Coronavirus expected to damage these housing markets most: report
New Jersey and Florida account for almost half of the 50 U.S. counties whose housing markets are most vulnerable to the economic effects of the coronavirus, an Attom Data Solutions report said.
Attom ranked 483 counties across the country based on the percentage of housing units receiving a foreclosure notice in the fourth quarter, the number of underwater properties in each county and the percentage of local wages required to pay for major homeownership expenses.
Thirty-six of the top 50 most vulnerable counties had median home prices in the $160,000-to-$300,000 range, the report noted.
Of the 10 most vulnerable counties, six are in New Jersey, including Sussex at No. 1 and Warren at No. 2.
"It looks like the Northeast is more at risk than other areas," Todd Teta, Attom's chief product officer, said in a press release. "As we head into the spring home buying season, the next few months will reveal how severe the impact will be."
Among the New Jersey counties that would be most affected, five are in the New York metropolitan area: Bergen, Essex, Passaic, Middlesex and Union. However, of the four counties in New York that Attom considered to be most vulnerable, only Rockland was in proximity to New York City.
For New York City proper, all five boroughs were in the middle of the list: Staten Island was ranked 161, Queens was 271, Manhattan at 312, Brooklyn at 320 and the Bronx was 327.
Most of the Florida counties considered at risk are in the northern and central portions of the state. But Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, is also on that list.
There were four counties in the metro Chicago area on the list were Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will in Illinois. Cook County, which includes Chicago proper, is ranked 53rd most vulnerable.
Meanwhile, the only California county on the 50 most vulnerable list is Shasta. Los Angeles County was No. 276. The Bay Area counties were also in the bottom half of the list.
At the other end of the spectrum, 10 of the counties where the housing market is least vulnerable to the coronavirus are in Texas. Seven are in Wisconsin and there are five in Colorado.
King County in Washington, where Seattle is located, was the 20th least vulnerable county according to Attom.