Large Number of Chicagoland Owners Face Housing Cost Burdens

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Cost burdens have become commonplace in housing, and they’re especially pronounced in the nation’s largest metro areas.

The housing market has bounced back in a major way the last couple years, but it’s introduced us to a most unsavory of concepts – cost burdens.

Simply, it’s a matter of rising costs and stagnating incomes. Though home prices have risen by double-digit amounts nationwide since 2012 (and at all price levels), consumer incomes have been mostly flat; as a result, consumers have been devoting larger and larger shares of their income to housing costs, with many devoting as much as 50 percent of their monthly incomes.

How many consumers in Chicago, though, face cost burdens? To find out, see our graph below, which utilizes fresh data from the Join Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, which factored in mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, any homeowner association or condominium fees and utilities.

Also, stay tuned for another story later this week on the larger implications of cost burdens.

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