If you caught ATTOM Data Solutions latest 2019 Buy vs. Rent report, you saw that renting is now more affordable than buying in 59 percent of U.S. Housing Markets. Therefore, ATTOM decided to do a deeper data dive into some of those areas, where home affordability is still a possibility. Using ATTOM’s sales history data, which covers more than 155 million U.S. properties and over 3,140 counties, as well as rental rates provided by HUD and wage data from the BLS we unlocked the counties behind the data.
Here is a sneak peek into the data, with a list of the Top 5 counties with a population of 500,000 or more, where home affordability is more a reality.
Top 5 Affordable Counties
To give you a bit of context behind the numbers and how ATTOM tells the story, let’s break down the numbers. Using the most recent rental rates data and comparing those to last year we get the year-over-year percent change. Then we take ATTOMs most recent YTD median sales prices and compare those to last year to get the home price appreciation. This helps to determine if home prices or rental rates are rising faster. Using the most recent wage data ATTOM then incorporates how much of the average income is needed to rent vs. buy. To derive the home buying affordability portion, a bit more analytics is assumed, such as homeowner’s insurance and private mortgage insurance, mortgage rates, property tax and basing it upon 3 percent down. By comparing these two datasets, ATTOM then showcases areas that are more affordable to buy vs. rent. On top of that, ATTOM then concludes with rent prices and home prices versus wage data, to uncover counties where wages are rising faster or vice versa.
When all is said and done, 755 counties remain to tell the story on where the American dream of owning a home is most attainable versus where renting a property may be your only option.
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