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Salary of Nearly $53K Needed for Chicago Homes

By Randi Petrello

Just how much money do you have to make to buy a home here in Chicago? Not as much as you’d expect, according to a recent report.

The report from, publisher of mortgage and consumer loan information, found that residents of the Windy City need to earn a salary of $52,866.88 in order to afford the principal and interest payments on a home here. That’s down $1,699.83 from the previous quarter, the report said.

Home prices are on the decline here, so the required salary fell, as well, the report said. The average home price here is $176,900, down 5.45 percent from the previous quarter. Mortgage rates are at 4.52 percent, making the monthly payment on a home about $1,233.56, according to the report.

Zillow’s Home Value Index shows values here have increased nearly 10 percent to $182,300, as of the end of April. The median list price is $259,900 and the median sale price is $249,800.

HSH took the National Association of Realtors’ first-quarter data for median home prices and’s first-quarter average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage to determine how much of your salary would be needed to afford the base cost of owning a home in 27 metropolitan areas.

The most affordable metro on the list was Cleveland, where one only need earn $29,788, followed by Pittsburgh, $30,177; St. Louis, $31,275; Cincinnati, $31,850; and Detroit, $32,250.

The most expensive was San Francisco, where a salary of at least $137,129 is needed to buy a home. Also nearing the most expensive was San Diego, $98,534; New York City, $89,788; Los Angeles, $85,964; and Boston, $79,820.

In Washington, D.C., a salary of $78,503.56 can get you a home priced at $358,900 for a monthly payment of $1,831.75. Home prices have also fallen here, taking the required salary with it, the report said.

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