Affordable housing is a persistent issue in the Chicago region – and the percent of affordable homes has dropped in the last four quarters:
Housing affordability in the Chicago area just took its biggest quarterly tumble since early 2005.
During the year’s third quarter, 63.7 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the area were affordable to families earning the area median income of $73,400, according to the most recent National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo home affordability index.
The index put the median home price in the Chicago area at $210,000.
That compares with the 70.6 percent of homes being considered affordable during the second quarter. It was the fourth consecutive quarterly slip in local affordability. This latest decline was the most dramatic since the change recorded from the first to second quarters of 2005.
While this is a shift as home prices rise, it is a reminder of the bigger issue: the Chicago area has a long-term problem with affordable housing. This is the case in the city of Chicago as well as suburban areas. This isn’t just an issue of people being able to find decent housing; it is related to businesses being able to find workers (who don’t have to travel ridiculous distances from housing they can afford), people being able to access good school districts (which are often related to higher housing values), and whether there is continued residential segregation where those of certain racial and ethnic groups can’t live in certain areas.