California Has 17 of America’s 25 Least Affordable Housing Markets


Burgandy Basulto is a Content Writer at NAWRB. She has a bachelor’s degree in both English and Philosophy, and a master’s degree in Philosophy. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves running, kickboxing, watching films, trying new restaurants she finds via Yelp, and experiencing other cultures during her travels.

A new report by real estate market database ATTOM Data Solutions finds that almost half of the country’s housing markets are less affordable than historical averages, which is a slight improvement from over three-quarters in the last quarter of 2018.  Median home prices in the first quarter of 2019 were not affordable for wage earners in 70 percent of the largest counties.

Counties were ranked based on the affordability ratio, which is the median housing prices in the area relative to average annual wages. Many of the least affordable counties are in New York or California because these states are home to many of the top 25 metropolitan counties where citizens struggle to afford housing. Unfortunately, these are also hubs for the highest-paying jobs in the nation, so workers cannot afford to live in cities that have the greatest economic opportunities.

See below for a list of the 25 least affordable housing markets in the nation, with California counties comprising most of the spots. Kings County, NY, is the least affordable county as average annual wages are $47,788 while the residents need an income of at least $197,830 in order to buy a house. Kings County is followed by Santa Cruz County in California and New York County for least affordable.

Least Affordable Counties

  1. Kings County, NY
  2. Santa Cruz County, CA
  3. New York County, NY
  4. Maui County, HI
  5. Marin County, CA
  6. San Luis Obispo County, CA
  7. Queens County, NY
  8. Monterey County, CA
  9. Sonoma County, CA
  10. Honolulu County, HI
  11. Orange County, CA
  12. Sam Francisco, CA
  13. Ventura County, CA
  14. Napa County, CA
  15. San Mateo County, CA
  16. Santa Barbara County, CA
  17. Alameda County, CA
  18. Richmond County, NY
  19. Los Angeles County, CA
  20. El Dorado County, CA
  21. San Diego, CA
  22. Placer County, CA
  23. Riverside County, CA
  24. Nassau County, CA
  25. Bronx County, CA

See the full report here.

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