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US Counties With the Highest Housing Costs

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US Counties With the Highest Housing Costs

These counties are seeing the biggest discrepancies between home price appreciation and wage growth

October 3, 2023
Aerial view of Chicago skyline where homes are unaffordable to average earners
Image: Iuliia Sokolovska / stock.adobe.com

A new report by real estate data company Attom reveals that housing prices in 99% of U.S. counties are more unaffordable than ever for the average American earner. Despite high mortgage rates imposed by the Federal Reserve, U.S. housing market prices have remained high, further straining buyer affordability. 

In Q3 2023, home prices and mortgage rates increased further, pushing the typical portion of average wages needed for major homeownership expenses up to 35%, the highest since 2007. The typical monthly cost for a mortgage, insurance, and taxes now exceeds $2,000, consuming 34.6% of the average national wage, according to Deseret News.

Housing market price gains are now growing faster than wages in almost half of the U.S., with 272 of the 578 counties analyzed seeing annual price appreciation outpacing weekly annualized wage changes from the third quarter of last year to the third quarter of this year. Those included Cook County (Chicago), Illinois; San Diego County, California; Orange County, California (outside Los Angeles); Miami-Dade County, Florida, and King County, Washington (Seattle).

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