10 US Cities at Risk of a Housing Downturn

Julija A. Image
ByJulija A.
June 10,2021

The US housing market has been steady for several years now, with home prices climbing year after year. However, the recent pandemic brought certain changes, and while it’s almost certain there won’t be a serious market crash, several states have been experiencing significant shifts in their numbers.

GOBankingRates has evaluated over 500 cities, and Florida came out as the unlucky winner with the highest rates of underwater mortgages and foreclosures, followed closely by Illinois. Here are the cities whose housing markets have the highest chances of experiencing a downturn.

1. Fort Myers, Florida

With the median list price of $249,999, Fort Myers experienced a 1.4% drop in prices in the last two years. The percentage of underwater mortgages in Fort Myers is 6.9%, comparable to the national average. However, the number of days a home lingers on the market is 105 days - much longer than the nationwide average of 66 days. In terms of foreclosure, however, the situation in Fort Myers is not that unfavorable, with one in every 1,921 homes ending up foreclosed.

2. Peoria, Illinois

Peoria has the highest chances of its housing market turning ugly. With a 16% drop in prices over the last two years, the median home list price is $124,450. The percentage of underwater mortgages is also alarmingly high - 21%, which is more than double the national average. While not the highest on our list, its foreclosure rate of one in every 932 homes is also problematic.

3. Portsmouth, Virginia

The unflattering title of the city with the highest foreclosure rate goes to Portsmouth, Virginia. Here, one in every 730 homes ends up getting foreclosed. At 19.4%, its rate of underwater mortgages is also high compared to that of other cities on this list. The median list price in Portsmouth is $165,700 - a 1.5% increase over the past two years.

4. Miami Beach, Florida

Miami Beach, a popular resort, made this list because houses here spend the most time on the market - 225 days on average. A 5% drop in prices over the last two years is another worrisome statistic, mainly because it’s in stark contrast with the rising home prices across the US.

The median list price of $499,000 may be the silver lining in this case, along with a low rate of foreclosures, with just one in 2,374 homes getting foreclosed. It seems that Miami might not be in such big trouble and that it could benefit from its real estate agents simply employing better tactics or real estate software.

5. Waterbury, Connecticut

Being close to New York City didn’t bring much to Waterbury in the last couple of years. It has the highest percentage of underwater mortgages of all the cities listed in the research - 29.4%. Even though the median list price has risen 11.9% and is currently standing at $125,000, there are still reasons to worry. Luckily, the number of foreclosures is moderate - one in every 1,159 homes gets seized and sold to set off outstanding mortgage payments.

6. Sarasota, Florida

Houses for sale in Sarasota currently have a relatively high median list price - $359,000, which is a 5.6% increase from 2019. Underwater mortgages stand at 4.5%. One in every 1,520 homes gets foreclosed. The time a house spends on the market waiting for the buyer is similar to Fort Myers, merely a week shorter.

7. Dayton, Ohio

At first glance, Dayton, Ohio, is doing just fine. The prices have increased 16.5% since 2019, and the houses are still affordable at the median list price of $67,000. However, the percentage of underwater mortgages is 27.6% - the second-highest on our list. What’s more, the foreclosure rate here is higher than the national average.

8. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The median list price of a house in Fort Lauderdale is currently $499,900, 0.2% lower than two years ago. The foreclosure rates in this city on Florida’s southeastern coast are similar to those in Sarasota. Still, the number of days houses stay on the market in Fort Lauderdale is 133 days, which is more than double the national average.

9. Valdosta, Georgia

Valdosta’s low foreclosure rates may make someone wonder why it made this list, considering that only one in 3,304 homes ends up getting foreclosed. But if we look at other relevant numbers, the picture looks a lot less bright. The prices in Valdosta fell 6% last year, and the median list price is $154,900. This in itself wouldn’t be too problematic if it weren’t for the double-digit underwater mortgage rate of 22.7%.

10. West Palm Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach seems to be suffering from a high foreclosure rate: One in every 1,297 homes gets seized from defaulting mortgagors. Home prices have gained 1.4% and currently stand at $298,000. The average time a home stays on the market in this city north of Miami is 119 days.

The Bottom Line

The housing markets we have reviewed here struggle with high rates of foreclosure and underwater mortgages, as well as sluggish or even negative home price growth. However, looking at the broader picture, we can see that the US housing market might, in fact, be in overdrive as millions of Millennials have reached first-home buying age and are looking to settle somewhere without having to go through another tenant screening procedure.

About the author

Julia A. is a writer at SmallBizGenius.net. With experience in both finance and marketing industries, she enjoys staying up to date with the current economic affairs and writing opinion pieces on the state of small businesses in America. As an avid reader, she spends most of her time poring over history books, fantasy novels, and old classics. Tech, finance, and marketing are her passions, and she’s a frequent contributor at various small business blogs.

