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RealTrends Q32021 BrokerPulse sees brokers still optimistic about the market, wary of competition and wondering when inventory will rise.

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For the study, RealTrends surveyed all the firms on the 2021 RealTrends 500 and Nation’s Best rankings, asking for annual compensation data for the 2020 calendar year.

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Real estate is on its third revolution, from the digital revolution of the early 2000s to the information revolution kicked off by Trulia and Zillow to today's transaction revolution.

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Which counties are at risk for pandemic market issues?    

Market conditions in the United States are overall good, but certain midwest, northeast, and Florida counties are considered at risk for pandemic-related market problems, such as foreclosure spike and underwater homeowners, according to a recent report by CoreLogic

Eighteen of the 50 U.S. counties most vulnerable in the second quarter of 2021 to housing market troubles such as foreclosure, connected to the pandemic were in metropolitan areas around New York, New York; Chicago, Illinois, and in Delaware and Central Florida.

The report reveals that Florida, New Jersey, other East Coast states and Illinois had 37 of the 50 counties most exposed to the potential economic impact of the pandemic in the second quarter of 2021. They included seven counties in the Chicago metropolitan area, four near New York City, all three in Delaware and four in central Florida.

However, only Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, Louisiana and Delaware had more than two counties in the top 50, compared to eight states in the first quarter of 2021. The top 50 were scattered across 18 states in the second quarter, compared to 15 the prior time period.

Markets were considered at risk based on the percentage of homes facing possible foreclosure, the portion with mortgage balances that exceeded the estimated property value and the percentage of average local wages required to pay for major homeownership expenses on median-priced houses or condominiums. 

Other factors included high mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance on median-priced single-family homes that consumed more than 30% of average local wages in 23 of the 50 counties that were most vulnerable to market problems connected to the COVID-19.

At least 15% of mortgages nationwide were underwater in the first quarter of 2021 in 33 of the 50 most at-risk counties, according to Attom.  

More than one in 2,500 residential properties faced a foreclosure action in the second quarter of 2021 in 40 of the 50 most at-risk counties. Nationwide, one in 4,046 homes were in that position.

Counties that were least at risk were located in the south. 

Texas had 13 of the 50 least at-risk counties, including five in the Dallas metro area (Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis and Tarrant counties) and two in the Austin metro area (Travis and Williamson counties).

While housing markets remain steady in most of the country, the pandemic remains a threat to the economy and the housing market as new virus variants appear and clusters of virus cases continue to plague pockets of the country.   

View the entire list of at-risk counties.

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