While I have often pointed out the poor job that Zillow.Com does when estimating home values, I have always acknowledged some of Zillow’s other technical features. This map of Chicago Metro Area Home Prices is an example. Zillow calls it a heat map since the hotter colors represent higher prices per square foot.
For example, the map shows that Kenilworth is a hot area (red), the west side of Chicago along I-290 (blue) isn’t, but home values rise significantly in Oak Park just to the west (green).
Zillow takes their “zestimates” of home values and divides them by square footage to get a “temperature” from less than $33 up to $700 per square foot.
As I usually mention when writing about Zillow, one of the flaws in its home value estimations is that much of the data is based on public information some of which is incorrect and/or incomplete. I have found “zestimates” more than 23% too high and 15% too low. Thus, the colors shown on this map aren’t necessarily accurate. It also isn’t complete with data missing for Chicago’s Loop, Lake County, DuPage County and other surrounding areas.
If nothing else, it certainly is interesting to look at if you have any interest in Chicago real estate. For those of you with broader real estate interests, Zillow has a page of heat maps of other major cities.