Housing outpaces income in Chicago
Remote workers drove up local home prices, a new Redfin study finds.
Why it matters: Free to work from home, white-collar workers relocated during the pandemic, using their higher salaries to buy cheaper homes, which has elevated housing prices.
- Despite losing about 45,000 people since the pandemic began — about 1.6% of Chicago's 2020 population — wages locally haven't increased enough to keep up with the rising costs of buying or renting a home.
By the numbers: Chicago posted a 3% increase in homebuyer incomes from 2019 to 2021, according to Redfin's analysis of mortgage data in the country's largest metros.
- The national average is 7%.
- Boise led all U.S. cities with a 24% increase.
The big picture: Remote workers are making previously inexpensive cities much less affordable, Axios Markets' Emily Peck reports.
- Nationally, the cost of housing is outpacing wages by 22%.
- Chicago lags behind the national average for wages but is better on housing prices.
The bottom line: Despite shifting downward, Chicago's housing market is generally steady, but the lack of income growth to offset housing prices and inflation is a cause for concern.
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