Schuylkill County, Cambria County, Blair County and Fayette County were all named to ATTOM Data Solutions’ Top 10 Most Affordable Housing Markets in the First Quarter of 2022 list.
The report analyzed local home prices, as well as local wages, to determine where buyers could afford to buy. In Schuylkill County, which nabbed top honors on the list, buyers would only need to spend 7% of the average local wages to afford a median-priced home in the first quarter of this year. In Cambria County, buyers would need to spend 11.1% of the average local wages to afford a median-priced home and in Blair County, buyers would need to spend 11.5% of the average local wages to do the same. Finally, in Fayette County, buyers would need to spend 11.7% of the average local wages to afford a median-priced home.
According to ATTOM, median-priced homes were less affordable in the first quarter of 2022 in 79% of counties studied, compared to historic averages. This is an increase of 41% year over year. As of the first quarter of 2022, buying a home in the U.S. was still under the 28% ceiling that most lenders abide by, but not by much, at 26.3%, the highest percentage point since 2008. It was also a 4.5% increase year over year, the highest jump since 2005.
The report also found that home prices were up at least 10% in 63% of counties year over year, outpacing wage growth. In 81% of counties, home price growth was moving faster than wage increases. However, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia were both named for being two of the most affordable areas where the population is more than 1 million. In Allegheny County, it takes about 14.2% of the local wages to afford a median-priced home and in Philadelphia County, it takes about 16% of local wages, both well below the average of 26.3%.