Counties Where Buying a Home Is Most Affordable
June 30, 2020
The median home price of single-family homes and condos in the second quarter of this year was more affordable than historical averages in a growing number of counties across the U.S., according to a new study from ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate data firm. Researchers determined housing affordability by calculating the amount of income needed to make monthly house payments—including the mortgage, property taxes, and insurance—on a median-priced home (assuming a 3% down payment and 28% debt-to-income ratio).
While home prices are continuing to rise, record low mortgage rates are helping home buyers save.
Macon County (Decatur) in Illinois topped ATTOM’s list as the most affordable county for buying a home in the U.S. In Macon County, earners need 10.4% of annualized weekly wages to buy a home. Rock Island County (Champaign) in Illinois followed on the list at 13.4% of annualized weekly wages needed.
ATTOM data researchers found that home price appreciation in the second quarter is outpacing average weekly wage growth in 66% of the U.S. counties analyzed, notably in some of the largest counties like Cook County (Chicago), Ill.; Maricopa County (Phoenix), Ariz.; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; Dallas County, Texas; and Riverside County (outside Los Angeles), Calif.
“The latest affordability numbers reveal a win-win situation for sellers as well as buyers,” says Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions. “Prices are rising again around the country during the current homebuying season, despite worries that the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic would halt the nine-year run up in home values. But a combination of wage gains and declining mortgage rates are helping to override the increases and make homes more affordable in large swaths of the United States.”
Updated: July 30, 2021