Written by The Business Journal Staff
As housing markets shift in the changing economy, one research company identified the San Joaquin Valley as among the most vulnerable to a downward swing in home values.
From Kern to San Joaquin counties, Attom data named seven of the eight Valley counties — excluding Stanislaus County — as being among the 50 most vulnerable in the U.S. for levels of unaffordable housing, underwater mortgages, foreclosures and unemployment. The study did not name any coastal counties in California as being vulnerable.
Tulare, Merced, Kern and Kings counties all ranked among the 50 most vulnerable counties due to levels of unemployment exceeding 7%.
Counties in Pennsylvania, New York, New York and New Jersey ranked high in the list due to high levels of foreclosures in those areas.
Home ownership costs (mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance) are the highest in Kings County, New York with 102.9% of wages spent. Riverside County followed with 67.6% of wages spent on mortgages, taxes and insurance. Rockland County, NY and Richmond County, NY followed. In San Joaquin County, 58.7% of wages go toward home ownership costs.
On balance, counties in New York City and Chicago were the most exposed, the report stated. Homes in the South and in the Midwest were the least exposed to downward markets.
Over the past year, home prices have increased in many markets over 10%, with Fresno among the hottest housing markets in the country.
The study, however, did not identify any places where a fall in housing markets was imminent. Rising home values have created higher equity and home-seller profits, keeping homeowners afloat.
The study looked at Q2 data for gaps between median income and home affordability, percentage of homes with outstanding balances exceeding home values, percentages of homes facing possible foreclosure and unemployment rates.