Inland Empire housing at high risk to coronavirus fallout, by this math – Daily News

on Apr7
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The Inland Empire housing market is among the nation’s least-capable of withstanding coronavirus fallout, one ranking suggests.

Analysts at Attom Data Solutions graded U.S. counties for their housing market’s financial stability based on three metrics: affordability (share of local incomes needed to buy a home takes); equity (how many homeowners were “underwater” — where the mortgage is larger than the home’s value); and payment-making abilities (foreclosure activity measured by filings as a share of homes, before coronavirus hit).

On this scorecard, Riverside County was graded with the third-lowest stability of the 50 U.S. counties with the largest populations.

It’s not a cheap place to live. A $387,500 median selling price in the first quarter led to the 11th worst affordability with 61% of income required to buy. Owners are mid-range with debt-levels ranking No. 22 for underwater properties at 9.6% of all mortgaged homes. And payments were being missed ranking the county No. 11 for foreclosure activity — 0.12% of all homes.

San Bernardino County ranked 10th-least stable among the 50 counties. Its $335,000 median pushed it to No. 16 worst for affordability with 47.8% of pay needed to buy. The county ranked No. 26 for underwater properties — 7.7% of mortgaged homes. And No. 9 for foreclosure activity — 0.13% of homes.

Los Angeles County was middle-of-the-pack at No. 25. Its $621,500 median price home ranked it ninth-worst for affordability at 64.1%. However, it was third-lowest for underwater properties at 4.5% and No. 28 for foreclosure activity at 0.07%.

Orange County was five rankings better than L.A. at No. 20. Its $735,000 median ranked it second-worst for affordability at 80.3% of income. On the upside, it ranked No. 41 for underwater properties (5.3%) and No. 41 for foreclosure activity (0.05%).

Compare those local scores with U.S. levels for all counties: a $252,500 median; affordability at 31.1% ; underwater properties at 13.8%; and foreclosure activity at 0.08%.

This grading of risk levels isn’t simply about high home prices.

Note that the lowest risk was found in Harris County in Texas (where Houston is) with a $219,688 median and No. 42 rank for affordability among the 50 counties. Most at risk? Florida’s Broward County (think Fort Lauderdale) with a roughly national average $257,000 median and a mid-range No. 30 affordability ranking.

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