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CHICAGO-Marcus & Millichap senior vice president Greg A. Moyer is closing on his second “6-cap” multifamily deal of 2001. That pretty much sums up the heady market in the sector here.

Other sectors, particularly suburban office, might be in the midst of a recession of sorts as corporations lay off workers, cutting down on the amount of space needed, sometimes shedding square footage they leased no more than a year ago. But despite negative absorption in the office sector, the area continues to experience a net increase in jobs.

“We’re still adding jobs; I have news for you,” says Moyer, adding that job growth has outstripped rental housing production for a decade. “We have not kept up with new construction.”

Still, why would buyers acquire properties at capitalization rates lower than current interest rates—-just above 7% for apartments–especially if they plan to continue operating them as rental properties?

“Buyers will pay 100, 150 basis points lower because they know they can raise their rents,” Moyer says. “If you have a building with a cap of 8%, you’d have 10 offers on it.”

Locally, the North Side is far and away the hottest submarket, flames by the hot Near North Side and Downtown areas. Some are starting to question whether the Downtown area has seen enough condominium development. While Moyer concedes there is a risk there, it does not carry over to the rental side of the multifamily picture.

Otherwise, the Lake, DuPage and northwest Cook county submarkets are the next best bets, especially in suburbs along Metra commuter rail lines. through.

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