Housing markets in the Northeast and Florida or more vulnerable to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with markets in the West and Midwest at less of a risk, according to a special report by ATTOM Data Solutions.
The report analyzed residential foreclosure and underwater property reports, as well home affordability, to assess vulnerability on a county level, looking at 483 total counties.
Markets were considered more or less at risk based on a combination of three things: the percentage of properties receiving a foreclosure notice or that were considered underwater in the fourth quarter of 2019 and the percentage of local wages required to pay for major home ownership expenses.
“It’s too early to tell how much effect the coronavirus fallout will have on different housing markets around the country,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions, in a statement. “But the impact is likely to be significant from region to region and county to county.”
The report found that 14 counties in New Jersey — including Bergen, Essex, Passaic, Middlesex and Union counties, all suburbs of New York City — are among the 50 most vulnerable in the country.
There were 10 vulnerable counties in Florida, concentrated in the north and center of the state, including Flagler, Lake, Clay, Hernando and Osceola counties. The four New York counties most at risk are Rockland, Orange, Rensselaer and Ulster counties.
California had only one vulnerable county, Shasta, while there was one in the Southwest — Navajo County in Arizona. There were no vulnerable counties in other West Coast states. In the Midwest, only five in the Chicago metro area were found to be vulnerable.
Texas has 10 of the 50 least vulnerable counties, followed by Wisconsin with seven and Colorado with five.
“As we head into the spring home buying season, the next few months will reveal how severe the impact will be,” Teta said.