In Nearly 70% Of US Counties, The Average Worker Can’t Afford To Buy A Home

by | Mar 30, 2018 | Headline News | 59 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge

    Housing, as we’ve pointed out in the past, is perhaps the most reliable bellwether of widening economic inequality in the US. And in its latest quarterly report on housing affordability in the US, ATTOM discovered that median-priced homes aren’t affordable to average wage earners in an astounding 68% of US housing markets.

    In its report, the company calculated affordability by incorporating the amount of income needed to make monthly home payments – including mortgage payments, property tax payments and insurance – on a median-priced home, assuming a 3% down payment and a 28% maximum “front-end” debt-to-income ratio.

    That required income was then compared with the median home price.


    The 304 counties where a median-priced home in the first quarter was not affordable for average wage earners included Los Angeles County, California; Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona; San Diego County, California; Orange County, California; and Miami-Dade County, Florida. Meanwhile, the 142 counties (32 percent of the 446 counties analyzed in the report) where a median-priced home in the first quarter was still affordable for average wage earners included Cook County (Chicago), Illinois; Harris County (Houston), Texas; Dallas County, Texas; Wayne County (Detroit), Michigan; and Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.


    Already, the “hottest” housing markets are seeing an exodus of working- and middle-class individuals who can no longer afford to pay the high rents – let along afford to set aside enough money for a down payment.

    Eight of the top 10 counties with the highest median home prices in Q1 2018 posted negative net migration in 2017: Kings County (Brooklyn), New York (25,484 net migration decrease); Santa Clara County (San Jose), California (5,559 net migration decrease); New York County (Manhattan), New York (3,762 net migration decrease); Orange County, California (3,750 net migration decrease); and San Mateo, Marin, Napa and Santa Cruz counties in Northern California.

    Furthermore, ATTOM’s data found that this problem is getting worse, not better, with 41% of housing markets less affordable than their historical average during the first quarter. That’s up from 35% the quarter before.

    Meanwhile, a staggering 73% of markets posted worsening affordability compared with a year ago, including Los Angeles, Cook County (home to Chicago), Maricopa County (Phoenix) and Kings County (Brooklyn).


    The counties where the average wage earner would need to spend the highest share of their income to buy a median-priced home are Baltimore, Bibb County (Macon, Georgia) and Wayne County (Detroit).

    Continuing with the trend of home prices rising more than twice as quickly as wages, home-price appreciation outpaced wage growth in 83% of housing markets.

    When Fed Chairman Jerome Powell warned last month that “valuations are still elevated across a range of asset classes” and that he fears “signs of rising non-financial leverage” it’s possible that he was still understating the problem.


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      1. That’s what apartments are for.

      2. The remaining 30% can’t afford to buy what takes 30yrs of payments.

        It is humanly possible:
        – to make a purchase, cash-and-carry.
        – for an independent to build structures, with character, which do not look like a shanty town
        – to own land in allodium
        – not to be indebted for an entire generation, then start the cycle over, again, with your kids
        – for there to be enough land, to homestead.

        Noone, except for a slaver, says there is a cost for freedom.

        • If I understand the historical use of allodial land – in the US there ain’t none.

          Your land held free of any indebtedness is still subject to eminent domain and more applicable – Property Taxes.

          The sad, evil Truth is that if you are Cash Poor, in the long run you cannot maintain ownership of lands and houses because of Property Taxes.


          • Our enemies are capitalists,
            Communists as well.
            Both these forms of evil,
            Are ringing our death knell.

      3. This is what happens when you let illegals pour in taking the lower cost housing from the already poor Americans searching for affordable housing. Born free and gouged until death, it’s all the rage.

        • Aljamo, in my area the illegals are packed into the ghettos with the apes. In this economy and with the middle class being slowly decimated along with the changes in credit the only thing a growing number of people can do is rent. For me it’s always been either rent or become homeless and that was even when we still had a decent economy.

        • alajamo – I realized the other day that if I had to do over what I did some 28 years ago- buy some land/a lot, build, pay off the mortgage as I did back then…. today? I couldn’t. I feel for the young couples trying to do so now. And I fully agree that the races in those neighborhoods not far enough away from me in a crisis would be coming looking for what I and my neighbors have now. It’s just a house, just a plot of land; but damn, it is mine and I’m willing to fight and/or die to keep it. They don’t know the sacrifices I made to get to this point. I’ll be damned if anyone just thinks to take what I own.

