"Tight" renters market in central Illinois

By WEEK Producer

October 17, 2012 Updated Oct 17, 2012 at 6:44 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- More people are choosing to rent than at any time in recent history, resulting in fewer vacancies driving up rental prices.

Dick Burke is the senior vice-president of Apartments.com and says people looking to rent need to do their homework.

He suggests getting online and checking with people you trust, such as friends and relatives, for information they might have about affordable vacancies.

Burke says the market is the tightest he's seen in a long time.

"Nationally vacancy rates are about 3 or 4 percent right now, historically they're 6, 7 8 percent," said Burke. "There aren't that many empty units and when there aren't that many empty units prices tend to go up. That said, you've got to be smart and you've got to put your time in and you've got to be flexible. You can find the good ones but you've got to look for it."

Burke adds that compared to other markets Peoria rental prices are reasonable.

He says the average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment in Peoria is about $645.