Foreclosure activity in the U.S. is on the rise. In the first six months of the year, default notices, scheduled auctions, or bank repossessions, increased by 13% compared to the first half of last year, and by 185% compared to the first six months of 2021, according to land, property, and real estate data provider ATTOM.
The highest number of foreclosure filings were reported in Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland, while the largest increases in foreclosures occurred in Maryland, Oregon, and Alaska. Nationwide, 0.13% of properties had foreclosure filings from January to June, or 1 out of 752 properties. (Also see, America’s 25 least affordable housing markets.)
At a more granular level, metropolitan areas in Ohio, New Jersey, and North Carolina recently recorded the highest foreclosure rates.
To find the 30 cities with the highest foreclosure rates, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the report Foreclosure Activity In First Half Of 2023 Ticks Upwards Toward Pre-Covid Levels from ATTOM. The report considered 223 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000. Foreclosure and population data is from ATTOM’s report, while sales data is from its report on home sales in the second quarter of 2023. For the sales data, ATTOM considered only metro areas with 1,000 or more sales in the second quarter of 2023.
The 30 cities on the list reported foreclosure rates of between 1 out of every 301 properties in the Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio, metro area to 1 out of 494 properties in South Bend-Mishawaka, which straddles the borders between Indiana and Michigan.
Foreclosure activity increased in 20 of these 30 metro areas compared to the first six months of 2022, led by the Baltimore area of Maryland and the Pensacola area of Florida. Five of these cities reported increases of more than 20% compared to the same period in last year.
Compared to the first six months of 2021, foreclosures have jumped by more than 200% in a dozen of these cities, led by a 391% jump in the Baltimore metro area, and a 313% leap in the Philadelphia metro area, which spans four states — Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. (Find if any of these cities are also among the American cities where renting is least affordable.)
In nine of the cities on the list, large increases in foreclosures compared to the first half of 2021 were followed by notable decreases compared to the first six months of last year. For example, foreclosure activity in Columbia, South Carolina, increased by 207% compared to January-June, 2021 but decreased by 2.4% compared to the first half of last year. Other metro areas that recorded similar rebounds include Trenton, New Jersey, and Akron, Ohio.
Despite a nationwide increase, foreclosure rates are not even close to what they were during and after the 2007-09 housing bubble burst and economic crisis. In the first half of 2010, foreclosure activity peaked at over 1.65 million properties with foreclosure filings. In the first half of 2023, there were 185,580 such properties. This figure is still lower than the 296,458 foreclosure filings in the first six months of 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing federal and state temporary moratoriums on foreclosures, but it is trending higher and foreclosure activity is likely to continue to increase in the coming years, according to ATTOM.
Here are the cities with the highest foreclosure rates.
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