          • Heartless, AMEN to that post. The BOL I’m at now is really my cousin’s which she finally paid off in 2015. But she has allowed me this arrangement since May 2013 to come here if/when TSHTF and live here for life. Up until I got this arrangement I had been trying to get my own land without success and thought I would be stuck in Memphis when the balloon goes up. I used to think I’d end up fighting and dying in that stinkin’ city. Not anymore. My chances of survival went into orbit when I got this arrangement and I intend to keep it. Every time I’ve come over here since first getting the arrangement I’ve done certain work on the place for her in order to ‘earn my keep’ and still do. All the rest of the family lives within 5 miles of here and we help each other. They’ve also made a lot of sacrifices to get what they have and no one is gonna take anything we have either. They’ll just ‘disappear’. Plenty of wildlife around here that has to eat, LOL.

        • Aljamo: good point, states like Fla., Cal, and other areas where illegals live housing is overpriced. Seems certain areas in this country cater to wealthy folks. Some areas have pushed for lower cost housing for people in the trades, city employees, teachers, police, etc. (Madison, Wisc., etc) because the workers cannot afford housing.

          • Laura Ann, a point I would like to make at the end of your post. 3 of the 4 people in the categories you listed and probably a fair percentage in the 1st category, are net consumers on our economy. They economically contribute nothing. The money they spend has to be first taken from a producer before they can spend it. They pay tax on a tax that was waged on me.
            Yes, I agree they are a needed part to some extant, for a civil, functioning society, but in our economy you have producers and consumers. Privately run companies are forced to be efficient, publicly run anything is a model of excess and waste.
            The producers, ie. privately employed individuals and entrepreneurs are the ones that produce all the monies, that we are forced to give up in taxes, for the consumers to become employed, live and spend in the economy.
            Consumers have become the majority in the working economy and the crushing effect on the privately employed middle class has accelerated their demise. Unfortunately, bread and circuses keep the majority entertained and aloof, and chemicals have put a mental straight jacket on most of the rest.
            Consumers, like teachers, who make 80-120k a year plus retirement compared to a welder who works 50-70 hours a week all year with 3 or 4 weeks of vacation for similar pay, is a problem.
            I personally am frustrated that I contribute a portion of my income and a majority of my property tax, for the retirement of a growing sector in society that is getting paid not to work after 25 years.
            Where in the private sector does that happen anymore? Remember what happened to Sears recently?
            I had an Uncle who was a regional manager for a group of the Sears stores. They promised him a comfortable pension after 30 years, 200k per year in his later years and he retired at 52, and made way more on his pension than I can ever hope to make. Bankrupt company!
            What is happening to public pensions?
            Publicly employed people have developed a system for themselves where they don’t have to worry about working till they die, like the rest of us. And they think nobody is going to see this as a problem?
            “Hey, you privately employed worker, you have an extra $1000 at the end of the year, I need that money because my prescription deductible just went up to $30 and I can’t get my Starbucks every day if I have to pay $30 more dollars. New property tax should cure it.”
            A war is coming, and unfortunately there will be a great culling of the herd. The soft public employees will just going to sit there and ask, “But it was part of my compensation.”
            I don’t think it will end well.

          • I bought my first home in 1985 when the mortgage rates were 11%. Borrowed 55K or thereabouts on a $60k 20 yr old home with mortgage (15 yr) and taxes of about $800 on $17.50 / hr which was good money at the time. Conversely my son bought a $165K new home borrowing $150K (15 yr) with mortgage (3% I think) and taxes of about $1000 making $26 / hr.

            I would have rather been in his shoes.

        • Property tax negates home or land ownership. It turns us into ‘at-will’ tenants on government turf. Our motor vehicles are also owned by the government, as thousands of taxation, registration, and licensing “laws” will indicate. Ditto our spouse and children. In case of war (all of which are caused by bankers), our life itself will go to pay the government’s debt. There is no such thing as “a little tyranny”. Once it starts, it always grows. With this in mind, look into acquiring a second passport to be able to relocate to another country if things get too hot back home. Our ancestors did exactly that to escape brutal regimes, war, and famine in the land of their birth.If already at retirement age and collecting a pension or SS, that stipend will often be enough to secure permanent residence in many “less developed” countries. I did this for our kids, and it may literally become a life saver one day.

