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HomeInvestmentsCALIFORNIA, NEW JERSEY AND ILLINOIS STILL FACING HIGHER RISK OF HOUSING MARKET...

CALIFORNIA, NEW JERSEY AND ILLINOIS STILL FACING HIGHER RISK OF HOUSING MARKET DECLINE

New York City and Chicago Areas More Exposed to Market Downturns; At-Risk Locations Have Weaker Affordability, Foreclosure, Underwater and Job Numbers; Lower Risk Again Mainly Spread Across Southern and Midwestern Regions

IRVINE, Calif., March 7, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — ATTOM, a leading curator of land, property, and real estate data, today released a Special Housing Risk Report spotlighting county-level housing markets around the United States that are more or less vulnerable to declines, based on home affordability, underwater mortgages and other measures in the fourth quarter of 2023. The report shows that California, New Jersey and Illinois continue to have the highest concentrations of the most-at-risk markets in the country, with some of the biggest clusters in the New York City and Chicago areas, along with inland California. Less-vulnerable markets are spread mainly throughout the South and Midwest.

The fourth-quarter patterns – derived from gaps in home affordability, underwater mortgages, foreclosures and unemployment – revealed that California, New Jersey and Illinois had 34 of the 50 counties considered most vulnerable to potential drop-offs. As with earlier periods over the past few years, those concentrations dwarfed other parts of the country, with the latest coming at a time of significant market uncertainty connected to increasingly unaffordable home ownership costs and relatively high home-mortgage interest rates.

The 50 counties on the most-exposed list included six in and around New York City, five in the Chicago metropolitan area and 14 in areas of California away from the Pacific coast. The rest were scattered around other parts of the country.

At the other end of the risk spectrum, the Midwest and South again had the most markets considered least likely to decline, including nine in Wisconsin and five in Kansas.

“Fault lines running through the foundation of the U.S. housing market continue to appear in different parts of the country, with some areas remaining more or less vulnerable than others,” said Rob Barber, CEO at ATTOM. “As always, this is not a warning sign for homeowners to run out and sell, or rush to buy, in any specific market. The housing market remains strong throughout most of the country despite some recent small downturns. Rather, this report again spotlights areas that appear more or less exposed to a market fall, should that start to happen, based on key measures.”

Counties were considered more or less at risk based on the percentage of homes facing possible foreclosure, the portion with mortgage balances that exceeded estimated property values, the percentage of average local wages required to pay for major home ownership expenses on median-priced single-family homes and local unemployment rates. The conclusions were drawn from an analysis of the most recent home affordability, home equity and foreclosure reports prepared by ATTOM. Unemployment rates came from federal government data. Rankings were based on a combination of those four categories in 580 counties around the United States with sufficient data to analyze in the fourth quarter of 2023. Counties were ranked in each category, from lowest to highest, with the overall conclusion based on a combination of the four ranks. See below for the full methodology.

The ongoing risk disparities throughout the country persisted in the fourth quarter of 2023 as key market measures tracked downward and home ownership remained a financial stretch across much of the nation.

The national median home price was flat during the Summer of last year and dropped 3 percent in the Fall after a springtime surge stalled out. Declining prices in late 2023 slightly deflated homeowner equity and raised underwater mortgage rates. But even as values dipped a bit, home affordability continued to consume at least a third of average local wages in most of the U.S., putting the nation’s 12-year housing market boom at risk.  

Chicago and New York City metro areas face greater risk along with wide swaths of California
The metropolitan areas around Chicago, IL, and New York, NY, as well as a stretch of inland California, had 25 of the 50 U.S. counties considered most vulnerable in the fourth quarter of 2023 to housing market troubles (from among 580 counties with enough data to analyze).

The 50 most at-risk counties included one in New York City (Kings County, which covers Brooklyn), five in the New York City suburbs (Essex, Ocean, Passaic, Sussex and Union counties, all in New Jersey) and five in the Chicago metropolitan area (De Kalb, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties).

