At the greatest risk…
Although all 50 states have begun to at least partially reopen, the economic malaise brought about by the coronavirus pandemic will continue for some time. However, the economic fallout of COVID-19 will hit certain areas harder than others.
While construction remained an essential business throughout the United States during these uncertain weeks, housing markets in major metropolitan areas could struggle. Some are already far more fragile than others. Many likely to be hardest hit were already struggling pre-COVID.
Housing markets in economies dependent on oil and gas, transportation and tourism are most likely to suffer. Here are the metro areas most at-risk:
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
Median home sales prices in the New York metropolitan area have grown nearly 21% in the last ten years, and housing costs were already high relative to income.
Moreover, 12.3% of workers are employed in a field highly susceptible to the COVID-19 induced recession.
Median home sales prices have jumped by 40.1% from Q1 2010 to Q1 2020, and 13.3% of workers are employed by industries at relatively high risk from coronavirus.
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL
A booming retiring community, the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area has witnessed a skyrocketing 176.8% change in median home sale price in the past decade. And the economy is anchored (quite literally in many cases) to tourism. The COVID recession could disproportionately affect nearly one-fifth (18.9%) of all workers.
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
California’s sprawling Inland Empire has also experienced a dramatic spike in home value, with the median sales price ballooning from $170,000 to $375,000 in ten years, an increase of 120.6%.
ATTOM Data Solutions estimates that 22.8% of employees work in industries at high risk from COVID-19.
Millions of potential tourists will be weary of large crowds in the near term, which are a staple of Disney World and its affiliated parks that dot the Orlando metropolitan area.
The Central Florida region has experienced a sustained population boom in recent decades, and between 2010 and 2020 witnessed a 139% increase in the median home sales price.
An estimated 28.1% of employees work in industries most susceptible to the coronavirus-driven recession.
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL
Like the rest of Florida, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area has seen an exponential increase in the cost of real estate over the past ten years. From Q1 2010 to Q1 2020 the median home sales price has jumped from $125,050 to $275,900 for the 6.5 million people who call this region home.
Nearly one-fifth (19.6%) of all workers are employed in industries at high risk from COVID-19.
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
Already expensive, the median home sales price in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area has risen to an average of $657,000.
On top of that, 19% of employees make a living in a particularly vulnerable field.
One of California’s last conservative cities, Bakersfield could also be one of America’s hardest-hit by the economic fallout from COVID-19. The median home sales price is $228,000, which might sound good for Southern California; however, that figure represents a 95.7% increase from Q1 2010 — and 16% of workers are employed by at-risk industries.
New Orleans-Metairie, LA
The change in median home sales price for greater New Orleans has grown by a substantial 43.8% in the past decade. With its proximity to offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and status as a party town, it’s mildly surprising that not more than 22.2% of employees work in industries at high risk from COVID-19.
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
One of America’s premier tourist destinations is poised to get walloped by the COVID recession. Several conditions weren’t ideal pre-COVID (for starters, the housing market was already spiking). But the fact that 35.4% of those living in the Las Vegas metro area are employed in sectors most affected by the COVID recession could have an impact on Vegas that lingers for years.