In Nearly 70% Of US Counties, The Average Worker Can't Afford To Buy A Home

Housing, as we've pointed out in the past, is perhaps the most reliable bellwether of widening economic inequality in the US. And in its latest quarterly report on housing affordability in the US, ATTOM discovered that median-priced homes aren't affordable to average wage earners in an astounding 68% of US housing markets.

In its report, the company calculated affordability by incorporating the amount of income needed to make monthly home payments - including mortgage payments, property tax payments and insurance - on a median-priced home, assuming a 3% down payment and a 28% maximum "front-end" debt-to-income ratio.

That required income was then compared with the median home price.


The 304 counties where a median-priced home in the first quarter was not affordable for average wage earners included Los Angeles County, California; Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona; San Diego County, California; Orange County, California; and Miami-Dade County, Florida. Meanwhile, the 142 counties (32 percent of the 446 counties analyzed in the report) where a median-priced home in the first quarter was still affordable for average wage earners included Cook County (Chicago), Illinois; Harris County (Houston), Texas; Dallas County, Texas; Wayne County (Detroit), Michigan; and Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.


Already, the "hottest" housing markets are seeing an exodus of working- and middle-class individuals who can no longer afford to pay the high rents - let along afford to set aside enough money for a down payment.

Eight of the top 10 counties with the highest median home prices in Q1 2018 posted negative net migration in 2017: Kings County (Brooklyn), New York (25,484 net migration decrease); Santa Clara County (San Jose), California (5,559 net migration decrease); New York County (Manhattan), New York (3,762 net migration decrease); Orange County, California (3,750 net migration decrease); and San Mateo, Marin, Napa and Santa Cruz counties in Northern California.

Furthermore, ATTOM's data found that this problem is getting worse, not better, with 41% of housing markets less affordable than their historical average during the first quarter. That's up from 35% the quarter before.

Meanwhile, a staggering 73% of markets posted worsening affordability compared with a year ago, including Los Angeles, Cook County (home to Chicago), Maricopa County (Phoenix) and Kings County (Brooklyn).


The counties where the average wage earner would need to spend the highest share of their income to buy a median-priced home are Baltimore, Bibb County (Macon, Georgia) and Wayne County (Detroit).

Continuing with the trend of home prices rising more than twice as quickly as wages, home-price appreciation outpaced wage growth in 83% of housing markets.

When Fed Chairman Jerome Powell warned last month that "valuations are still elevated across a range of asset classes" and that he fears "signs of rising non-financial leverage" it's possible that he was still understating the problem.


Déjà view Pinto Currency Fri, 03/30/2018 - 01:52 Permalink

Listen up Calexico ♥illegals...♥Tejas RE.

In fact, more than half of the state's ♥undocumented immigrants have lived in ♥Texas for more than 10 years, according to data released this month from the Migration Policy Institute.

Additionally, the rate of ♥undocumented immigrants who are homeowners is higher in ♥Texas compared with the rest of the country — 42 percent of ♥undocumented immigrants in ♥Texas "reside in homes that are owned, not rented" compared with 31 percent nationwide.

♥Harris County...majority minority for over a decade..."Mi casa es su casa"...

Si Señor!

In reply to by Pinto Currency

Adolph.H. Déjà view Fri, 03/30/2018 - 02:15 Permalink

There are lies, damned lies and statistics. 

- Mark Twain


Attom data mining - statistics - with a nice star of David in their logo. So:

Data mining -> Jews

Do they also license data from the Jew Zuckerberg a well? 


Why do we always find Jews where false narrative fake news and lies can be inserted? 


There are lies, damn lies and data mining. 

Now that's a proper modern days version. 

In reply to by Déjà view

Kidbuck Adolph.H. Fri, 03/30/2018 - 04:32 Permalink

Fuck you and your Jew bashing you under achieving envious twat. If you were smart enough to have taken math and science courses in college and excelled at them you could have any job your betters now have. You could even be working on Wall Street or at the Fed. 

In reply to by Adolph.H.

Theosebes Goodfellow Rhetorical Fri, 03/30/2018 - 12:00 Permalink

~"No point to put any more than that when I can throw it all into Crypto."~

Considering that bitcoin and Ethers are back under $7k and $400 respectively today, how's that game plan going? Are you backing the truck up and BTFD?/s

For the sake of argument, I'd like to throw in here that there is a large portion of the millennial demographic the a) cannot pass a drug test, b) is too obese to be able to stand for 8 hours without suffering some permanent disability and c) has slightly less motivation than a banana slug.

Also, any down payment less than 20 percent has a PMI. That's going to impact affordability. Yes, housing in large metro areas is less affordable than rural areas. Sometimes, completely less affordable. YMMV.

