Key Highlights

  • Latest report spotlights markets more and less vulnerable to impact of COVID virus
  • Counties along East Coast and Chicago most at risk

Location, Location, Location

As always, one of the most important factors affecting real estate is location.

ATTOM Data Solutions’ newly released Q1 2021 Special Report takes a look at the housing markets most and least affected by impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Generally, county-level markets in the East Coast and in Illinois were the most at risk while counties in the West were least vulnerable to pandemic impacts.  Only three county markets in northern California and two counties in the South were most at risk.

Elements that Define “At Risk” of Pandemic Impacts

ATTOM defined most “at risk” of pandemic impacts as being

  • Number of homes facing possible foreclosure
  • Portion of homes with mortgage balances that more than estimated property value
  • Percentage of average local wages needed for major homeownership expenses

ATTOM ranked the counties from lowest to highest based upon a combination of these three elements.

According to Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM, “Our analysis suggests that even as the market remains hot, pockets of the East Coast, Midwest and South are at higher risk from potential damage connected to the pandemic.”

Most Vulnerable Counties to Pandemic

The most vulnerable counties to the COVID-19 pandemic effects in Q1 2021 were bunched up in areas around New York, Chicago and southern Florida. Louisiana also had counties outside of New Orleans and Baton Rouge that were most “at risk.”  Three counties in northern California (Butte, Humboldt and Shasta) have been impacted negatively by the pandemic.

The most at-risk counties had higher levels of unaffordable housing, underwater mortgages and foreclosure activity.

Although evictions have been happening over this past year, nationwide, foreclosure activity has dropped some 80% over the past year due to the federal moratorium on banks pertaining to evictions

Least Vulnerable Counties to Pandemic

The least at-risk counties to the effects of the COVID pandemic were grouped in the states of Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Texas.

Counties in and around Denver, Dallas, Minneapolis, Fort Worth, Houston, Seattle, Charlotte, Raleigh and Buffalo remained less vulnerable to the pandemic. These less vulnerable counties had lower levels of unaffordable housing, underwater mortgages and foreclosure activity.


Thanks to ATTOM Data Solutions

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