      4. Pack-N-Stack housing is as NWO agenda 2030 as it gets.

        ht tps://

      5. Just enter “housing” into Technocracy News search box for more important Intel
        Thx River

        • Commiefornia has lots of room for tents, good weather, and if you locate to the south you can be close to the drug supply from Mexico.

      6. Do you think that allowing off-shore buyers to snap up houses and agricultural land as investments to sell for a profit and encourage flipping, was a good idea? Perhaps only citizens should be able to own property in this country? Combine this trend with the loss of good jobs to automation, companies moving jobs off-shore, and illegal labor creating even more difficulty for citizens to afford a house – soon we will have to pack dozens of people into each dwelling in the same way the economic migrants do.

      7. This statistic about not being able to afford to purchase a home is really terrible and sad but it does Not really surprise me at all. Guys, the average person makes crap for a wage anymore while the cost of virtually EVERYTHING continues to rise and rise and rise. Between Corporate America and the clown ass Federal Gov’t, they have screwed us 20 ways from Sunday folks. It is so wrong on so many levels – I mean you bust your hump 40+ hours a week and actually do the right thing and you are lucky if you can stay afloat out there! My wife and I are looking to buy a home and yeah, we only need to come up with $10,000 for the down payment and another $10-12,000 for rip-off closing costs and then what a good $2,000 for moving costs…no problem – naturally we have an “extra” what, let’s just call it a nice $25,000 cash sitting up in the sock drawer, yeah, NOT so much. The sad thing is, we pay more in stinking rent than a clown mortgage would be. It sure seems like they love having that boot square across your Adam’s apple. As the song said – “there is something wrong in the world today”

      8. the article did not go far enough. Locally the average wage earner cant afford to rent either. Refugees from Calif and illegals are flooding in raising the price of rentals in one care 47$ in one month. Locals are being evicted and the price of rentals raised several hundred a month to get Calif people with money. Illegals are put at the head of the list for welfare housing and then invite 12 more to live there. It locals lose their home they have to leave the area to get another house. There are no cheap apts period. The local economy is being crushed with illegals demanding welfare. They want to build shipping crate apts literally Millions of acres of bare land sitting idle

        • Moses: Let’s face it, the “Govt” does NOT give 1 squirt about us true, actual Americans that were legally born here. They want to take our stolen tax dollars and give it away to not only other countries, they hate us as side note, but take our tax dollars and then spend it like water on all of the MILLIONS of Mexican and Muslim INVADERS, taking over the U.S. and running the place into the ground and at this rate, the U.S. will be a 3rd world $hit hole in less than 30 years. Is it me or is there something really not right with what is going on and has been going on for a long time. Guys, Gov’t at all levels has completely FAILED the hardworking American people. I have ZERO respect and faith in the Gov’t to do anything that actually benefits the country nor the average working person.

          • Boy I can smell the hate & the stupidity a mile away..!!! or perhaps a paid Zionist thug..!

        • True Moses
          The intent and purpose of allowing so many illegals into our country was to drive up the cost of goods and services across the board.
          That’s not to mention the Wall Street investment firms that snatched up foreclosures at fire sale prices during the 08 collapse and are now trying to rape first time buyers on the price.
          These are the same criminals that created the situation to begin with.

        • You’re right on, some are buying used campers in my area and moving them on land out of town or renting a campsite long term. Several people park them on one pc property.

      9. Every state has it’s rural counties.
        There is a solution – I’ve successfully done it.
        Just follow Creekmore’s advice-
        Find out which counties have the lowest property taxes, buy an acre (or two), place your mobil home or trailer on it, and you’ve taken the important first step. Build from there – well, septic system, fencing, garden, livestock etc.
        ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way.’

        • @WarVet
          Sounds like a good plan except most states require that a septic system and public utilities be in place before the trailer is hauled onto the property.
          That’s a tuff get for a lot of folks.

