America's 25 Least Affordable Housing Markets
Housing affordability in the United States is getting worse, with some experts even calling it a crisis. According to a new housing report, median home prices in the first quarter of 2019 were not affordable for average wage earners in over 70% of the nation’s largest counties.
The report, published by real estate market database ATTOM Data Solutions, found that nearly half of the nation’s major housing markets are less affordable than their historic averages. While that is an improvement from over three-quarters as of the last quarter of 2018, it still is far from ideal for the people in those places seeking to buy a home.
Nationwide, the current income needed to buy a typical home exceeds $60,000, well above the incomes of the majority of American households.
To determine the 25 least affordable housing markets in the United States, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed county-level data from ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q1 2019 U.S. Home Affordability Report. Counties were ranked based on the affordability ratio — median housing prices in the area relative to average annual wages. Home sale price data and the total number of housing units also came from ATTOM. The income needed to buy a house is calculated by assuming a 3% down payment and a 28% maximum “front-end” debt-to-income ratio.
Unlike the most affordable housing markets in the country, which are spread all across the country, almost all of the counties on this list are in New York state or California, which are home to many of the 25 metropolitan areas where residents struggle to afford their homes.