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Study: Winnebago County has ninth-lowest home affordability index in Illinois

ROCKFORD – Winnebago County has the ninth-lowest home affordability index in the state, according to an analysis of 432 counties across the country.

A study by ATTOM Data Solutions shows that it takes an annual income of $36,631 to purchase a median-priced home of $103,000 in the county. That income assumes a 3-percent downpayment with a housing ratio of 28 percent. The study further notes that a borrower would need an annualized salary of more than $46,000.

Winnebago County’s affordability index is 110, representing the lowest it’s been in more than 10 years. Numbers below 100 show declining affordability.

Experts say Winnebago County’s came in at a 110 because home price appreciation in the second quarter 2018 did not offset an 11-percent increase in home-loan rates compared to a year ago.

“(It resulted) in the worst home affordability we’ve seen in nearly 10 years,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions.

Nationwide, the median home price of $245,000 in Q2 was up 4.7 percent from 2017 and down from 7.4 percent appreciation in the first quarter. However, it was still above the average weekly wage growth of 3.3 percent. Since bottoming out in Q1 2012, median home prices nationwide have increased 75 percent while average weekly wages have increased 13 percent.

Annual growth in median home prices outpaced average wage growth in 275 of the 432 counties analyzed in the report. That included Los Angeles County, California; Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona; San Diego County, California; Orange County, California; and Miami-Dade County, Florida.

The lowest home affordability indexes in the country were logged in Flint, Michigan (70); Denver (72 and 73); Santa Fe, New Mexico (73); and Nashville, Tennessee (75).

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