          • Not in Arkansas. Here if you have 10 acres you don’t need a approved septic system. You can use a old fashioned out house. We get over 50 inches of rainfall every year. you don’t need a well. use gutters and collect rainwater. There are big plastic and fiberglass tanks available. I seen a guy pour a slab build 4 ft walls from cement block. filled the block with cement. then used bed liner on the inside. made a above ground cistern and gravety feeds his home. No building codes or zoning out the the rural areas. There are state land auctions being held go to COSL for info. Buy land really cheep. Look around there is always some one who is doing more with less than you have. think outside the box.

        • War vet: agree, some have done it outside of town near us. People need to downsize their stuff, clear out useless junk taking up space, sell house, go minimalist and live simple, stress free lives in campers or apts.

      10. I’m exactly in the middle of the green circle in south Kentucky.

        I think here, rent is higher than a mortgage.

        $10-12,000 for rip-off closing costs ?????

        Look elsewhere–BofA offered us $450 closing costs for refi after we turned down their offers starting at $4500–it can be done if you shop.
        I still haven’t done it–they send refi junk mail
        EVERY month to us.
        And yes, I saved the paperwork offering us closing costs of $450.

        Might need it some day.

        Oh, Concerned Citizen, careful expressing that cash to a banker–I wondered why I got poor attention trying to buy a $80,000 house so we could move and then sell our house we live in now(downsizing)–the banker was terrified he would get in trouble dealing with my cash–I’m a drug dealer see, like I really live and look like one??????!!!??

        • JayJay, I used to get crazy looks from people every time I bought a CAR for cash and of course I’m talking about much lower amounts of cash involved. NOT everyone can go out and use credit for something.

      11. When building, the foundation of any building is very important. As, I mentioned on another post, currently the type of cement used is inferior compared to the cement used by ancients. Our cement cracks and crumbles. Ancient cement gets stronger with time.

        A scientist has just discovered how to make ancient cement. Whether this is really a new discovery or science withheld is not the point here. The point is, now that the secret is out, when will we actually have it? Where can we buy it? How expensive will it be? Who has the rights to manufacture it? And, most importantly of all, should We hold off putting down our foundation until the real deal cement is available? Or, should we go ahead and pour out the inferior cement foundation?


        • @B
          How’s it hangin B?
          You will be required to meet seismic code and regulations in Cali regardless.
          That’s partially why new structures are so expensive.
          I have been checking out a new variety of floating concrete that’s being developed.
          You’re not going to find much about it on the web or I’d send you a link.
          Water World may not be all that far fetched in the future.

        • I build by digging post holes and burying steel pipe cemented in the ground. on top of those I place a steel framework usually recycled house trailer frames. then I build a sturdy subfloor of 2×10,s placed 16 incges on center. that sud floor framework is attached to the steel framework with recycled hood springs from vehicles. That way there is some give and the wood can float and not be compromised. then on the subfloor the first boards are laid on a diagional. then the walls of 2×6 16 in on center double plated on top. then 3/4 plywood om the subfloor and used a sheating outside. Built it strong with angled braces and not even a earthquake can effect it. and I own a backhoe and can dig a footing. I use colored metal for siding and roofing. triple pane windows and custom made walnut doors three inches thick. My building on steel saves lots of dollars and labor and termites will not cross that much steel. I raise the so as to have a sufficient crawl space. I put trap doors in the closets. underpin with metal roofing.

          • Sounds beefy and highly resistant to a quake but I’m wondering what kind of tensile strength those hood springs would have when an F4 comes a callin?

            • Those hood springs are very strong. The best ones are from the 60 thru 66 chevy trucks those hoods are very heavy. I also use them when fencing the stretched spring keeps the wire tight. and when the weather changes and it get cold and the wire contracts it doesn’t break. And we do have tornados and bad storms here. and they come from the west. and are mostly in the lowlands and farther east along Crowleys Ridge. I always build on the south east side of the hill well below the top elevation. that makes the storms jump over. And I orient my buildings south east to catch the winter sun. and to be shielded from the western sun after midday in the summer. If you look at the trees on the top and west sides of the hills you will see wind damaged and toppled trees. If you buy a place that has a old homesite on it. That is likely the best place to build. There is usually a good reason the old home site was placed in that location.

