Key Highlights

  • Compared with historical levels, 200 of 406 counties analyzed by ATTOM DATA Solutions now more affordable in Q2 2020 compared with Q2 2019
  • Gains come from higher wages and cheaper mortgage costs due to declining interest rates

The median home prices of single-family homes and condominiums in Q2 2020 are now more affordable in 49% of US counties, according to the Q2 2020 Housing Affordability Report just released by ATTOM Data Solutions. Last year at this same time, only 31% of US counties were considered to be affordable.

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ATTOM notes that at the time of this report’s release, coronavirus had yet to have a major impact on home affordability.

ATTOM determines home affordability by calculating the amount of income needed for a homeowner to make monthly house payments that include a mortgage, property taxes and insurance on a median-priced home with a 3% down payment and a 28% front-end debt-to-income ratio.

Todd Teta, ATTOM’s chief product officer, said, “…things are looking up for people on both sides of the buying equation.”

Median home prices in Q2 2020 were up at least +5% from the same time in 2019 in 52% of the 406 counties analyzed by ATTOM for this report. Major homeownership costs on median-priced homes consumed at least 30% of the average wages of local workers. Additionally, an annual wage of at least $75,000 was needed to afford a typical home in 35% of the 406 markets analyzed by ATTOM.

BUT, workers watch out in these locations…

 Of the 51% US counties that are less affordable than historic averages in Q2 2020, the least affordable counties with populations greater than 1M include…

  • Philadelphia County PA – index of 80 (anything less than 100 considered to be unaffordable)
  • Dallas County TX – index of 81
  • Mecklenburg County NC (Charlotte) – index of 85
  • Tarrant County TX (Fort Worth) – index of 85
  • Fulton County GA (Atlanta) – index of 85

Also pay attention to counties with the biggest quarterly decreases of affordability:

  • Baltimore City/County MD – -55%
  • Tompkins County NY (Ithaca) – -28%
  • Greene County OH (outside Dayton) – -28%
  • Blair County PA (Altoona) – -27%
  • Louis City/County MO – -25%

 

Thanks to ATTOM Data Solutions.

Also read: Top Zip Codes with Highest Equity Rich Shares & Underwater Properties in Q4 2019, UN Agency Predicts COVID-19 To Cost 195M Global Jobs in Q2 2020, Home Prices Rise Across Opportunity Zone Redevelopment Areas