10 Most Affordable Markets in the First Quarter

An aerial photograph of a residential neighborhood showing near-identical houses.

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Higher home prices and mortgage rates continue to chip away at housing affordability. The median-priced single-family home is less affordable in 79% of U.S. counties compared to their historical averages, the highest point since mid-2008, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ first-quarter 2022 U.S. Home Affordability Report.

But pockets of affordability do still exist: Several counties in Pennsylvania, for example, show some of the best affordability levels for homeownership.

ATTOM Data researchers identified the 10 counties with the smallest portion of average local wages needed to afford the median-priced home in the first quarter. Those markets are:

  1. Schuylkill County, Pa. (outside Allentown): 7% of annualized weekly wages needed to buy a home
  2. Macon County, Ill. (Decatur): 9.7%
  3. Peoria County, Ill.: 10.2%
  4. Bibb County, Ga. (Macon): 10.2%
  5. Rock Island County, Ill. (Moline): 11%
  6. Cambria County, Pa.: 11.1%
  7. Blair County, Pa.: 11.5%
  8. Saint Lawrence County, N.Y.: 11.7%
  9. Fayette County, Pa.: 11.7%
  10. Wayne County, Mich.: 11.9%

In the majority of the nation’s largest counties, however, housing costs require a much larger portion of wages. Overall in the first quarter, about 52% of the counties that were analyzed required more than 28% of annualized local wages to afford a typical home. The area that required the largest percentage of wages included Santa Cruz County, Calif. (92.7% of annualized weekly wages needed to buy a home), followed by Kings County, N.Y. (Brooklyn) at 91.5%, and Marin County, Calif. (outside of San Francisco) at 79.7%.