In reply to by Rhetorical

D503 Kidbuck Fri, 03/30/2018 - 06:20 Permalink

Right. I remember my master's "science" course, lol

So it turns out there is this concept called fuel, it powers everything including its own acquisition. I seemed to have learned in my "science" course that no one makes fuel. We just consume it. 

The quality of available fuel is getting worse. No one in the "science course" has a solution. 

The coming collapse is as certain as the earth is a spheroid.

Oh, of course, unless all us mathematicians, physicists, chemists, and applied scientists are wrong about the shape of the planet. I mean, if it's flat, and continues forever, then there is infinite fuel potentially. Maybe.

In reply to by Kidbuck

Lostinfortwalton D503 Fri, 03/30/2018 - 08:53 Permalink

Your science course was wrong. Ever hear of the carbon cycle? The co2 out your exhaust pipe can be processed by plant life, which can yield food, firewood, or corn (ethanol). Then there is hydro power where the suns evaporation dumps rain and snow in the mountains which is harnessed by hydroelectric dams - enough to power your little electric car until the sun burns out.

In reply to by D503

D503 Lostinfortwalton Fri, 03/30/2018 - 10:02 Permalink

Ah I see, energy density and entropy never factor into your equations then eh?

Batteries take more energy to make than they ever store. They also require setting on fire to "recycle."

It's always interesting to see oil used to produce everything "renewable."

But I'm sure we'll all just start burning cords of firewood to power our trains, you cars, and battery production. 

Great job Faraday. You really knocked that one out of the park. I was worried for nothing.

In reply to by Lostinfortwalton

JimmyJones Bes Thu, 03/29/2018 - 23:35 Permalink

Are you delusional, there is a big difference between demanding better conditions economically then asking for the Government to give me money for food or shelter.  I want the law obeyed, I want illegal aliens thrown out so our work force is as big as it should be opperating within the law. That would create wage pressure due to a scarcity of labor. I also want realistic regulations and tariffs on trade with countries that don't have those same restrictions to protect our people.

That isn't in conflict with giving a big middle finger to the Free Shit Army.

If the free shit army wasn't lazy parasites they would want the same. The illegal alien directly competes with the low wage earners and helps keep low wages low forever, how forever you might ask? Because there is literally a endless source if them, about 5 billion.

In reply to by Bes

HRClinton JimmyJones Fri, 03/30/2018 - 06:47 Permalink

"I want the law obeyed..."

Oh yeah, by whom? Just the small fry (99.9%) or everyone?

And which "laws"? The ones we actually wanted in the first place, or the countless laws they put in place, because they could and it suited them?

How's "Lock her up!" coming along?

Peddle BS elsewhere, we're filled up on BS, Hypocrisy, Lies, Fraud and Theft -- dear Hopium-addicted Kool-Aid guzzler.

We have #ZeroFaith left in secular and clerical leaders. Actually, it's worse than Zero: we're into the negative territory.

In reply to by JimmyJones

strayaway JimmyJones Fri, 03/30/2018 - 09:48 Permalink

Government is responsible for creating demand for housing by illegals and creating the oversupply of labor you mentioned. Government is also responsible for driving up the cost of housing with zoning and building code requirements that favor corporate profit margins. For instance, I would like to build a cabin in my state before Democrats take over and impose comprehensive planning building site restrictions. However, a cabin requires a professional electrician to do all the the wiring, the lumber can't come from the farm, and I need a 10" deep gravel drive I don't want. In California, these problems are much worse beginning with government created shortages of building lots and myriad regulatory agencies.

In reply to by JimmyJones

ktown JimmyJones Fri, 03/30/2018 - 04:18 Permalink

Your amazement is seconded only by the mortgage insurance providers whom soon will be balking at the lack of appreciation of R.E. and the last in blows up the attorney generals office about fraud? The insurance fails and the tax payer....almost to the hour of the day 10 years later? One half of Fed balance sheet starts hemorrhaging? Maiden lane 2.o? ZIRP and Q.E for 3 more years? TINA will get pump and dumped a lot!

In reply to by JimmyJones

Sudden Debt StheNine Fri, 03/30/2018 - 04:06 Permalink

Supply & Demand.


As long as people are willing to pay for it prices will keep going up.

We put value in to many crappy things. 

Boomers and Millenials control everything and own everything and the younger generation is to dumb to take over the torch.

It's not just inequality, it the end of America that is shown in the generation X. The older they'll get the worse America will be.


In reply to by StheNine

css1971 khnum Fri, 03/30/2018 - 05:41 Permalink

This is what markets do.

They make not quite enough of a product for everyone, because to make enough would cause the price to crash, and the producers to go out of business, it would also cause the people supplying the money for the houses (banks) to go out of business.

