Over the past year, Chicago’s home prices and mortgage rates have both risen from post-recession lows. And though the increases have affected affordability levels across Chicago and the rest of the nation, prices and rates are still well below where they usually are by historical standards. In fact, according to recent research from Trulia, most of the homes for sale in 80 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas across the country are affordable to a household making their area’s median income. The research calculated how many homes for sale were affordable based on whether or not the monthly payment equaled less than 31 percent of that area’s median income. The results showed that in the most affordable markets, more than 80 percent of homes were within reach. On the other hand, as few as 14 percent of homes were affordable to a middle-class household in the priciest markets. Nationally, the most affordable markets were in the Midwest and South. Not surprisingly, coastal areas had the most expensive markets and especially in the West where prices rebounded sharply following the housing crash. More here.