates and some of them are fake, but they do have the most listings in the city.
So I decided to create a script that checks the rent rates on … well, let's not say that I checked Craigslist. Because using automated methods to crawl through Craigslist is completely against their terms of service. I coded up a crawler that browsed through apartment listings site that was absolutely NOT Craigslist.
This crawler grabbed the last 2500 listings posted in a day, and then crawled through each of them (automatically waiting between 5 and 15 seconds per page) to grab the rent rate, bedroom count, latitude and longitude. It discarded any listings that didn't have maps. I ran it 2-3 times a week for a month, starting around 5-6 pm each time. It captured data from 13,356 listings, which I then sorted by neighborhood and averaged.
I then cross-indexed it against my database of neighborhood boundaries to come up with a bunch of maps. They're quite large, so I've posted them on a separate page. Included are color-coded maps of both rent rates and total listings available, broken down by individual Chicago neighborhood and by apartment size.
Share and Enjoy!
RentConfident is a Chicago startup that provides renters with the in-depth information they need to choose safe apartments. Help us reach more renters! Like, Share and Retweet us!