So, essentially, markets enforce scarcity. Poverty is necessary for a market to function. Price discovery doesn't work otherwise.

What we saw after the 08 crash was the demolition of thousands upon thousands of houses, to reduce the supply available and bring the price of housing back up.

Now, I'm not ragging on markets here, they do automatically what socialist controls fail at completely causing millions of deaths. But if we consider poverty to be a bad thing, then it would benefit our society to produce enough of the essentials for everyone to be able to avoid said poverty of housing.

And it doesn't have to be government run. A charity which does nothing but build an additional supply of housing, not expecting to make a profit, will drive house prices down, and simultaneously fuck with the banks.

The other thing you'd have to do on the demand side is stop importing a million people a year (legally) and remove the ones which are there illegally.

In reply to by khnum

GunnerySgtHartman css1971 Fri, 03/30/2018 - 10:18 Permalink

Interesting points.  I'd like to add one: the shameless manipulation of local building codes by building contractors.

In many cities, the building contractors own the city councils lock, stock, and barrel to prevent lower-cost housing from being built.  For example, the city I live in has a building code which explicitly prohibits modular "factory-built" homes from being located in the city limits (I'm not talking about mobile homes/house trailers here, although those are also banned).  The code requires that all homes be stick-built on site and blend in with existing homes in the neighborhood.  Modulars look just like stick-built, are built to the same codes (and in many ways, are built BETTER than stick-built), and blend into the neighborhoods just fine - but they are banned solely because the contractors don't want lower-priced competition.  Then, when people can't find affordable homes, the contractors start complaining that they can't make money building homes in the "affordable" price range - so those people are SOL.  And naturally, the city councils don't want lower-priced competition, because it would eat into property tax revenue ... gotta have those high-dollar homes, you know.

In reply to by css1971

hvl626 khnum Sun, 04/01/2018 - 10:59 Permalink

Taxes are destroying the middle class.


All taxes are reflected in the price consumers must pay for the price of a product.  Even the price of a house must cover the taxes paid for all goods that must go into the cost of construction; the income taxes, SS taxes, unemployment taxes on each involved construction crew, delivery truck driver, sales agent, etc.


Taxes are driving citizens into the status of vassals of a feudal society.  There are only two classes of people: vassals and elites.

In reply to by khnum

Vlad the Inhaler Thu, 03/29/2018 - 22:23 Permalink

Gotta live somewhere, it's cheaper to put 3% down (and get money back for closing costs) than to pay the crazy rents in most of those places.  The banks sold the foreclosures to PE landlords in bulk rather than put them back on the market to bring down home prices to affordable levels.

COSMOS JimmyJones Thu, 03/29/2018 - 22:50 Permalink

Vlad you hit it on the money.  Home prices like anything else in this country are manipulated.  Market based economy left the nest a looooong time ago.  This country is going down the drain and the speed is picking up.  We really have gone back to serfdom, though its more subtle than in the past.  Expect crime to really pickup as people get desperate.  There wont be any Robin Hoods either.  Walled compounds and gated communities will be the only place those with means can hide.…


In reply to by JimmyJones

True Blue COSMOS Fri, 03/30/2018 - 00:27 Permalink

 Robin Hood didn't 'rob from the rich'; he robbed the sheriff of Nottingham's tax collectors. Funny how that one little detail has been altered...

And if the banks hadn't been 'bailed out' with taxpayer money, they would have had to sell those foreclosed properties on the open market instead of having the luxury to sit on them or bargain them off to their friends and Wall St. buddies, keeping the un-affordable fake boom going.

In reply to by COSMOS

Kidbuck True Blue Fri, 03/30/2018 - 04:43 Permalink

Friends on Wall Street also own huge number of rentals that are filled with Free Shit Army Section 8 low lifes. These rentals are not all bare bones as the tax payer might hope but often some of the most expensive digs in the neighborhood. Your government is competing with you for rentals and home purchases and they don't care how much of your money they have to spend to do it.

In reply to by True Blue

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Vlad the Inhaler Thu, 03/29/2018 - 23:09 Permalink

Yep. I bought my place in 2014, overpaid on principle every month, and have between $60K and $70K equity. Painted house last year, installed gravel in back yard a few weeks ago. Have a few more things to do: finishing upgrading exterior lighting, pressure wash and restain two small decks, fix my gate with new hardware, put new hardware on the kitchen cabinets. Oh I have to get someone up on the roof to put that moss stuff on the north side. Should be squared away for a renter.

Oh, and sell all my junk! I can't wait for the day this place is empty, the stuff I want to keep is in storage, and I put my pillows and toothbrush into the RV and drive away. When? I was shooting for June but if not June hope to have the place cleared out by the end of July.

In reply to by Vlad the Inhaler