Homeownership now ‘unaffordable’ in these Northern California counties: study – KRON4

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(NEXSTAR) – People priced out of the core Bay Area have flocked to other Northern California locales, and now those places are seeing home prices spike out of reach.

As home prices have skyrocketed over the past few years, locals – who haven’t seen their wages skyrocket to match – are finding it harder and harder to enter the housing market.


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Personal finance site MoneyGeek analyzed the rising cost of real estate in metro areas around the country and compared home appreciation between 2021 and 2023 to changes in income during the same time period. They compiled a list of 57 counties were homeownership has recently become unaffordable for the typical family.

New to the list are the exurbs of San Francisco and several Sacramento-area counties.

Further north along the West Coast, 10 counties in Oregon and Washington are facing the same problem. In Clackamas County, just outside Portland, home prices have grown 33% in two years, according to MoneyGeek’s analysis.

Another area seeing rapid growth and gentrification is Travis County, Texas, home to the state capital of Austin. MoneyGeek found home prices there rose by nearly 50% since 2021 to a new median price of $610,000.

For their analysis, MoneyGeek only looked at counties with populations larger than 250,000 that are experiencing population growth higher than the national average.

See the full list of 57 counties where the cost of owning a home has grown “unaffordable” below:

Rank County Metro area Median household income Median home price Home price growth in last 2 years
1 Placer County, CA Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA $105,445 $740,068 25.9%
2 Norfolk County, MA Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH $115,969 $740,967 34.0%
3 Washoe County, NV Reno, NV $80,125 $568,847 33.9%
4 San Joaquin County, CA Stockton-Lodi, CA $86,056 $553,133 29.7%
5 Clackamas County, OR Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA $97,419 $639,349 33.4%
6 Solano County, CA Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $92,959 $633,442 27.6%
7 Lane County, OR Eugene, OR $64,069 $461,421 40.5%
8 Contra Costa County, CA San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $120,061 $875,183 40.7%
9 Washington County, OR Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA $98,906 $598,213 25.8%
10 Essex County, MA Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH $92,413 $650,959 30.2%
11 Sacramento County, CA Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA $84,211 $550,422 28.3%
12 Larimer County, CO Fort Collins, CO $88,403 $639,709 44.0%
13 Denver County, CO Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO $88,213 $681,243 41.1%
14 Marion County, OR Salem, OR $71,022 $439,919 37.6%
15 Ada County, ID Boise City, ID $87,774 $572,812 42.1%
16 Essex County, NJ New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA $74,994 $543,648 29.2%
17 Travis County, TX Austin-Round Rock, TX $95,259 $609,625 49.9%
18 Riverside County, CA Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA $86,748 $609,299 42.8%
19 Merced County, CA Merced, CA $66,164 $430,766 38.2%
20 Plymouth County, MA Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH $103,173 $578,535 35.9%
21 Fresno County, CA Fresno, CA $69,571 $424,915 34.2%
22 Snohomish County, WA Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $101,532 $759,090 47.9%
23 Worcester County, MA Worcester, MA-CT $86,258 $464,541 36.7%
24 Kitsap County, WA Bremerton-Silverdale, WA $94,775 $565,134 33.4%
25 Salt Lake County, UT Salt Lake City, UT $91,924 $588,713 43.8%
26 Spokane County, WA Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA $69,070 $470,279 56.1%
27 Arapahoe County, CO Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO $93,784 $605,759 36.8%
28 Dane County, WI Madison, WI $84,831 $432,643 38.7%
29 Clark County, NV Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV $70,797 $479,988 41.8%
30 Charleston County, SC Charleston-North Charleston, SC $80,401 $557,579 51.0%
31 Utah County, UT Provo-Orem, UT $95,338 $609,398 49.8%
32 Clark County, WA Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA $91,248 $543,165 35.0%
33 Thurston County, WA Olympia-Tumwater, WA $88,853 $533,152 41.2%
34 Fulton County, GA Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA $90,346 $538,765 38.3%
35 Collier County, FL Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL $80,815 $657,623 63.8%
36 Pierce County, WA Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $93,420 $575,639 46.4%
37 Davidson County, TN Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN $72,473 $489,829 54.7%
38 El Paso County, CO Colorado Springs, CO $82,389 $501,128 38.1%
39 Broward County, FL Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL $70,978 $500,480 52.9%
40 Cumberland County, ME Portland-South Portland, ME $89,345 $526,852 57.7%
41 Williamson County, TN Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN $129,275 $862,333 61.9%
42 Buncombe County, NC Asheville, NC $68,019 $464,935 56.0%
43 Palm Beach County, FL Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL $76,592 $524,918 54.7%
44 Alachua County, FL Gainesville, FL $58,354 $338,834 42.8%
45 Williamson County, TX Austin-Round Rock, TX $101,323 $520,953 54.6%
46 Hays County, TX Austin-Round Rock, TX $88,617 $464,991 54.3%
47 Manatee County, FL North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL $72,108 $476,592 58.4%
48 Canyon County, ID Boise City, ID $70,818 $439,226 60.3%
49 St. Lucie County, FL Port St. Lucie, FL $62,705 $397,522 59.2%
50 Orange County, FL Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL $72,324 $445,503 54.5%
51 Maricopa County, AZ Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ $83,747 $516,442 53.5%
52 Sarasota County, FL North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL $78,341 $508,658 67.1%
53 Mecklenburg County, NC Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC $80,365 $471,823 58.6%
54 Osceola County, FL Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL $63,271 $396,311 58.3%
55 Lee County, FL Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL $71,072 $440,056 64.0%
56 Durham County, NC Durham-Chapel Hill, NC $80,089 $452,381 71.4%
57 Hillsborough County, FL Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL $74,308 $436,723 60.3%

See more data on each of the 57 counties from MoneyGeek here.

One thing that’s made homeownership unrealistic for many the past two years has been climbing interest rates. However, housing economists expect that the average rate on a 30-year mortgage will decline this year. Don’t expect anything drastic — forecasts generally see it moving no lower than 6%.

Despite mostly falling since October 2023, the average rate on a 30-year home loan remains sharply higher than just two years ago, when it was 3.22%. That large gap between rates now and then has helped limit the number of previously occupied homes on the market by discouraging homeowners who locked in rock-bottom rates from selling.

“While lower mortgage rates are welcome news, potential homebuyers are still dealing with the dual challenges of low inventory and high home prices that continue to rise,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned on the title of this site

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