Special Report

This County Has the Most Expensive Homes in America

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Mortgage rates have risen recently, and so have home prices. This has begun to cause an affordability squeeze as people look for new places to live, often outside big cities that have been plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic. One way economists look at how much money people can afford to pay for a house is the percentage of a person’s income that goes towards  monthly home payments. These costs include mortgage, taxes, and insurance.

Real estate research firm ATTOM Data Solutions recently issued its first-quarter 2021 U.S. Home Affordability Report. In it, analysts based affordability figures for U.S. counties by calculating monthly home ownership expenses “on a median-priced home, assuming an 20 percent down payment and a 28 percent maximum ‘front-end’ debt-to-income ratio.” Income data, based on annualized weekly wages, came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The county that required the greatest percentage of wages to buy and own a home was Kings County, which is the Brooklyn borough of New York City, where the figure was 75.7%.

ATTOM looked at 552 counties that had enough data to make accurate calculations. Among the things ATTOM researchers discovered is that median home prices rose 18% across the country to $278,000 in the first quarter, compared to the same period a year ago. Home prices rose at least 10% in two-thirds of the country. Nationwide, monthly expenses homes purchased in the quarter accounted for 23.7% of wages. Here is a look at the cities where home values are rising the fastest

In Kings County, that figure was three times greater. While ATTOM does not draw a relationship between high-income levels and a high percentage of wages needed to buy and own a home by county, there may be one. Other counties with figures close to Kings County’s are among the most wealthy in the country. These include the California counties of Marin, Santa Cruz, and Monterey, as well as Maui County in Hawaii. Here is a look at the richest counties in every state

Commenting on the trends, Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions, remarked:

“The past year certainly has been an odd one for the U.S. housing market. Home prices surged at a remarkable pace even as the virus pandemic damaged the U.S. 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.” 

Click here to see the county with the most expensive homes in America.

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50. San Joaquin County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 40.3%
> Annualized weekly wages: $51,506
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $410,000
> Location: Stockton-Lodi, CA metro area

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49. Washington County, Rhode Island
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 40.3%
> Annualized weekly wages: $54,145
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $406,300
> Location: Providence-Warwick, RI-MA metro area

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

48. Norfolk County, Massachusetts
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 40.4%
> Annualized weekly wages: $71,669
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $539,725
> Location: Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH metro area

47. Sussex County, New Jersey
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 40.6%
> Annualized weekly wages: $50,947
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $293,545
> Location: New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA metro area

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46. Loudoun County, Virginia
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 40.9%
> Annualized weekly wages: $70,434
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $566,000
> Location: Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV metro area

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45. Yamhill County, Oregon
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 41.2%
> Annualized weekly wages: $45,539
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $370,000
> Location: Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA metro area

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44. PRINCE WILLIAM County, Virginia
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 41.4%
> Annualized weekly wages: $53,443
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $400,000
> Location: Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV metro area

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43. Whatcom County, Washington
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 41.6%
> Annualized weekly wages: $51,805
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $434,900
> Location: Bellingham, WA metro area

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42. Hays County, Texas
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 41.6%
> Annualized weekly wages: $43,680
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $295,657
> Location: Austin-Round Rock, TX metro area

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41. Snohomish County, Washington
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 41.7%
> Annualized weekly wages: $65,026
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $534,375
> Location: Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA metro area

Source: Ken Lund / Flickr

40. Yavapai County, Arizona
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 42.0%
> Annualized weekly wages: $42,913
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $382,500
> Location: Prescott, AZ metro area

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39. San Francisco County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 42.9%
> Annualized weekly wages: $138,944
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $1,225,000
> Location: San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA metro area

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38. Beaufort County, South Carolina
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 43.6%
> Annualized weekly wages: $43,316
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $372,500
> Location: Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC metro area

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37. San Mateo County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 44.1%
> Annualized weekly wages: $146,497
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $1,354,000
> Location: San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA metro area

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36. Kootenai County, Idaho
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 44.2%
> Annualized weekly wages: $42,952
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $393,750
> Location: Coeur d’Alene, ID metro area

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35. Clackamas County, Oregon
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 44.3%
> Annualized weekly wages: $57,720
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $489,000
> Location: Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA metro area

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34. Deschutes County, Oregon
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 44.5%
> Annualized weekly wages: $50,830
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $456,000
> Location: Bend-Redmond, OR metro area

Source: Ken Lund / Flickr

33. Hawaii County, Hawaii
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 45.0%
> Annualized weekly wages: $47,060
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $440,000
> Location: Hilo, HI metro area

