Buy a new car or three homes in Ford Heights?

The October issue of Chicago Magazine features a rundown of home prices and appreciation trends in Chicago’s neighborhoods and suburbs

There are some sobering numbers in the charts that accompany the article, especially with regard to a number of Chicago’s southern suburbs. In Harvey and Riverdale, for example, home prices have declined nearly 50% since 1994.

The community with the lowest average sales price in Chicagoland, at $9,660, was Ford Heights. Sales prices for 1994 were unavailable for Ford Heights, so we don’t have a percentage decline for that community.

When you take taxes into account, you can buy three average-priced homes in Ford Heights for less than the cost of the average new car.

The average priced home in Robbins and Harvey will also set you back significantly less than the cost of that new car. So much for the notion that a home purchase is the largest financial decision of your life.

You can see a list of the 10 communities where home prices have declined the most since 1994 at Homeward Bound South Southwest, a site we maintain for the Chciago Tribune.