Key Highlights

  • Homeownership still affordable in 52% of US counties
  • National median home price in Q1 2021 increased+18% over Q1 2020

Mixed Trends Regarding Home Affordability

ATTOM Data Solutions’ latest Q1 2021 US Home Affordability report indicated that the median home price for single-family homes and condominiums was affordable for average workers in 52% of counties.  This 52% of counties is down from 63% of counties during the same period in 2020 and down from the 95% of counties five years ago.

Meanwhile, the national median home price jumped +18% to hit $278,000 in Q1 2021.

Despite home price increases, average wage earners could support monthly homeownership costs because of increased wages and average mortgage rates below 3% in Q1 2021

ATTOM’s Statement on Continued Affordability

According to Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM, “The past year…has been an odd one…Home prices surged at a remarkable pace even as the virus pandemic damaged the US economy, which dropped historical affordability levels.  But average workers untarnished by the pandemic were still able to afford the typical home because wages and rock-bottom interest rates worked to their favor in a big way.”

Most and Least Affordable Large Counties for Average Local Wage Earners

327 of 552 counties, 59%, were affordable for average local wage earners. The largest affordable counties were Cook County (Chicago), Harris County (Houston), Dallas County, Bexar County (San Antonio), and Wayne County (Detroit).

255 of the 552 counties, 41%, were not affordable for average local wage earners.  The largest least affordable counties included Los Angeles County, Maricopa County (Phoenix), San Diego County, Orange County (outside of LA), and Miami Dade County.

Home Prices Rose At Least +10% in 65% of Counties

Median home prices jumped at least +10% from Q1 2020 to Q1 2021.

Counties with the largest year-over-year home price gains included Wayne County +24% (Detroit), Suffolk County +20% (outside NYC), Bronx County in NY +19%, Maricopa County +19% (Phoenix), and Harris County +18% (Houston).

Large counties with the smallest y/y home price gains (or even declines) included New York County -2%, Santa Clara County +7% (San Jose), Hennepine County +7% (Minneapolis), Kings County +8% (Brooklyn), Orange County +8% (outside of LA).

Price Appreciation Out Performed Wage Growth in 86% of Markets

Home price appreciation outperformed average weekly wage growth in 474 of 552 counties during Q1 2021.  Just 78 of the 552 counties where annualized wage growth jumped ahead of home price appreciation.  Among those counties where wage earners were on top of price appreciation included Santa Clara County (San Jose), New York County (Manhattan), Honolulu County, San Francisco County and Suffolk County (Boston).


Thanks to ATTOM Data Solutions.


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