Housing Crisis Most Cited Amongst Miserable Cities

February 07, 2012

Hey Chicago real estate owners and renters: Are you happy?

According to one magazine, the answer is no.

Forbes magazine has released its list of America’s Most Miserable Cities with two Illinois cities ranking in the top 10: Chicago sits sadly at No. 6 and Rockford took the No. 9 spot.

The magazine measured 10 factors when comparing the 200 largest metro areas and divisions in the country to find its most miserable. Some of those factors include foreclosure rates, housing prices, unemployment rates, property tax rates, commuting times, weather, how the area’s pro sports teams do and political corruption.

lsd under snow

We endured one of the worst snowstorms in our history last year, yet Chicago is more miserable this year, according to Forbes.

Ah, it’s starting to make sense now.

The magazine lists Chicago resident’s commute time to work as one reason we are miserable. At an average of 31 minutes, it’s the eighth worst in the country.

“The Windy City is a cultural and financial center,” reported the magazine, “but its residents must endure gridlock traffic, high property taxes and brutal winters.”

Not even a mention of our high foreclosure rate, Rod Blagojevich or our sports team’s 100-plus-year championship drought.

Speaking of droughts, we are currently experiencing the 13th warmest winter in Chicago history. The magazine used a photo to go along with Chicago of the scene on Lake Shore Drive during the Blizzard of 2011, when the storm paralyzed the city. Despite that brutal weather, Chicago was the No. 7 most miserable city in the country last year.

In Rockford, where the unemployment rate is consistently higher than the state or country rate, the magazine had this to say: “Property tax rates were fifth highest in the country in 2010. The median tax bill was $3,234 on home values of $136,000 for a rate of 2.4%.”

The other top 10 most miserable cities in the country, according to Forbes magazine:

*No. 1: Miami, Fla., where almost one in every two homeowners are underwater on their mortgages.

*No. 2: Detroit, Mich., where the median price of homes are registering under $40,000.

*No. 3: Flint, Mich., where there are more abandoned homes than occupied ones.

*No. 4: West Palm Beach, Fla., where home prices are down more than 60 percent.

*No. 5: Sacramento, Calif., where foreclosures are rampant and the city’s only pro sports team is threatening to leave town.

*No. 6: Chicago

*No. 7: Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where median home prices have fallen more than 50 percent.

*No. 8: Toledo, Oh., where someone from the Department of Neighborhoods has been stealing funds.

*No. 9: Rockford

*No. 10: Warren, Mich., where housing prices have fallen more than any other city in the country besides Detroit.

To see all the miserable cities, visit forbes.com.

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