The 14 located across inland California were Butte County (Chico), Sacramento County, El Dorado County (outside Sacramento) and Solano County (outside Sacramento) in the northern part of the state, and Fresno County, Kern County (Bakersfield), Kings County (outside Fresno), Madera County (outside Fresno), Merced County (outside Fresno), San Joaquin County (Stockton), Stanislas County (Modesto) and Tulare County (outside Fresno) in central California. Two others, Riverside County and San Bernardino County, were in southern California.

Elsewhere, the top-50 list included two in the Philadelphia, PA, metro area (Camden and Gloucester counties in New Jersey) and two near St. Louis, MO (Saint Clair and Madison counties in Illinois).

Counties more vulnerable to declines have less-affordable homes as well as higher levels of underwater mortgages, foreclosures and unemployment
Major home-ownership costs (mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance) on median-priced single-family homes consumed more than one-third of average local wages in 43 of the 50 counties that were considered most vulnerable to market drop-offs in the fourth quarter of 2023. Nationwide, major expenses on typical homes sold in the fourth quarter required 33.7 percent of average local wages – almost exactly one-third.

The highest percentages in the 50 most at-risk markets were in Kings County (Brooklyn), NY (114 percent of average local wages needed for major ownership costs); Riverside County, CA (74.2 percent); El Dorado County, CA (outside Sacramento) (73.7 percent); Contra Costa County, CA (outside Oakland) (67.2 percent) and Passaic County, NJ (outside New York City) (67.1 percent).

At least 5 percent of residential mortgages were underwater in the fourth quarter of 2023 in 36 of the 50 most-at-risk counties. Nationwide, 6.1 percent of mortgages fell into that category, with homeowners owing more on their mortgages than the estimated value of their properties. Those with the highest underwater rates among the 50 most at-risk counties were Tangipahoa Parish, LA (east of Baton Rouge) (22.8 percent underwater); Saint Clair County, IL (outside St. Louis, MO) (17.4 percent); Montgomery County (Clarksville), TN (15.5 percent); Hardin County, KY (outside Louisville) (15.5 percent) and Madison County, IL (outside St. Louis, MO) (14.6 percent).

More than one of every 1,000 properties faced a foreclosure action in the fourth quarter of 2023 in 36 of the 50 most vulnerable counties. Nationwide, one in 1,503 homes were in that position.

The highest foreclosure rates among the top 50 counties were in Cumberland County (Vineland), NJ, (one in 456 properties facing possible foreclosure); Sussex County, NJ (outside New York City) (one in 540); Camden County, NJ (outside Philadelphia, PA) (one in 565); Madison County, IL (outside St. Louis, MO) (one in 575) and Madera County, CA (outside Fresno) (one in 597).

The November unemployment rate was at least 4 percent in 39 of the 50 most at-risk counties, while the nationwide figure stood at 3.7 percent. The highest rates in the top 50 counties were all in central California: Tulare County, CA (outside Fresno) (10.2 percent); Merced County, CA (outside Fresno) (8.5 percent); Kings County, CA (outside Fresno) (8 percent); Kern County (Bakersfield), CA (7.8 percent) and Fresno County, CA (7.6 percent).

Counties least at risk concentrated in South and Midwest
Twenty-five of the 50 counties considered least vulnerable to housing-market problems from among the 580 included in the fourth-quarter report were in the Midwest and 14 were in the  South. Nine were in the Northeast while just two were in the West.

Wisconsin had nine of the 50 least at-risk counties in the fourth quarter: Brown County (Green Bay), Outagamie County (outside Green Bay), Dane County (Madison), Rock County (outside Madison), Eau Claire County, La Crosse County, Marathon County (Wausau), Washington County (outside Milwaukee) and Winnebago County (Oshkosh).

Another five were in Kansas, all in or near Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita: Wyandotte County (Kansas City), Johnson County (Overland Park), Shawnee County (Topeka), Douglas County (outside Topeka) and Sedgwick County (Wichita).

