A Couple of Negative Statistics for Chicago Homeowners

Chicago single-family homes and condos have been steadily increasing the last several years. But these values haven’t been rising as quickly as they have been in other cities across the country, according to the latest research from Attom Data Solutions.


Crain’s Chicago Business took a closer look at Attom’s numbers and found that Chicago homeowners are less likely to have a healthy amount of equity in their condos and single-family homes. Crain’s reported, too, that the Chicago area has the most homeowners who are deeply underwater on their mortgages.


Citing data from Attom, Crain’s reported that at the end of the second quarter, 15 percent of homeowners in the Chicago area with a mortgage were “equity rich.” Homeowners in this category have home equity that is worth at least half of the value of their homes. No other metropolitan area studied by Attom had as small a number of equity-rich homeowners as in Chicago. According to Attom’s data, just under 25 percent of homeowners with a mortgage across the country are rich in equity.


At the same time, 17.2 percent of Chicago homeowners in the Chicago area were seriously underwater at the end of the second quarter, according to Attom’s research. Homeowners are considered seriously underwater when they owe at least 25 percent more on their mortgage loans than what their homes are currently worth.


Chicago had the largest percentage of homeowners who were considered seriously underwater.


What can you do as a homeowner if you don’t have much or any equity? Not much, besides continuing to pay your mortgage each month. As you pay off more in your mortgage each month, you’ll gradually increase your equity.


If you do have low or negative equity, it’s best to hold off on selling your home. If you do have to sell, though, make sure to work with a REALTOR® to set the right asking price. And depending on when you bought, you might have to accept that you’ll be selling your condo or single-family home for less than what you paid for it.