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Central and North Chicago.
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikimedia Commons/Jamie McCaffrey

A new study has identified the least affordable neighborhoods in Chicago

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long
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While we may scoff at the astronomical rents in cities like New York and San Francisco, the sad truth of the matter is that the prices of Chicago rentals aren't getting any cheaper. A new study from apartment search engine RentHop has narrowed down some of the least affordable neighborhoods in the city, using data from a household income study conducted by Rob Parel & Associates as well as RentHop's own rental listing data.

The study looks at 69 neighborhoods in Chicago and compares the median household income in the area with the median rental price of two-bedroom apartments listed on RentHop. Affordability is calculated by using the 40x Rule, which posits that an individual should ideally pay no more than 30% of their income on rent.

According to the RentHop study, South Side neighborhood Armour Square (which encompasses Chinatown and the area surrounding Guaranteed Rate Field) is the least affordable neighborhood in Chicago—the median rental price of a two-bedroom apartment in the neighborhood is $1,995, whil the median household income in the area is only $23,590. East Garfield Park, New City and Oakland were also deemed unaffordable, with considerable disparities between household income and rental prices.

The methodology of the study means that wealthy neighborhoods (where median incomes are higher) are generally deemed more affordable, with Beverly and Forest Glen topping RentHop's list.

Less than a third of Chicago's neighborhoods are deemed affordable, according to RentHop's study, with most median two-bedroom rental prices eclipsing 30% of the neighborhood's median income. Of course, rental prices can vary greatly within a single neighborhood, so there are still bargains to be had and alternative living arrangements to be considered. Still, if you're apartment hunting and wondering where you might be able to stretch your budget the furthest, take a look at an interactive map of RentHop's study below.

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