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32. Barnstable County, Massachusetts
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 45.3%
> Annualized weekly wages: $53,586
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $478,850
> Location: Barnstable Town, MA metro area

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31. Washington County, Utah
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 45.6%
> Annualized weekly wages: $39,663
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $379,089
> Location: St. George, UT metro area

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30. Monmouth County, New Jersey
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 45.7%
> Annualized weekly wages: $60,996
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $465,000
> Location: New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA metro area

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29. Bergen County, New Jersey
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 46.3%
> Annualized weekly wages: $70,993
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $520,000
> Location: New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA metro area

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28. Contra Costa County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 46.5%
> Annualized weekly wages: $75,764
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $699,000
> Location: San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA metro area

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27. San Diego County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 47.3%
> Annualized weekly wages: $68,549
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $650,000
> Location: San Diego-Carlsbad, CA metro area

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26. Honolulu County, Hawaii
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 47.3%
> Annualized weekly wages: $58,708
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $609,250
> Location: Urban Honolulu, HI metro area

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25. Placer County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 47.5%
> Annualized weekly wages: $62,179
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $572,000
> Location: Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA metro area

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24. Suffolk County, New York
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 47.8%
> Annualized weekly wages: $66,560
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $498,000
> Location: New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA metro area

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23. Missoula County, Montana
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 48.2%
> Annualized weekly wages: $45,968
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $407,813
> Location: Missoula, MT metro area

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22. Sonoma County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 48.6%
> Annualized weekly wages: $61,399
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $605,000
> Location: Santa Rosa, CA metro area

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21. Gallatin County, Montana
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 48.7%
> Annualized weekly wages: $49,088
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $484,375
> Location: Bozeman, MT metro area

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20. Riverside County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 48.9%
> Annualized weekly wages: $49,283
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $460,000
> Location: Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA metro area

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19. Los Angeles County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 49.1%
> Annualized weekly wages: $70,694
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $705,000
> Location: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA metro area

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18. El Dorado County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 50.0%
> Annualized weekly wages: $55,107
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $547,250
> Location: Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA metro area

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17. Richmond County, New York
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 50.6%
> Annualized weekly wages: $57,200
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $565,500
> Location: New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA metro area

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16. New York County, New York
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 50.6%
> Annualized weekly wages: $137,033
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $1,330,000
> Location: New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA metro area

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15. Westchester County, New York
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 50.9%
> Annualized weekly wages: $82,784
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $635,000
> Location: New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA metro area

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14. Alameda County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 51.6%
> Annualized weekly wages: $85,124
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $885,000
> Location: San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA metro area

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13. Nassau County, New York
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 53.5%
> Annualized weekly wages: $67,769
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $600,000
> Location: New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA metro area

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12. Queens County, New York
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 56.3%
> Annualized weekly wages: $59,761
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $680,000
> Location: New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA metro area

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11. Ventura County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 56.4%
> Annualized weekly wages: $61,295
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $695,000
> Location: Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA metro area

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10. Napa County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 57.3%
> Annualized weekly wages: $60,606
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $700,000
> Location: Napa, CA metro area

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9. Orange County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 57.7%
> Annualized weekly wages: $68,848
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $800,000
> Location: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA metro area

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8. Santa Barbara County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 58.0%
> Annualized weekly wages: $57,590
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $681,000
> Location: Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA metro area

Source: OlegAlbinsky / Getty Images

7. Rockland County, New York
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 58.4%
> Annualized weekly wages: $57,057
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $494,000
> Location: New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA metro area

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6. San Luis Obispo County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 59.5%
> Annualized weekly wages: $53,352
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $638,000
> Location: San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA metro area

Source: Hotaik Sung / Getty Images

5. Maui County, Hawaii
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 65.9%
> Annualized weekly wages: $49,517
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $685,000
> Location: Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI metro area

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4. Monterey County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 68.1%
> Annualized weekly wages: $51,571
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $715,000
> Location: Salinas, CA metro area

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3. Santa Cruz County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 69.9%
> Annualized weekly wages: $60,073
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $855,000
> Location: Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA metro area

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2. Marin County, California
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 75.5%
> Annualized weekly wages: $81,198
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $1,175,000
> Location: San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA metro area

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1. Kings County, New York
> Pct. of annual wages needed to afford median monthly housing costs: 75.7%
> Annualized weekly wages: $53,092
> Median home price, Q1 2021: $847,000
> Location: New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA metro area

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