TurboTenant Report: The Best Places to Buy Rental Investment Property in Illinois

best places for rental investment in illinois

In this edition of The TurboTenant report, we will be focusing on the best places to buy an investment property in Illinois. Three towns made our list: Rockford, Aurora, and Cicero. We curated data from studies on the best places to buy an investment property, median sale prices, and proprietary TurboTenant data. The TurboTenant Data includes stats on the average number of leads a rental property received, as well as the average number of days on the market. These two points will help an investor determine the strength of the rental market, as well as estimating potential vacancy rates.

Illinois is in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Illinois has been considered a microcosm of the entire U.S. It has a diverse economic base with Chicago in the northeastern part of the state, large amounts of agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, as well as small industrial cities. Let us not forget about Da Bears, The Bulls, The Cubs, The White Socks, and The Chicago Blackhawks. Illinois has their professional sports teams covered. Not to mention the second oldest baseball field in the nation, Wrigley Field.

Two of our cities on the list are suburbs of Chicago, Cicero, and Aurora, and our third and number one pick, Rockford is located in northern Illinois. The average rent and median home prices are strong in all cities, population growth has leveled or is down a bit in a few of our picks, but with very strong leads and low days on the market, they still made our list. Let’s take a closer look at the best places to buy a rental investment property in the Land of Lincoln.

#3: Cicero, IL

The Town of Cicero is one of the oldest and largest municipalities in Illinois. The town is named after the Roman statesman of the First Century B.C., Marcus Tullius Cicero. It is a suburb of Chicago with a population of roughly 84,000. One of Chicago’s famous gangsters, Al Capone, escaped to Cicero after building his crime empire. While population growth is down a bit, the median sale price is just under $200k, with an average rent amount of $1145. Cicero comes in second for the average number of leads and days on market, but in this case, second is not the first loser – at 134 on the leads front and an average of 5 days on market, it’s a very, very close second. There is no escaping Cicero’s investment potential.

  • Population growth: -2%
  • Employment growth: 0.0%
  • Increase in home values: -.8%
  • Median Sale Price: $198k
  • Average Rent: $1145
  • Average Number of Leads per Property:134
  • Number of days on the rental market: 5

#2: Aurora, IL

Aurora is an outer suburb of Chicago. It is the second-most populous city in the state with just under 200k residents. Aurora is known as the “City of Lights” and earned the nickname because it was one of the first cities in the United States to implement an all-electric street lighting system in 1881. Aurora is around 37 miles from Chicago and stretches out to four counties: Kane, Kendall, Will, and DuPage and its historic downtown is located on the Fox River. Aurora lights the way in leads per property at 136 and comes in at just under two weeks for the average number of days on the market. Home values are up 4.6% year over year, and with a median sale price of $205k and an average monthly rent of $1433 the investment potential is bright.

  • Population growth: -.6%
  • Employment growth: 0%
  • Increase in home values: 4.6%
  • Median Sale Price: $205k
  • Average Rent: $1433
  • Average Number of Leads per Property: 136
  • Number of days on the rental market: 13

#1: Rockford, IL

Rockford, our number one rental investment choice is located in northern Illinois and sits on the Rock River. Rockford is known as the “Forest City” because of the varied and abundant gardens that inhabit the city. It works hard to keep up the reputation of the “City of Gardens” and boasts one of the top Japanese gardens in North America, Anderson Japanese Gardens. Rockford’s home values have increased 34% year over year! The median sale price is very affordable at just under 100k and rents are strong at $745. With an average number of days on the market the lowest on the list at 4, and leads impressively hovering over 50 per property, the City of Gardens is a strong pick for your next rental investment property.

  • Population growth: -.8%
  • Employment growth: 0.0%
  • Increase in home values: 34%
  • Median Sale Price: $95k
  • Average Rent: $745
  • Average Number of Leads per Property: 53
  • Number of days on the rental market: 4

Once you’ve landed the perfect investment property in a good location, TurboTenant can help take your landlording into the digital world by streamlining the rental process with easy and free online rental applications as well as thorough tenant screening so you can find the best renter for your property.

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About the TurboTenant Report

The TurboTenant Report analyzes data from active listings across all 50 states, as well as third party real estate, population and employment growth data. Our goal with the TurboReport is to empower seasoned and novice investors to make wise purchasing decisions when purchasing a rental investment property. For more information or custom data requests, please contact [email protected].


In order to determine the best cities to invest in each state, we curated data from a number of reputable sources as well as using TurboTenant proprietary data. Our main city selections were taken from a study that evaluated four main factors for each city: employment growth, population growth, increase in home values and rental yield. We combined that with TurboTenant data on the average rent price, the number of rental leads per property, as well as the average number of days the rental stays on the market.

We also included an honorable mention where applicable. They are pulled from this study on the best places to invest in every state. These were determined using Zillow’s Buyer-Seller Index and Zillow Home Value Forecast, and AreaVibes’ Livability Score. Other methods for determining honorable mentions include using TurboTenant proprietary data to determine which cities return the best rental investment R.O.I. using data points including days on market, the number of leads per property, and average rent price.

DISCLAIMER: TurboTenant, Inc does not provide legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. All users are advised to check all applicable local, state and federal laws and consult legal counsel should questions arise.


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