The Real Deal Chicago

Chicago is the second-most affordable big city to buy a home: report

The data compares 20 cities nationwide to their own price history
October 16, 2018 09:00AM

Bungalows in Chicago (Credit: iStock)

Chicago is the second-most affordable place to buy a house right now in the United States, and it’s expected to remain buyer-friendly for the next few years.

Of the 20 largest cities nationwide, only St. Louis is more affordable, according to data from consulting firm John Burns Real Estate. Crain’s reported the results.

Home buying will become increasingly difficult in other major cities, most notably New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Seattle. But the firm sees Chicago remaining affordable through late 2021.

Chicago’s housing market remains among the slowest-growing in major U.S. cities for most of the past two years, as tracked by the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices. Adding to the bad news, it has more than twice as many homeowners who are underwater on their mortgage than the national average.

The John Burns data compares cities to their own price history, figuring in variables such as incomes, home prices and employment growth, both past and projected.

Using that data, the monthly payment on a median-priced Chicago home will stay in the range of 23 percent to 24 percent of the median household income though late 2021. To compare, housing costs ate up 35 percent of income during the housing boom.

One recent report showed the expensive-home market has leading the way, with sales of homes valued at $500,000 or above growing substantially year over year. But that increase came at the expense of more moderately priced home sales, which declined, according to Re/Max. [Crain’s] — John O’Brien