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Chicago's Home Equity Disparities Mirror The City's North & South Side Divide: Report

By Stephen Gossett in News on Aug 23, 2017 5:15PM

Getty Images / Photo: Tim Boyle

A recent report that measures and ranks home equity draws a decidedly gloomy overview for Chicago homeowners. Not only does Chicago sport the lowest ratio of homeowners with strong home equity—and the highest of those who are burdened with underwater mortgages—but a comparison of where equity-rich and -poor homes are located in Chicago seems to point up age-old North vs. South Sides disparities.

According to Crain's, a study by Attom Data Solutions only 15 percent of Chicagoland homeowners recently qualified as "equity rich"—the lowest share among any of the country's Top 20 metros, and well behind the nearly 20 percent national average. (Equity richness is defined here as an equity stake that is at least half the value of an owner's home.) Meanwhile, more than 17 percent of mortgage holders in the Chicago area were underwater—again worst among major cities and well above the 9.5 percent national average, according to Crain's.

At the same time, the areas in Chicago that are marked by more robust home equity are almost uniformly on the North Side, with zip codes that include Logan Square, Avondale, North Center, Old Irving Park, North Mayfair and Jefferson Park among the leaders. On the other hand, all except one of the 24 Chicago zip codes that placed among the highest underwater rates nationwide were on the the South Side or in the south suburbs, according to Crains. A zip that North Chicago includes was the lone North Side representative.

[H/T Curbed Chicago]