Compared to historical levels, median home prices in 440 of the 575 counties analyzed in the fourth quarter of 2021 were less affordable than previous averages. This is an increase from 428 in the third quarter and 224 year over year, an increase that continued as the national median home price climbed 17% in the past year for reach a record high of $ 317,500.
“The average wage earner can still afford a typical home across the United States, but the financial comfort zone continues to shrink as home prices continue to soar and mortgage rates rise,” Todd said. Teta, ATTOM’s product manager, in a statement. “Historically low rates and rising wages are still the main reasons workers can meet or come very close to standard loan benchmarks in the majority of the countries we analyze. But the share of wages required for major property spending nationwide is approaching levels where banks are becoming less likely to offer home loans. In highly uncertain times, with the pandemic once again threatening the economy, we will continue to monitor this key measure of housing market stability. “
Despite the continued decline in historic affordability, top homeownership expenses on typical homes are still affordable for average local wage earners in about half of the 575 counties in the report. The largest are Cook County (Chicago), Illinois; Harris County (Houston), Texas; Dallas County, Texas; Bexar County (San Antonio), Texas, and Wayne County (Detroit), Michigan.
The most populous of the 279 counties where large spending on median-priced homes was unaffordable for average local workers in the fourth quarter of Los Angeles County, California; Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona; San Diego County, California; Orange County, California (outside of Los Angeles) and Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Median single-family home prices in the fourth quarter rose at least 10% year-on-year in 368, or 64%, of the 575 counties included in the report. Among the 43 counties with a population of at least 1 million people, the largest year-over-year median price gains were in Middlesex County (outside of Boston), in Massachusetts (up 42%); Wake County (Raleigh), North Carolina (up 27%); Maricopa (Phoenix) County, Arizona (up 26%); Hillsborough County (Tampa), Florida (up 26%) and Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada (up 23%).
Counties with a population of at least 1 million people where median prices have declined year over year or increased as little as possible are Wayne County (Detroit), Michigan (-12%); Cook County (Chicago), Illinois (-3%); Kings County (Brooklyn), NY (2 percent); Dallas County, Texas (5%) and Contra Costa County, California (excluding San Francisco) (6%).
Home price appreciation outpaced weekly wage growth in the fourth quarter in 447 of 575 counties analyzed (78%), the largest comprising Harris County (Houston), Texas; Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona; San Diego County, California; Orange County, California (outside of Los Angeles) and Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Average annualized wage growth exceeded home price appreciation in 128 counties (22%), including Los Angeles County, California; Cook County, (Chicago), Illinois; Dallas County, Texas; Kings County (Brooklyn), NY and King County (Seattle), Wash.
The annual salaries required to afford typical homes are all on the east or west coasts, led by New York County (Manhattan), NY ($ 274,679); San Mateo County (outside of San Francisco), California ($ 252,589); San Francisco County, California ($ 251,054); Santa Clara County (San Jose), California ($ 229,301) and Marin County (outside of San Francisco), California ($ 223,713).
The lowest annual wages required to afford a median-priced home in the fourth quarter were in Schuylkill County, Pa. (Outside of Allentown) ($ 10,927); Bibb County (Macon), Georgia ($ 16,483); Cambria County, PA (outside of Pittsburgh) ($ 17,784); Macon County (Decatur), Illinois ($ 19,317) and Blair County (Altoona), Pennsylvania ($ 20,363).