Inland Empire housing market is SoCal’s worst-positioned to weather pandemic fallout: report

For Riverside County residents, buying a home and maintaining a mortgage costs 61% of annual income, twice national average

Los Angeles /
Apr.April 07, 2020 09:48 AM
Nearly 10 percent of homes in Riverside County are worth less than their mortgages, making them particularly vulnerable amid the coronavirus crisis. (Credit:  David McNew/Getty Images)
Nearly 10 percent of homes in Riverside County are worth less than their mortgages, making them particularly vulnerable amid the coronavirus crisis. (Credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

Few housing markets will emerge unscathed from the coronavirus, but even fewer are in a worse position than the Inland Empire to weather the crisis.

Attom Data Solutions graded the market hardiness and overall stability in the 50 largest U.S. counties to determine how vulnerable they were to coronavirus-related economic volatility. Riverside County ranked the third most unstable nationwide, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

Attom mostly based its ranking on affordability, the number of foreclosure letters sent before the pandemic hit, and how many people owned homes worth less than their mortgage.

For a Riverside County resident, buying a home and maintaining a mortgage costs 61 percent of annual income. Nearly 10 percent of homes are worth less than their mortgages, and foreclosure notices were sent for around 1 percent of homes.

Notoriously expensive L.A. County — which has a worsening housing shortage — ranked 25th out of 50 counties overall.

L.A. County is about as unaffordable as Riverside County, though about as many homes are considered “underwater,” according to the report. There is also a lower percentage of properties that are near foreclosure.

Both L.A. and Riverside counties are far less affordable than the average for the 50 counties, according to the Attom report. The average cost to buy a home and maintain a mortgage was just 31 percent of median income.

Meanwhile, the average percentage of underwater properties was much higher, at 13.8 percent. The share of foreclosures was about the same at less than a tenthn of a percent. [LADN]Dennis Lynch


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