Housing Affordability - Owning

Housing Affordability - Owning

Click on arrows to view legend and click a point on map to view data. Zoom in (+ sign) to view localities and census tracts.

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 performing?

In 2015-19, homes in Berks County were generally affordable, with an affordability ratio of 2.8. This was similar to Pennsylvania and slightly more affordable than the U.S., at 3.5. However, home affordability in Berks County declined since 2000, when its ratio was 2.3. The state and nation experienced similar changes during this period.

Homes were most affordable in the South region of the county (2.5), compared to the Central (2.6), Northeast and Southeast (both at 2.7) and West (2.8). Since 2000, affordability declined a bit in all regions of the County. The largest declines occurred in the Central and West regions (both up 0.6 points). The City of Reading's affordability ratio was 2.3, up from 1.7 in 2000.

In 2015-19, homes in Berks County were more affordable than in Chester County (3.6), Montgomery (3.5), Lehigh (3.3) and Lancaster (3.2). Lebanon (2.8) was similar to Berks while Schuylkill (2.0) was more affordable than Berks County.

Notes about the data

For additional detail as to how the Berks County regions are defined and which boroughs and townships are included in each, see the About Us page.

There may be additional research available on this topic. Click on Reports and Resources to learn more.

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
Berks County2.33.02.8
Berks County Regions
Reading city1.72.52.3
Berks County Peers
Chester County2.73.83.6
Lancaster County2.63.33.2
Lebanon County2.42.92.8
Lehigh County2.63.53.3
Montgomery County2.63.63.5
Schuylkill County2.02.12.0

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%.