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Report: Morgan, Limestone County housing markets least vulnerable to decline

IRVINE, Calif. – The area’s strong housing market has been reflected in a report citing Morgan and Limestone counties as being among the least vulnerable to declines in the nation.

The Special Housing Risk Report spotlighted county-level housing markets around the United States that are more or less vulnerable to declines based on home affordability, foreclosures and other measures during the fourth quarter of 2022. The report was released by ATTOM, a curator of land, property, and real estate data.

While the report showed counties in California, Illinois, and the East Coast to be the most vulnerable to declines, the South was among the least vulnerable.

The report looked at risk based on the percentage of homes facing possible foreclosure; the portion with mortgage balances that exceed estimated property values; the percentage of average local wages required to pay for major home ownership expenses; and local unemployment rates.

Morgan and Limestone counties’ rating were based on having smaller underwater mortgage rates, less foreclosure activity, and lower unemployment than those susceptible to decline.

Both North Alabama counties showed the smallest portion of average local wages needed for major ownership costs with Morgan County at 22.6%, and Limestone County at 25.5%.

The conclusions were drawn from an analysis of the most recent home affordability, equity and foreclosure reports prepared by ATTOM.

Unemployment rates came from federal government data.

Rankings were based on a combination of those four categories in 581 counties around the United States with sufficient data to analyze in the fourth quarter of 2022.

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