Most vulnerable housing markets are in these two regions

by Duffie Osental12 Oct 2020

Housing markets in pockets of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions were the most vulnerable to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the third quarter, according to a new report from ATTOM Data Solutions.

The report revealed that Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware had 32 of the 50 counties most vulnerable to the economic impact of the pandemic in the third quarter. They included five suburban counties in the New York City metropolitan area, four around Washington, D.C., four around Philadelphia, four around Baltimore, and seven of Connecticut's eight counties.

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At the other end of the spectrum, counties least at risk are concentrated in Colorado, Indiana, Missouri, Texas, and Wisconsin. The largest populated counties included Tarrant County (Fort Worth), Texas; Travis County (Austin), Texas; Marion County (Indianapolis), Ind.; Denver County, Colo., and Arapahoe County, Colo.

According to ATTOM, housing markets are considered more or less at risk based on the percentage of homes currently facing possible foreclosure, the portion of homes with mortgage balances that exceed the estimated property value, and the percentage of local wages required to pay for major home ownership expenses.

While the housing markets in certain areas remained vulnerable, ATTOM said that the overall national housing market has largely staved off the effect of the virus pandemic.

“While home values have dipped in some areas of the nation, counties generally have seen prices rise 7% to 15% since the third quarter of 2019,” ATTOM said in a statement. “But the market remains exposed due to high unemployment and other damage that has spread through the United States economy as the virus has surged throughout the country this year.”

“The US housing market continues to show remarkable resilience during a time of widespread economic trouble and high unemployment stemming from the virus pandemic,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM Data Solutions. “But amid continued price gains, pockets around the country face greater risk of a fall, especially in and around the Northeast. There is much uncertainty ahead, especially if another virus wave hits. We will continue to closely monitor home prices and sale patterns to see if, how and where the pandemic starts rattling local markets.”