Negative Equity Persists in Chicagoland in a Mega Way

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Though home prices have risen, negative equity continues to affect many homeowners – though not equally.

Home prices have risen in dramatic ways the last couple of years, but quite a few properties remain in negative equity in both the national and our local housing market, according to new research from Zillow.

Using what it calls the “effective” negative equity rate – meaning, the percentage of homeowners with a mortgage who are unable to sell their home and cover the expenses of not only listing their home, but also securing a downpayment for another home – Zillow found that a whopping 45 percent of Chicagoland properties are in negative equity.

Beyond the macro level, though, negative equity also continues to affect the lower end of Chicagoland’s marketplace in a disproportionate way, with 44.8 percent of properties in the lower price brackets still in negative equity (compared with just 12.9 percent of the upper price bracket).

To see how this plays out in other major metro markets, see our graph below to find out:

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