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How Much You Need to Earn to Buy a Home in Chicago: $54,346, Report Says

By DNAinfo Staff | February 24, 2015 2:04pm | Updated on February 24, 2015 2:56pm
 Chicago is the 12th most-expensive metro area in a new study that looks at home prices and income.
Chicago is the 12th most-expensive metro area in a new study that looks at home prices and income.
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DOWNTOWN — A new report sets $54,356 as the annual salary needed to buy a typical home in the Chicago area.

The study, by HSH.com, puts the median home price in the Chicago area at $195,100. The monthly payment for principal and interest would be $1,286, according to the report's author, Tim Manni.

HSH.com used fourth quarter sales data from the National Association of Realtors and rates for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage to develop its findings. It also figured in property taxes and insurance and assumed the buyer would start with a 20 percent down payment.

If personal debts eat up more than 8 percent of monthly gross income, a higher income would be needed to buy a home, the report said.

The Chicago area's annual salary requirement came in 12th among HSH.com's 27 metro areas.

San Francisco is "the king of inaffordability," where buyers needed an annual salary of $142,448 to cover the median home priced of $742,900.

"Remember, in the city itself, a one-bedroom condo can easily run you upwards of $900,000," Manni writes.

The most affordable of the 27 metro areas was Pittsburgh, with an annual salary of $31,716 needed to buy a home with a median sale price of $135,000.

Analyzing the data, Quentin Fotrell of marketwatch.com says that while the economy has improved, "home ownership is still out of reach for many Americans because they simple don't earn enough."

Fotrell says the median income nationally was $54,414 in December — not enough to buy a typical house in 11 of the 27 metro areas examined by HSH.com.

A report by the Illinois Association of Realtors released Monday said the median sales price of a condo in the city of Chicago was $285,000, and the median sales price of a single-family home was $163,275.

The median sale price means half of the homes sold for more, and half sold for less.

A list of all the cities examined by HSH.com, a New Jersey-based mortgage information company, is available here.

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