Less housing 'stress' in Baltimore area, comparatively speaking
Baltimore is less stressed, from a housing perspective, than most metro areas -- or at least that's what a Wall Street Journal analysis suggests. For a truly relaxed region, though, you'll need to move to North Dakota.
The newspaper's Real Time Economics blog put together a stress test that adds three stats for each metro area: the percentage of borrowers spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing, the share of residents without health insurance and the percentage of people without a job (including retirees and others not working by choice).
By that measure, housing stress in the Baltimore metro area -- the city plus the suburbs -- comes to 76.3. People paying a lot of their income on mortgages were nearly 37 percent of all borrowers last year, 10 percent of residents didn't have health insurance and just over 29 percent weren't working.
That's 16th least-stressed among the 49 largest metro areas, the WSJ says. (Not sure why they featured 49 and not 50 ...) Calculating it for 535 metro areas, which is most of the country, suggests the Baltimore metro area is less stressed than almost 70 percent of the nation.
The country's housing-stress figure is 85.7.
Least stressed: Bismarck, N.D., at 47 -- thanks to low numbers across the board, but particularly on the share of people paying too much for housing (18 percent). Many of the regions on the good end of the ranking are in the Midwest. (Least stressed among large metros: Buffalo, N.Y., at just under 67.)
What stats would you use if you were designing your own housing stress test?