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ATTOM Reveals Top 10 Housing Markets Vulnerable To Coronavirus

Katie Jensen
Oct 25, 2021

New Jersey, Illinois, and Delaware had the highest concentration of high-risk markets in the third quarter. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • New Jersey, Illinois, and Delaware had the highest concentration of high-risk markets in the third quarter. 
  • The biggest clusters are in the New York City and Chicago areas, while the West remains far less exposed.
  • 33 of the 50 counties least vulnerable to pandemic-related problems for the third quarter were in the South and the Midwest.

ATTOM’s third quarter 2021 Special Report spotlights county-level housing markets across the country to evaluate how vulnerable they were to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The data shows that New Jersey, Illinois, and Delaware had the highest concentration of high-risk markets in the third quarter. 

However, the latest coronavirus impact analysis reports that the biggest clusters are in the New York City and Chicago areas, while the West remains far less exposed. New Jersey, Delaware, and Illinois had 26 of the 50 counties most exposed to the potential housing-related impacts of the pandemic. Eight of these counties were near the Chicago area, six near New York City, and two of Delaware’s three counties. Additionally, three counties in Philadelphia, PA, suburbs made the top-50 list. 

“There’s growing reason to think the Coronavirus pandemic may finally be heading into the history books as case numbers have dropped significantly in the past month or so. But it still poses a significant threat to the economy, with some housing markets in pockets of the country remaining at higher risk than others,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM.

The coronavirus housing impact report from ATTOM looks at markets considered more or less at-risk based on the percentage of homes facing foreclosure, the portion of mortgage balances that exceeded estimated property values, and the percentage of average local wages required to pay major homeownership expenses on median-priced homes and condominiums. 

The top ten at-risk U.S. counties in the areas of Chicago, New York City, Delaware and Philadelphia include: Sussex County, NJ (% of income needed to buy – 36.9%); Kendall County, IL (% of income needed to buy – 39.5%); Mchenry County, IL (34.6%); Warren County, NJ (33.6%);  Passaic County, NJ (43.9%); Will County, IL (32.9%); Gloucester County, NJ (31.4%);  Atlantic County, NJ (26.8%); Essex County, NJ (37.7%), and Bay County, FL (31.1%). Will County, IL, had the highest percentage of homes with foreclosure filings at 0.148%. However, Atlantic County, NJ, and Sussex County, NJ, had the highest percentage of homes underwater at 18.8% and 18.1%, respectively. 

According to ATTOM’s analysis, 33 of the 50 counties least vulnerable to pandemic-related problems for the third quarter were in the South and the Midwest. Oregon had 6 of the 50 least at-risk counties, including two in the Portland metro area (Travis and Williamson counties). Other counties mentioned in the least vulnerable list were Clay, Jackson and Johnson counties in the Kansas City, MO, area; Arapahoe and Denver counties in the Denver, CO, metro area; Dakota and Hennepin counties in the Minneapolis, MN area; and Davidson and Rutherford counties in the Nashville, TN, area. 

“It’s important to stress that this doesn’t mean that any one area faces imminent danger, especially given how well the housing market has avoided major problems during the pandemic,” Teta added. “Rather, some are more at risk than others. We will continue watching prices, affordability, distressed property counts and other measures to gauge the risk, as long as the pandemic remains a big issue facing the country.”

 

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