A typical home in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois metro area costs $224,300, more than the national median home value of $194,500.

The median home value in Chicago is also higher than in Illinois as a whole, where the typical home is worth $180,300. Chicago’s median home value is also the highest of any metro area in the state.

Residents of areas with more expensive real estate also tend to have relatively high incomes. In Chicago, the typical household earns $63,153 annually, higher than both the $59,588 median household income statewide and $55,775 national figure. Chicago has the second highest median household income of any Illinois metro area.

Home values tend to be higher in dense, urban areas, where space is limited and land is more expensive as a result. In the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin metro area, there are 1,315 people per square mile, far greater than the average urban population density of 283 Americans per square mile across all metro areas nationwide. Chicago has the highest population density of any Illinois metro area.

Home values in the metro area may also be augmented by the health of the local job market. People often relocate for occupational reasons, and an area with lower unemployment is more likely to have more expensive real estate. The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin metro area’s unemployment rate, however, was 5.3% as of August 2016, slightly higher than the 4.9% jobless rate nationwide.

Despite the high unemployment rate today, improved unemployment among the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin workforce over the last five years — like most of the country — may have helped increase home values as a result. Since August 2011, the Chicago unemployment rate has fallen by 5.0 percentage points. Over the same period, home values in the metro area increased by 1.9%. Nationwide, the unemployment rate improved by 4.1 percentage points as the median home value increased by 12.0%.

Areas with high home values are often fairly well-educated. In addition to the better-paying jobs that educated residents often hold, the presence of good schools and universities are likely to increase demand for nearby homes. In Chicago, 36.0% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, a larger share than the 30.6% of Americans with similar education nationwide.

Rank Geography Median
Home Value
10 Santa Rosa, CA $512,100
9 Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA $528,700
8 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $540,600
7 Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA $547,600
6 Napa, CA $555,900
5 Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI $569,300
4 Urban Honolulu, HI $629,900
3 Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA $668,300
2 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $718,400
1 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $823,700