Economists debunk notion that ‘Home Alone’ house is cheap, in hilarious twist

Discover the surprising wealth of the McAllister family in the iconic Home Alone film. The New York Times reveals how economists determined they were likely in the top 1%. Find out more about their extravagant lifestyle and the affordability of their mansion. Plus, stay tuned for the next mystery: how did the cast of Friends afford their spacious apartments in New York?

Ah, the holiday season. A time for joy, merriment, and of course, questioning the financial status of fictional characters. No, not if Santa Claus is real (we all know he is, Virginia). It’s how rich was the McAllister family, who in the iconic Home Alone film owned a sprawling mansion in a tree-lined neighborhood and were too preoccupied with getting themselves to Paris to remember poor, eight-year-old Kevin.

The New York Times spoke with economists and professionals at the Federal Reserve to get a bead on the McAllisters. It turns out — wait for it — they were likely in the top 1%.

The house used in exterior shots in the film is located on Lincoln Avenue in Winnetka, a Chicago suburb that is one of the nation’s wealthiest communities. That’s according to

Three economists at the Federal Reserve in Chicago crunched some numbers that back that up, including household incomes of the area for 1990 and 2022, the property value, mortgage rates at the time, taxes and insurance.

“Working with the assumption that the McCallisters did not spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing, the economists also determined the home would have been affordable to a household with an income of $305,000 in 1990 (about $665,000 in 2022),” the NY Times reports.

“In the middle of 2022, a similar house would cost about $2.4 million, based on the Zillow estimate for the Home Alone house. A home of that value would be affordable to a household with an income of $730,000, which would be in the top 1 percent of Chicago-area households,” the economists said.

So, yes, the McAllister’s were filthy rich.

Now that that’s settled, let’s move on to another important question – how did the cast of Friends afford those spacious New York apartments?


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