Chicago and New York City were the areas most exposed to downturns in the first quarter of this year, according to a new special report by data curator ATTOM.

ATTOM’s Special Housing Risk Report spotlighted county-level housing markets around the U.S. that are more or less vulnerable to declines based on home affordability, unemployment and other considerations in the first quarter of 2022.

The report shows that New Jersey, Illinois, and inland California had the highest concentrations of the most at-risk markets in that timeframe, with the biggest clusters in the New York City and Chicago areas. Most southern states were less exposed.

The first-quarter 2022 patterns – based on home affordability, underwater mortgages, foreclosures and unemployment – revealed that New Jersey, Illinois and California had 34 of the 50 counties most vulnerable to the potential declines, ATTOM said.

The 50 most at-risk included eight counties in the Chicago metropolitan area, six near New York City and 10 sprinkled throughout northern, central and southern California.

The rest of the top 50 counties were scattered mainly along the East Coast and in the Midwest, including three each in the Cleveland and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, plus two of Delaware’s three counties, the data showed. The South had the highest concentration of markets considered least vulnerable to falling housing markets.

ATTOM said counties were considered more or less at risk based on the percentage of homes facing possible foreclosure, the portion with mortgage balances that exceeded estimated property values, the percentage of average local wages required to pay for major home ownership expenses on median-priced single-family homes and local unemployment rates.

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