More News

Facebook has been paying hundreds of independent contractors to listen and transcribe audio content collected from the users of its Messenger app without the users' direct consent.Bloomberg was the first to report the story on Tuesday after it obtained information from workers tasked with transcribing the audio snippets. The outsourced workers say they were not given any details on how and where the audio material had been recorded. They were only assigned with transcribing the sometimes vulgar content without receiving further instructions.The transcribers who came forward to Bloomberg after realizing the origin of the material they had been working on asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing their jobs.Facebook confirmed it had been using transcription services to improve the quality of its artificial intelligence software. It said contractors had been reviewing the transcription work carried out by the AI, only using the data gathered from users who chose the option to have their Messenger voice chats transcribed. However, due to an opaque privacy policy, users were lead to believe machines, not people carried out the transcription. Facebook said that the audio material reviewed by humans was masked to protect the users' identity, adding it halted the practice last week. Other tech giants developing their own AI don't shy away from such practices either. Amazon, Apple, and Google have all been under public scrutiny for collecting audio clips from users, transcribing them using AI technology, and later subjecting those clips to human review.In April, the news of Amazon employing thousands of workers in various countries to listen to Alexa voice requests broke. The company justified the act using the same explanation Facebook gave now - the human review was necessary for improving the software. Soon after, Google was put under the spotlight when some of its Dutch language audio snippets were leaked. Belgian broadcaster VRT NWS got hold of more than 1,000 recordings collected by the search engine company through its Google voice assistant. Some of the leaked audio clips contained personal information that could be used to identify the person speaking. Google said it has put this practice on pause worldwide while it investigates the Dutch leaks.Apple also adopted the practice of subjecting sensitive user information to human review without the users' knowledge, to develop its digital assistant Siri. The iPhone maker said it has stopped the practice for now but plans to reintroduce it after asking for explicit permission from users.Critics of this, apparently, widespread practice warn that once human beings process the information, there's no way of ensuring it stays contained."We feel we have some control over machines," Jamie Winterton, director of strategy at Arizona State University's Global Security Initiative told ABC News. "You have no control over humans that way. There's no way once a human knows something to drag that piece of data to the recycling bin."The Irish Data Protection Commission, the regulatory authority that oversees Facebook in Europe, said it was "seeking detailed information from Facebook on the processing in question."In the light of yet another user privacy violation, Facebook shares dropped 2.2% at 10:02 a.m. in New York trading.
By Ivana V. · August 15,2019
Does Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, use unfair practices to remain ahead of the smaller sellers on the marketplace platform? Today the EU's Competition Commission opened a formal investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of Amazon.The goal of the investigation is to establish whether Amazon's use of sensitive data from independent retailers who sell on its marketplace is in breach of EU competition rules.This is the second big hit Amazon has taken in a matter of days. Yesterday employees of the company in Germany and Minnesota rallied to protest against low pay and poor working conditions.One of the questions being investigated is: Is the e-commerce giant using merchant data to gain a competitive advantage? European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager believes that due to an increase in online shopping, e-commerce has boosted competition, bringing better prices and more choices. “We need to ensure that large online platforms don’t eliminate these benefits through anti-competitive behavior,” said Vestager. “I have therefore decided to take a very close look at Amazon's business practices and its dual role as marketplace and retailer, to assess its compliance with EU competition rules.”The probe may eventually lead to formal charges and orders to change business practices and fines. It could also be dropped. The company owned by Jeff Bezos released an official statement, responding to the news: “We will cooperate fully with the European Commission and continue working hard to support businesses of all sizes and help them grow.”Amazon did, however, update their service agreement today. It’s still uncertain how this will affect the European Commission’s investigation.Margrethe Vestager has been involved in the Amazon case since last September when a preliminary look at the e-commerce giant’s data collection practices was taken. During her five year tenure as the Competition Commissioner on the European Commission, she became known for fining most of the major tech giants, including Google, Facebook, and Apple. A ruling by Vestager lead to Apple being forced to pay back a staggering $15.4 billion in taxes. So far, Amazon has avoided being fined, but only the European Commission can determine whether that will remain as it is.
By Ivana V. · July 17,2019
Meredith Whittaker, the Google employee who helped lead the protests against the tech giant’s involvement with the military, its handling of AI ethics, and its sexual harassment policies, has left the company.The news of Whittaker’s departure from the company was first reported by Bloomberg after Google’s Software Engineer Chris Lu tweeted about it yesterday. Without providing additional comments, Google confirmed to TechCrunch that she had left the organization.“Today is @mer__edith's final day at Google. Watching her experience as a whistleblower at Google and a victim of retaliation cannot signal good things for how AI institutions will react to negative criticism. #NotOkGoogle” Lu posted on Monday.Whittaker was a program manager at Google, co-founder of the AI Now Institute, an ethics committee affiliated with New York University, and the founder of Google’s Open Research Group, which focuses on AI development.While employed by the search engine company, she was a vocal advocate for change and spoke out publically every time she felt ethical boundaries were being crossed.Last year when word got out that Google was collaborating with the Department of Defense on the controversial Project Maven, helping it develop AI tools to analyze drone footage, Whittaker spoke up about it, condemning such practices.This led to a few employees leaving the company and incited a very negative public reaction. In response to these events, the tech firm published its AI Principles in June 2018 which prevented it from renewing its $10 billion contract with the Pentagon.Whittaker also pushed back in November 2018 when it was revealed that, despite credible sexual harassment allegations, Android co-creator Andy Rubin had received a $90 million payout package from Google.The event sparked a much broader conversation about the way the company handles sexual harassment allegations. Together with her co-worker Claire Stapleton, Whittaker helped organize last year’s “Google Walkout for Change”, in which 20,000 employees worldwide took part.Even though following the protests Google had ended its practice of forced arbitration for sexual harassment and assault cases, which required employees to waive their legal rights, Stapleton and Whittaker fell victims of retaliation.Stapleton was the first to quit, in April 2019. In a post explaining her decision to leave Google, she wrote “I made the choice after the heads of my department branded me with a kind of scarlet letter that makes it difficult to do my job or find another one. If I stayed, I didn’t just worry that there’d be more public flogging, shunning, and stress, I expected it.”After Stapelton's departure, Whittaker once again spoke her mind about the way Google intimidates those who try to openly discuss the dark side of power associated with big tech. She tweeted “Google's retaliation isn't about me, or @clairewaves. It's about silencing dissent & making us afraid to speak honestly about tech & power. NOT OK. Now more than ever, it's time to speak up.”Whittaker could not be reached for comments at this time.
By Ivana V. · July 17,2019

Leave your comment

Your email address will not be published.


There are no comments yet