Chicago ranked one of the top cities in the nation to buy vs. rent

by John Yellig

Chicago is among 18 of the 50 largest U.S. cities where it’s better to buy a home than rent one, according to a new analysis

Chicago’s price-to-rent ratio puts it at No. 3 among the 50 most-populous cities in the study from real estate data firm Clever. The ratio compares the cost of buying a home to the cost of renting; a ratio of 15 or lower means it’s better to buy, while 21 or higher means it’s better to rent. Ratios in between 15 and 21 indicate the buy/rent decision may depend on individual circumstances, Clever said. 

Chicago has a ratio of 12, alongside Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Cleveland, making up the top four cities for buying. The top three cities for renting are San Jose, California; San Francisco; and Seattle. 

Chicago’s average monthly rent payment is $1,874, while the average monthly mortgage payment — with a 6.8% mortgage rate — is $1,828. Chicago’s average home value is $279,202, compared to the national average of $417,936.  

Looking back, Chicago’s typical home price has soared in the last seven years. In 2016, the typical monthly rent in Chicago was $1,468, while the typical home value was $188,180. 

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