Chicago, IL

The Chicago housing market is one of the most at-risk in the U.S.

Jennifer Geer

"No immediate warning signs hang over any one part of the country, but pockets are more vulnerable to the market taking a turn for the worse."

(CHICAGO) According to a report released by Attom Data Solutions, certain areas in the country are at risk for a housing market downturn. The nation's markets that are the most vulnerable due to pandemic hardships are mainly concentrated in the Chicago and New York City areas.

In its fourth-quarter 2021 Coronavirus Special Report, Attom used affordability, level of foreclosures, and the number of underwater mortgages to rank the data.

Attom listed the top 50 counties in the U.S. that have the most at-risk housing markets where the pandemic continues to affect the economy. Of those 50, 8 counties were found in Illinois, clustered around the Chicago area. The Chicagoland counties include Cook, De Kalb, Du Page, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties.

These vulnerable areas have more unaffordable housing, higher levels of foreclosure, and larger numbers of homeowners with underwater mortgages. An underwater mortgage is when what the homeowner owes on a property is higher than the estimated value for the property.

Other areas at risk in the nation include parts of California and along the East Coast, including Delaware and Philadelphia.

Todd Teta, chief product officer with Attom, explained in a press release that despite rising home prices, the U.S. still has areas of vulnerability due to the pandemic.

"The U.S. housing market keeps powering on despite of the Coronavirus pandemic that's still raging across the country. Indeed, home prices keep rising in part because of the crisis," he said. "Nevertheless, the virus remains a potent threat to the broader economy and the housing market, with some of the same counties we've seen in the past continuing to look vulnerable to potential downturns. No immediate warning signs hang over any one part of the country, but pockets are more vulnerable to the market taking a turn for the worse."

According to Attom, housing prices have climbed over 10% overall in the nation in the past year due to a large surge of buyers and historically low mortgage rates. However, there are signs of a market slowdown with rising inflation and higher prices making homes less affordable.

And Redfin's 2022 outlook for real estate predicts that house prices will continue to rise in the coming year, although more slowly, as mortgage rates go up.

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Jennifer covers lifestyle content and local news for the Chicago area. New articles published each weekday.

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