        • Take a look at this new company, Tella Firma, which has a novel approach to foundation building. They have designed a way to protect new homes in Texas from the bad soil there that causes foundation cracks.

          “Tella Firma Foundations make use of either concrete, steel or helical piers, and may also work with spread footings to carry the load of the structure below the active zone to the structurally stable soil beneath the surface. However, this technology requires a fewer number of piers than traditional slabs. Tella Firma slabs are designed, in engineering terms, as a “flat plate,” typically five inches thick. The slabs do not require interior or stiffener beams, like traditional “waffle slabs”, only a shallow beam around the perimeter. As a result, Tella Firma designs require approximately 30 percent less concrete.

          Tella Firma foundations make innovative and economical use of post-tension design reinforcement. The post-tension cables are profiled or draped up or down within the slab to place the reinforcement where it is most needed.

          Once the slab is poured on top of the ground, it is then raised above the ground to a desired height with Tella Firma patented lifting mechanisms. The process of using the ground as a form is very economical, much like commercial tilt-up wall construction.

          After the lifting process is completed, a protective cap is placed over the lifting mechanism and left embedded inside the slab; this allows access to the mechanism should future adjustment of the foundation be required.”

      12. I dunno at present We own three homes. all paid for. bought them and paid cash. And never had any mortgage. We simply saved 10% and bought then. bought one from a deceased couples children house and two acres for $10,000 and two others at the Arkansas commissioner of State lands Annual tax auction.

        • OG, Don’t take this as insult,
          but Arkansas would not be on my
          favorites list of places to live.

          • That’s Ok. We likely wouldn’t like you to come here. You probably as soon as you got here would try and change it to be like where you came from. we have a saying about Yankees. There are two kinds. just plain Yankees they come and visit spent some money say its nice but I wouldn’t live here. and the go home. We can tolerate them. then there are Damm Yankees. They come and like it. then they buy a place and move here. And they think that they are so much smarter than Us redneck imbred hillbillies. They are too damm smart to learn or take advice from folks they think are dumber than them. And they decide they are going to show us how its done. It don’t matter what the job is they know better. and they attempt to change everything around like it was where they came from. Their battle Cry is that’s not how we done it up North. never thinking we never asked them to show us anything. They eventually run out of money and tuck their tail between their legs sell out at a loss and leave. And blame their failure on the folks who are here. We hate the Damm Yankees guts.

            • OG,
              I’m not a Yankee, there you are insulting me. I really like the south. Personally, I’d choose Southern Mississippi. I really liked it there. I spent 10 months there once. This crap about confederate stuff pisses me off. My nick-name at the Aerospace company where I was an engineer was “redneck”, I took that as a badge of honor.
              I have this rule about living close to salt water, never live more than 50 miles away from saltwater be it a gulf or an ocean.
              That rules out the middle of America for my list.
              Happy Easter.

              • Dad burn flatlanders! Why don’t you sodbusters paint yer house?

                • Genius,
                  I live on the side of a volcano at 1000 above sea level.
                  But you are right about the house. I need to finish painting
                  both of them.

              • You do know that the magnetic poles are shifting. and everything below 425 ft elevation or near the coast will be permantely flooded. Too many black folks in Mississippi for a racist like me. I live in the heart of KKK country. Boone county Ark is where the National headquarters of the KKK is located.

                • OG, there’s nothing racist about saying there are too many black people. It’s a fact, there are way too many of them, and I’m not the racist, they are.

                • Harrison, AR is a joke of a town. The are some black folks in Harrison, so the Klan sure
                  ain’t what it used to be. Harrison has some of the dumbest hillbillies on the face of the earth. Jesus could not elevate that place. Don’t think he would want to.

            • numbnuts, the civil war ended long ago…

      13. Free range inmates. Prison planet or playpen. The choice is yours.

      14. People here can afford houses, and Hawaii is not cheap. Pay here is not very good. People buy in “undesirable areas” (as if any place in Hawaii is undesirable) and commute. Meaning traffic jams on two lane roads, $3.50 and up fuel costs, and many extra hours away from home.
        But I do know prices will stay within reach of workers, because if priced too high it won’t sell or you can’t rent it.
        Admittedly I could not afford my place at today’s valuation.
        We have a homeless problem, but there is a lack of services here so it makes it a hard and unattractive place to stay.

