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NYC, Chicago Area Housing Markets Seen as Unaffordable -- and Vulnerable

The Chicago and New York City areas each had eight of the most at-risk housing counties on a list created by data firm Attom.
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New York City and Chicago top an ignominious list: areas where housing is unaffordable for average workers, foreclosures are higher and more homeowners are under water.

Under-water mortgages, of course, are ones where the mortgage-loan balances top the values of the homes.

Real estate data firm Attom listed the 50 most at-risk counties in the nation during the fourth quarter, according to that criteria, Bloomberg reports

The Chicago and New York City areas each had eight. California had seven. The Philadelphia area and Delaware also were high on the list.

Sussex County, N.J., took the most vulnerable spot, followed by McHenry County, Ill.; Webb County, Texas; Warren County, N.J.; and Passaic County, N.J.

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In Sussex County, one of every 709 homes is in foreclosure, ranking it fourth on that metric after Cuyahoga County, Ohio; Saint Clair County, Ill.,; and Camden County, N.J.

Attom’s report calculated that in the 10 most at-risk counties, people on average spend between 32% and 45% of their income on housing.

The Covid pandemic obviously isn’t helping things. “The virus remains a potent threat to the broader economy and the housing market,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer at Attom, according to Bloomberg.

As for the U.S. housing market in full, where prices have exploded higher, some analysts expect the price gains to continue

"The increase in house-price growth will be less transitory than the increase in consumer prices, as the U.S. housing market will continue to struggle with a shortage of available housing for many months to come," according to a commentary from Norada Real Estate Investments.