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Colorado’s Eagle County Named Least Affordable in Housing

Phil Hall
Oct 02, 2015
Vail Colorado Pic

Eagle County, Colo., home to the exclusive Vail resort, was the least affordable county for housing during the first quarter, according to data released by RealtyTrac.

Eagle County earned its distinction for pricey housing because 138.5 percent of the average wage was required to make monthly payments on an average priced home. The other counties that topped the list of least affordable markets were Kings County, N.Y. (better known as Brooklyn, at 126.3 percent), Marin County, Calif. (home of the San Francisco metro area, at 119.3 percent), Santa Cruz County, Calif. (109.0 percent), and Maui County, Hawaii (99.2 percent).

At the other end of the spectrum, Hamilton County, Fla., where 5.6 percent of the average wage was needed to make monthly payments on an average priced home, was the most affordable market in the first quarter. Other counties in the top five most affordable were Saint Louis County (8.3 percent), Saint Louis City (9.4 percent), Lake County, Ind., in the greater Chicago metro area (9.5 percent), and Fairfield County, S.C., in the Columbia metro area (10.3 percent).

On the whole, RealtyTrac determined that affordable homeownership options are becoming more prevalent: monthly payments on an average-priced U.S. home acquired with a three percent down payment required 36.5 percent of the average wage nationwide in the first quarter of 2015, down from 37.6 percent in the previous quarter and down from 37.4 percent in the first quarter of 2014. This marks the most affordable level since the first quarter of 2013, when affordability was 33.5 percent.

“At the national level, buying an average-priced home in the first quarter of 2015 was the most affordable it's been in two years and nearly twice as affordable as it was in the second quarter of 2006 - when affordability was its worst in the past 10 years,” said ," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “At the local level we're seeing several bellwether markets where wage growth matched or even outpaced home price growth over the past year.”

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