        • I built my own house. Started with land and a trailer and took it from there. Everybody loves it too. It has a lot of cabin character. The main house we live in is modular. Modulars are cheaper and easier then ground up builds. I lived in a 40 ft. RV for 7 years, I didn’t mind it at all and rent was dirt cheap for the lot with all utilities included. Oh my bad…. people think a house is some McMansion with 1700 sq. ft. and 4 bedrooms 3 baths. That is the problem with idiots, they won’t live at or below their means…..

          • genius;
            1700 ft. mcmansion? More like 5000 sq ft.

        • You have a Democrat problem.

          • CJ,
            Yes we do.

      15. ive been watching U Tube. there is a girl goes by Wonder Hussy that explores remote and abandoned places on the south west desert areas.
        and there is a guy goes by G Bear. who is homesteading the desert. He is fleeing OC. If I was in calif I think I would relocate to the desert. plenty of remote cheap land.

        • OG,
          The major problem with deserts is the lack of water.
          That is why land is cheap.
          Also it is cold at night, with little wood to burn.
          They can be miserably hot in the daytime.
          My step grandparents were “Rock hounds” and would
          take us grandkids to some of the most God awful
          deserts in search of pretty rocks.

      16. When the takers outnumber the makers, and elect a Marxist revolutionary dictator in 2020, the Constitution will be eliminated, and with it your protections. The 2nd amendment will be the first to go, then the 1st amendment, then all the rest. That’s when the real civil war will begin. God pray there will be enough of us to fight off the hoards of brainwashed American Khamer Rouge youth, as they take to the streets by the millions….encouraged to incite violence by our corrupt Marxist govt. They will be immune to prosecution as they seek “social Justice”. Your already seeing this now as the “protestors” demand the elimination of guns, riot when an “unarmed father” (black gang-banger) is “executed” (stopped), etc….and lest not forget the “white privilege” movement, and the “not me” movement. All instigated and encouraged by the evil media
        mogals and subversive elements throuout the country. The Aim? Destroy the white, hetero, male, Christian… the “gun-toting right-winger”. The powers that be know that WE are the only thing standing between freedom
        and total tyranny.!!!!!!!!

      17. Yes you would need to be tough and self reliant to make it in the desert. and that’s a good thing if SHTF. No non prepper neighbors to want to mooch off of you. That means less folks you will need to kill.

      18. There’s no debating that the cost of living continues to skyrocket while the wages remain stagnant at best,but you also have to take into consideration that there’s a lot of people out there that are trying to keep up with the Jones’s so to speak,and are living WAY ABOVE their means,and are head over hills in debt..Too many people today don’t know the difference between wanting something and needing something..It’s fine if you want certain things in life and are willing to work for them,and can afford them,but if you try living way above your means it’s inevitable that you’ll be talking with an bankruptcy lawyer and filing bankruptcy…Know the difference between wanting and needing and you’ll be alright..

      19. Tyler Durden, I generally agree with the title of your essay and thank you for exploring this topic. Three things trouble me about the topic: #1 People have different abilities & different levels in the ability to do useful work – thus people earn different levels of compensation, #2 This Republic was not founded to be a socialist utopia (oxymoron), #3 More people want to live in some places as opposed to other places – thus the cost of buying in one place is different from another.

        I hope the premise of the article is NOT the idea that all compensation should be the same. As I point out to Progressives: “Who do you want doing your brain surgery? The dumbest guy in your high school class or the brightest guy that studied hard for many years to be highly skilled? Your call.

      20. The money is fake. The banks are fake. You are a slave.
        Silver is money. Fake money printed by the military cannot be used to cultivate luck through acts of charity. Real silver money is necessary to cultivate luck through acts of charity. Luck is the one universal transcendant principal known throughout all history in all cultures. The traitors from the pentagon are pledged to serve the BritishEmpire/N.A.T.O. HEROIN MAFIA. They wipe their ass with our Declaration of Independence. The fake banks send out account balance statements claiming deposits are fully available while at the same time claiming they are lending those same deposits out as loans. FRAUD is not usury. Usury is lending real money at interest. Pretending to lend fake money by writing loan checks IS FRAUD.

      21. Most workplaces don’t pay a living wage. HELLO!!!

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