Less-vulnerable counties have better affordability along with other more favorable measures
Major ownership costs on median-priced single-family homes required more than one-third of average local wages in 31 of the 50 counties that were considered least vulnerable to market problems in the fourth quarter of 2023 (compared to 43 of the most at-risk).

The highest levels were in Gallatin County (Bozeman), MT (76.8 percent of average local wages needed for major ownership costs); Washington County, RI (outside Providence) (74.6 percent); Forsyth County GA (outside Atlanta) (66.2 percent); Williamson County, TN (outside Nashville) (62.2 percent) and Loudoun County, VA (outside Washington, DC) (59.3 percent).

Less than 5 percent of residential mortgages were underwater in the fourth quarter of 2023 (with owners owing more than their properties were worth) in 39 of the 50 least-at-risk counties. Those with the lowest rates were Williamson County, TN (outside Nashville) (1.6 percent underwater); Loudoun County, VA (outside Washington, DC) (1.8 percent); Washington County, RI (outside Providence) (1.8 percent); Forsyth County GA (outside Atlanta) (2 percent) and Hillsborough County (Manchester), NH (2 percent).

More than one in 1,000 properties faced a foreclosure action during the fourth quarter of 2023 in none of the 50 least-at-risk counties. Those with the lowest rates were Johnson County (Overland Park), KS (one in 49,771 properties facing possible foreclosure); Wyandotte County (Kansas City), KS (one in 17,086); La Crosse County, WI (one in 13,056); Williamson County, TN (outside Nashville) (one in 12,677) and Dane County (Madison), WI (one in 11,176).

The November 2023 unemployment rate was less than 3 percent in 45 of the 50 least-at-risk counties. The lowest rates among those counties were in Cass County (Fargo), ND (1.3 percent); Olmsted County (Rochester), MN (1.4 percent); Howard County, MD (outside Baltimore) (1.4 percent); Minnehaha County (Sioux Falls), SD (1.6 percent) and Stearns County (St. Cloud), MN (1.8 percent).

Report methodology
The ATTOM Special Coronavirus Market Impact Report is based on ATTOM’s fourth-quarter 2023 foreclosure, home affordability and underwater property reports, plus November 2023 unemployment figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Press releases for affordability, foreclosure and underwater-property reports show the methodology for each.) Counties with sufficient data to analyze were ranked based on the fourth-quarter percentage of properties with a foreclosure filing, the percentage of average local wages needed to afford the major expenses of owning a median-priced home and the percentage of properties with outstanding mortgage balances that exceeded their estimated market values, along with November 2023 county unemployment rates. Ranks then were added up to develop a composite ranking across all four categories. Equal weight was given to each category. Counties with the lowest composite rank were considered most vulnerable to housing market problems. Those with the highest composite rank were considered least vulnerable.

About ATTOM
ATTOM provides premium property data to power products that improve transparency, innovation, efficiency, and disruption in a data-driven economy. ATTOM multi-sources property tax, deed, mortgage, foreclosure, environmental risk, natural hazard, and neighborhood data for more than 155 million U.S. residential and commercial properties covering 99 percent of the nation’s population. A rigorous data management process involving more than 20 steps validates, standardizes, and enhances the real estate data collected by ATTOM, assigning each property record with a persistent, unique ID — the ATTOM ID. The 30TB ATTOM Data Warehouse fuels innovation in many industries including mortgage, real estate, insurance, marketing, government and more through flexible data delivery solutions that include ATTOM Cloudbulk file licensesproperty data APIsreal estate market trendsproperty navigator and more. Also, introducing our newest innovative solution, making property data more readily accessible and optimized for AI applications– AI-Ready Solutions

Media Contact:
Megan Hunt
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Data and Report Licensing:
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SOURCE ATTOM

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/california-new-jersey-and-illinois-still-facing-higher-risk-of-housing-market-decline-302082161.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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