The U.S. is in the midst of a housing boom, with the median home price increasing by more than 16%, from the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021. Prices rose from $236,250 to $278,000 in that time. In March 2021, there were more than 1.7 million new home starts, up nearly 20% from the previous month.
While this seems to be a positive sign for the U.S. economy, the last time there was a major building boom in the U.S., it ended in the housing bubble bursting and triggering the Great Recession. Different factors were involved then, namely lending companies giving loans to borrowers with bad credit history, which in turn led to a rash of foreclosures. There are reasons to believe that this boom will be different, but there are still many major American cities where residents are struggling to meet their mortgage payments.
To determine the American cities with the most foreclosures, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from ATTOM Data Solutions on the percentage of housing units that had foreclosure filings in the first quarter of 2021 in major metropolitan areas.
Across the country’s major metro areas, there are 105.2 million housing units, and 26,481 of those were being foreclosed on. This equates to one foreclosure per 3,971 housing units. There are many areas where foreclosures are more than twice as common.
Of the 25 metro areas with the highest foreclosure rate, 13 are in the South, eight in the Midwest, two in the South, and just one in the Northeast. No state has more high-foreclosure areas than Florida, which has five. Ohio ranks second with three.
Though the residents of these areas are more likely to struggle to afford their homes, the homes themselves are relatively inexpensive. Of the 16 metro areas with median price data for the first quarter of 2021, just two have a higher median home price than is typical nationwide. These are the cities where home values are falling the fastest.
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