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Chicago Area Housing Market in Poor Health

Published: Monday, March 10, 2014 4:23 p.m. CDT

By Paul Tooher

The current housing market in the Chicago area in general and DeKalb in particular appears troubled, according to the latest Zillow Market Health Index.

To compile its ranking, Zillow looked at 10 key factors capturing home value rebounds (or continued declines), the time homes stay on the market and the financial health of homeowners.

Chicagoland ranked 27th out of the 30 largest metro areas examined by Zillow.

Ranked on a scale of zero to 10, San Jose, Calif., has the healthiest housing market in the country, with a value of 9.26 on the Market Health Index. With strong current and forecasted appreciation, and low levels of negative equity and foreclosures relative to other metros with even stronger appreciation, this metro is healthier than almost 93 percent of all metro areas covered by Zillow nationwide.

By contrast, the Chicago metro area had a value of 0.77 on the Market Health Index. With 32.3 percent of homeowners with negative equity and the Zillow Home Value Index up only 9.5 percent from the previous year, the Windy City area ranked as one of the weakest in the nation.

Zillow rated the real estate market “temperature” in the Chicago metro area as “cool.” The current median home value of $177,200 is expected to increase another 2.6 percent over the next year.

But Zillow rates the real estate temperature in DeKalb as “cold,” with the median home value in DeKalb at $121,900. DeKalb home values have gone up 0.8 percent over the past year, but Zillow predicts they will fall 0.3 percent within the next year. The median price of homes currently listed in DeKalb is $144,000, while the median price of homes that sold is $113,575.

After San Jose, the 10 healthiest home markets are San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Calif., Denver, Boston, Pittsburgh, Portland, Ore., New York City and Sacramento, Calif.

In addition to Chicago, the 10 weakest home markets are in St. Louis, Charlotte, N.C., Cleveland, Baltimore, Columbus, Ohio, Atlanta, Tampa, Fla., Las Vegas and Cincinnati.

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