Key Highlights

Median home prices increased at least +10% in most of nation

  • Prices of single-family homes and condos during Q4 2020 less affordable in 55% of counties, up from 43% of counties one year ago
  • But rising wages and low mortgage interest rates helped keep median home prices close to affordable for average wage earners across country

ATTOM Data Solutions recently released its Q4 2020 US Home Affordability Report. This report indicated that affordability worsened in 55% of housing markets across the country and that median prices for single-family homes and condos increased at least +10% in most of the nation.

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Despite rising wages and historically low mortgage interest rates, 275 counties of the 499 counties analyzed for this Q4 report, or 55% of these counties, were less affordable than past averages. In Q4 2019, 217 counties were less affordable and in Q4 2017, 164 of these same counties were less affordable.

The driver of this majority level of unaffordability across the country was housing prices increasing at least +10% as the US housing market “…kept booming,” according to ATTOM.

 According to Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions, “Owning a home in the United States slipped into the unaffordable zone for average workers across the nation in the fourth quarter as the numbers continued a year-long slide in the wrong direction…that’s happened as home prices have continued rising throughout 2020 and the housing market has remained remarkably resilient in the face of the brutal economic fallout form the coronavirus pandemic. The future remains wholly uncertain and affordability could swing back into positive territory. But, for now, things are going in the wrong direction for buyers.”

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Home price appreciation increased more that wage growth in over +90% of housing markets across the country but there were counties that were more affordable than their historic averages including, in no order:

  • Middlesex County NY MA – outside of Boston
  • New York County – Manhattan
  • Richmond County NY – Staten Island
  • Montgomery County MD – outside of Washing DC
  • Fairfax County VA – outside of Washington DC
  • King County WA 0 Seattle
  • Bristol County MA – outside of Providence RI
  • Onslow County NC – Jacksonville
  • Terrebonne Parish LA – Houma
  • Essex County MA – outside of Boston

 

Thanks to ATTOM Data Solutions.

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