Financial Self-Sufficiency
Housing Affordability - Owning


Housing Affordability - Owning

Click on arrows to view the legend. Click map to view data.

What does this measure?

The median home value divided by the median household income, adjusted for inflation.

Why is this important?

The ratio provides a rough estimate of the affordability of homes in a community. A ratio less than 2 or 3 is generally considered affordable.

How is our county doing?

In 2013-17, homes were not generally very affordable in Essex County, with an affordability ratio of 5.1. This was slightly higher than the state (4.8) and higher than the national ratio (3.4). Housing affordability in Essex County improved somewhat since 2008-12, when the ratio was 5.3, but was still higher than the 2000 level of 4.0.

The least affordable municipalities in Essex County were Manchester-by-the-Sea (7.2), Nahant (6.7) and Rockport (6.6). The most affordable were West Newbury (3.6), Georgetown (3.8) and Groveland, Merrimac and Amesbury (all at 4.0) - all still above the levels considered affordable. Notably, the City of Lawrence, which had the lowest median home value in Essex County in 2013-17, was not particularly affordable, with a ratio of 6.0. This likely reflects the City's relatively low median household income in 2013-17, which was the lowest in the County.

How do we compare to similar counties?

In 2013-17, Essex County was similar to Middlesex, MA (4.9), less affordable than Lake, IL (3.0) and more affordable than Westchester, NY (5.7). Like Essex, all three counties became less affordable from 2000 to 2008-12 and more affordable from 2008-12 to 2013-17, likely due to the housing boom and bust that helped fuel the major recession of 2008-09.

Notes about the data

Multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.

Housing Affordability - Owning
20002008-122013-17
Essex County, MA4.05.35.1
Amesbury4.04.0
Beverly4.15.35.0
Gloucester4.36.05.8
Haverhill3.14.44.1
Lawrence4.27.26.0
Lynn3.96.05.2
Methuen3.14.34.2
Newburyport4.15.25.3
Peabody3.85.15.5
Salem4.35.55.1
Andover3.84.64.2
Boxford3.54.54.1
Danvers3.84.64.8
Essex4.66.05.4
Georgetown3.33.93.8
Groveland3.23.84.0
Hamilton4.04.74.6
Ipswich4.65.15.6
Lynnfield3.95.15.1
Manchester5.77.07.2
Marblehead4.55.45.6
Merrimac3.44.14.0
Middleton3.44.44.3
Nahant4.57.56.7
Newbury3.75.15.2
North Andover3.94.54.3
Rockport5.46.66.6
Rowley4.54.94.8
Salisbury3.54.44.6
Saugus3.64.74.4
Swampscott3.74.44.3
Topsfield3.44.44.3
Wenham3.94.15.5
West Newbury3.44.23.6
Middlesex County, MA4.04.94.9
Lake County, IL2.93.43.0
Westchester County, NY4.56.65.7
Massachusetts3.65.04.8
United States2.73.43.4

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Ratio of median home value to median household income. Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.








INDICATORS TREND | ESSEX COUNTY
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Preterm Births Increasing
Infant Mortality Rate Maintaining
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels Decreasing
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Child Abuse and Neglect Increasing
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Youth Arrests Decreasing
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Employment Maintaining
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Charitable Contributions Maintaining
Protected Land Not Applicable
Days with Good Air Quality Increasing
Beach Contamination Decreasing
Daily Water Use per Resident Decreasing
Crimes Against People Increasing
Crimes Against Property Increasing
Drug-Related Arrests Maintaining
Reports of Domestic Violence Increasing
Incarceration Rates Decreasing
Recidivism Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Traffic Injuries and Fatalities Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Increasing
Change in Total Population Increasing
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
People 65 or Older Living Alone Decreasing
People with Disabilities Increasing
Households by Type Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Gender Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Change in Total Jobs Increasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary Increasing
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Median Earnings by Occupation by Gender Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving County for Work Not Applicable
Employer Size Not Applicable
Self-Employment Revenue Maintaining
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Prekindergarten Participation Not Applicable
Female Enrollment in School Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Increasing
Per-Student Spending Maintaining
Bullying Maintaining
Student Performance on Grade 3 Reading Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 10 English Language Arts Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Bachelor's Degree or Higher by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Income in Relation to Poverty Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage Rate by Household Type Not Applicable
Households Receiving Temporary Assistance Maintaining
Households Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Earned Income Tax Credit Participation Maintaining
Economically Disadvantaged Students Increasing
Median Home Value Maintaining
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Increasing
Housing Affordability for Renters Increasing
Homeownership Rates Maintaining
Homeownership Rates by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeless Persons Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Medical Care Expenses Maintaining
Prevalence of Children with Asthma Maintaining
Prevalence of Overweight Children Decreasing
Prevalence of Overweight Adults Not Applicable
Diabetes Incidence Decreasing
Chronic Disease Among Older Adults Increasing
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Cancer Mortality Rate Decreasing
Heart Disease Mortality Rate Decreasing
Mortality Rate Decreasing
People who Smoke Not Applicable
Use of Illegal Drugs Not Applicable
Youth Use of Illegal Drugs Not Applicable
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Not Applicable
Drug Overdose Mortality Rate Increasing
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Suicide Rate Maintaining