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Does Healthy Growth Mean Less Affordability in Chicago?

by James F. McClister

Rising home prices are indicative of a healing housing market, but some Chicagoland buyers are finding they can’t afford as much as they used to.

In the throes of recovery, Chicagoland buyers have grown somewhat accustom to affordable housing – not that they’ve had the inventory to act on it. In recent months, home prices have begun ebbing their way back to normal levels, which is an expected symptom of a steady recovery. However, as home prices continue to rise, the city’s buyers are finding more and more that properties are appreciating beyond their price range.

The Housing Affordability Index, compiled in a collaborative effort by the Chicago Association of Realtors, Midwest Real Estate Data and 10K Research and Marketing, tracks income levels compared with home prices, using a measure of 100 to signify a household with an income roughly in line with what it takes to qualify for a median-priced home. In June 2012, the HAI for detached single-family homes in Chicago was 191, and 137 for attached single-family homes. Check out our inforgram below to see how things have changed!

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