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Less Than Half of All U.S. Counties Are Affordable for Homeownership


Less Than Half of All U.S. Counties Are Affordable for Homeownership

January 6, 2021
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Photo: AndyDean

As of the fourth quarter of 2020, only 41% of counties nationwide are affordable for Americans making the country’s average salary. This data comes from a new report by property data firm Attom Data Solutions, which reviewed the median home prices and average wage data from 499 counties, says From there, the cost of mortgage payments, taxes, and insurance were calculated. Counties deemed unaffordable are those with housing costs exceeding 28% of the average household income. The largest metros where homeownership remains affordable on average are Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Tampa. 

“Owning a home in the United States slipped into the unaffordable zone for average workers across the nation in the fourth quarter as the numbers continued a year-long slide in the wrong direction,” Todd Teta, chief product officer with Attom Data Solutions, said in the report.

The report found that momentum is moving in the wrong direction for most Americans—in short, it’s getting more expensive to own a home. Researchers found that owning a home was less affordable than the historical average across 55% of the 499 counties analyzed. That is up from 43% of these counties last year and 33% three years ago.

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