Key Highlights

  • According to ATTOM Data Solutions, housing markets most at risk to COVID-economy located on East Coast and in Illinois
  • 11 suburban counties around NYC and 7 counties in Chicago IL area
  • ATTOM highlighted 50 most COVID-vulnerable counties

ATTOM Data Solutions recently released its Q2 2020 Special Report highlighting housing markets more or less vulnerable to the impacts of the COVID pandemic. The areas most at risk to the COVID-economy in Q2 2020 included suburban county clusters around New York City, Chicago, Washington DC and Baltimore. Only four COVID-economy-at-risk counties were located in California. No additional at-risk counties were identified in other West Coast or Southwestern states.ATTOM determined that areas considered more or less at-risk were based upon any of and/or combination of these three factors:

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  • Percentage of homes with mortgage balances that exceed estimated property value
  • Percentage of homes currently facing the possibility of foreclosure
  • Percentage of local wages needed to pay for needed/must fix home ownership expenses.

ATTOM also used its own analyses from its most recent reports focusing on affordability, home equity and foreclosure information. Likewise, ATTOM considered May 2020’s signs pointing to stagnating home-price growth in multiple parts of the country including the hardest hit in more expensive areas of the West.

ATTOMS’s chief product officer, Todd Teta, said, “Home-sales data from around the country is starting to show that eight years of price gains may be coming to an end amid the economic damage flowing from the virus pandemic. It’s still too early to make any definitive calls (due to insufficient data), but the latest numbers show storm clouds gathering over the market…(and)…we see pockets around the country that appear more or less poised to withstand downward pressure on prices and other market conditions.”

Counties most vulnerable to ratio of home ownership expenses and average local wages (43 of 50 most vulnerable counties):

  • Westchester County outside NYC – 77.1% of local wages required for home ownership expenses
  • Rockland County outside NYC – 71.1% of wages
  • Nassau County outside NYC – 63.4% of wages
  • Riverside County outside Los Angeles – 62.5% of wages
  • Bergen County, NJ outside NYC – 58.5% of wages

Counties most vulnerable (36 of 50) with at least 15% mortgages underwater in Q1 2020:

  • Sussex County, NJ – 39.2%
  • Monroe County, PA (outside Wilkes-Barre) – 36.3%
  • Cumberland County, NJ (Vineland) – 35.7%
  • Livingston County, LA (outside Baton Rouge) – 34.2%
  • Saint Clair County, IL (outside St. Louis MO – 34.2%

Counties most at-risk (47-50) with more than 1 in 750 properties facing foreclosure action in Q1 2020:

  • Cumberland County, NJ (Vineland) – 1 in 180
  • Sussex County, NJ (outside NYC) – 1 in 210
  • Camden County, NJ (outside Philadelphia) – 1 in 231
  • Atlantic County, NJ (Atlantic City) – 1 in 293
  • Will County, IL (outside Chicago) – 1 in 29

Keep in mind too that, overall, housing markets in and around counties in Washington DC, Maryland and Connecticut are highly vulnerable to the COVID economy.

Counties least vulnerable (26 of 50) found in Colorado, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin:

  • Largest least vulnerable to COVID-economy counties included Harris County (Houston) TX; Dallas, Tarrant and Collin Counties (all within Dallas Fort Worth metro) and Travis County (Austin) TX

Less vulnerable counties with lower levels of unaffordable housing, underwater mortgages and foreclosure activity (19 of 50) in Q2 2020 where homeownership costs ate up less than 30% of local average wages:

  • Winnebago County WI (Oshkosh) – 18.6% of wages
  • Benton County, AR (Rogers) – 21.1% of wages
  • Racine County WI (outside Milwaukee) – 21.4%
  • Sheboygan County, WI – 21.6%
  • Monroe County, MI (outside Detroit) – 22.7%

Less vulnerable counties with less than 15% of mortgages underwater during Q1 2020:

  • San Mateo County, CA (outside San Francisco) – 2%
  • Washington County, WI (outside Milwaukee) – 3.6%
  • Chittenden County, VT (Burlington) – 3.6%
  • King County, WA (Seattle) – 4.5%
  • Dallas County, TX (4.7%)
  • Washington County, OR (outside Portland) – 4.9%

All 50 least at-risk counties had less than 1 in 750 properties facing foreclosure action in Q1 2020.

  • Lowest foreclosure rates included San Mateo County, CA, Washington County WI, Chittenden County, VT, Eau Claire County, WI and Yolo County, CA (Sacramento)


Thanks to Attom Data Solutions and

Also read: 1 in 10 Borrowers in Forbearance is Equity Poor, Residential Refinances Over 50% of Home Loans in Q1 2020, Housing Markets in Northeast & Florida Extremely Vulnerable to COVID-19 Impacts

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