Key Highlights

  • 52% of counties affordable for average wage earners during Q1 2021, according to ATTOM Data Solutions
  • Major homeowner expenses consumed just 23.7% of average wage earn in these 52% of counties

52% of US Counties Affordable for Average Wage Earners

The Q1 2021 US Home Affordability Report just published by ATTOM Data Solutions indicates that the typical average wage earner can afford to buy and maintain a median priced single-family home or condominium in 52% of US counties.

This 52% is down from historical averages of 63% in Q1 2020 and 95% in Q1 2016.

How ATTOM Determines Affordability

ATTOM calculates the necessary monthly income to meet mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance on a median-price home.  Assuming an 80% down payment and a 28% maximum “front-end” debt-to-income ratio, ATTOM then compares that annualized average weekly wage data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 Turns out that the major expenses on a median-priced home nationwide ($278,000 during Q1 2021) ate up 23.7% of a wage earner’s income. This 23.7% is definitely within the 28% standard lenders prefer as homeownership expense boundaries.

Top 10 of Largest Affordable Counties for Local Average-Wage Earners

  • Cook County IL – 21.0% of annualized wages needed to buy
  • Harris County TX – 23.1%
  • Dallas County TX – 25.5%
  • Bexar County TX – 27.5%
  • Wayne County MI – 12.2%
  • Philadelphia County PA – 14.1%
  • Hillsborough County FL – 23.5%
  • Orange County FL – 27.6%
  • Franklin County OH – 19.5%
  • Oakland County MI – 21.8%

Top 10 of Largest Unaffordable Counties for Local Average-Wage Earners

  • Los Angeles County CA – 49.1% of annualized wages needed to buy
  • Maricopa County AZ – 28.1%
  • San Diego County CA – 47.3%
  • Orange County CA – 57.7%
  • Miami-Dade County FL – 31.9%
  • Kings County NY – 75.7%
  • Riverside County CA – 48.9%
  • Queens County NY – 56.3%
  • King County WA – 32.8%
  • Clark County NV – 28.4%

Counties Requiring Smallest Percentage of Average Local Wages to Buy

  • Schuylkill County PA – 6.3%
  • Bibb County GA – 8.3%
  • Fayette County PA – 8.4%
  • Macon County IL – 9.9%
  • Robeson County NC – 10.6%

Counties Requiring Largest Percentage of Average Local Wages to Buy

  • Kings County NY – 75.7%
  • Marin County CA – 75.5%
  • Santa Cruz County CA – 69.9%
  • Monterey County CA – 68.1%
  • Maui County HI – 65.9%

 

Thanks to ATTOM Data Solutions.

 

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