Washington, Sullivan ranked among least vulnerable housing markets

Washington and Sullivan are among the U.S. counties least vulnerable to housing market declines, according to a Special Housing Risk report from Attom Data Solutions.

Based on home affordability, underwater mortgages, foreclosures, and unemployment, first-quarter patterns this year show that the 12 Tennessee counties included in the 586-county analysis were among the least vulnerable in the U.S.

The East Tennessee counties ranked by those least vulnerable were Blount, Knox, Washington, Hamilton, Sullivan, and Cleveland.

“While the housing market has been exceptionally strong over the past few years, which doesn’t mean there aren’t areas of potential vulnerability if economic conditions continue to weaken,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at ATTOM. “Housing markets with poor affordability and relatively high rates of unemployment, underwater loans, and foreclosure activity could be at risk if we enter a recession or even face a more modest downturn.”

These counties were considered more or less at risk based on percentage of homes facing possible foreclosure, the portion with mortgage balances that exceeded estimated property values, and the percentage of average local wages required to pay for major homeownership expenses on median-priced single-family homes, and local unemployment rates.

Sullivan Co. had the best affordability rating (16%) based on the percentage of income needed to buy a median-priced home.

Washington Co. had the second-best affordability rating (21.3%).

Attom’s analysis shows that New Jersey, Illinois, and inland California had the highest concentrations of the most at-risk markets with the biggest clusters in the New York City and Chicago areas. Most southern states were less exposed.

Tennessee had eight of the 50 least at-risk counties, including five in the Nashville metropolitan area (Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson counties). At the same time, Virginia also had five, including three in the Washington, DC area (Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties). Wisconsin also had four – Brown County (Green Bay), Dane County (Madison), Eau Claire County, and Winnebago County.


Categories: REAL ESTATE