40 Cities That Could Be Poised For a Housing Crisis

Andrew Lisa
·12 min read
fstop123 / Getty Images
fstop123 / Getty Images

The lessons of the 2008 housing crisis are a living memory, and the effects of the recession of that era still are being felt. Although today’s housing market is largely hot, experts are bracing for a wave of evictions triggered by pandemic-related disruptions. That, they fear, could be the catalyst for a different kind of housing crisis that could rival even the dreariest days of the Great Recession — all with COVID-19 still not yet totally contained.

Some American cities are much more vulnerable to a housing downturn than others, according to a new study from GOBankingRates.

See: 50 Neighborhoods Where Home Prices Are Going Through the Roof

Using data from sources that include the U.S. Census Bureau, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the 2019 American Community Survey and RealtyTrac, GOBankingRates identified the 40 cities most at risk for experiencing a widespread housing crisis. The study examined factors such as mortgage delinquencies, foreclosures, and homeowner and rental vacancy rates.

All 40 are among the 200 largest cities in the country, but they aren’t spread out equally across the nation. States such as Texas, for example, are disproportionately represented with seven cities on the list. California, on the other hand, doesn’t have a single entry despite a population of nearly 40 million and some of the most expensive housing markets in America.

Last updated: Jan. 25, 2021

Hartford Connecticut in the fall
Hartford Connecticut in the fall

Hartford, Connecticut

  • Total housing units: 57,267

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.7%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.2%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 8,758 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 0.7%

Read: What Homes Will Be Worth in Your State by the End of 2021

Pittsburgh traffic trails on the highway junction between Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt bridges.
Pittsburgh traffic trails on the highway junction between Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt bridges.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Total housing units: 158,561

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.7%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.1%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 5,438 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 1.5%

Find Out: 25 Cities Where the Middle Class Is Thriving

Hampton Virginia lighthouse
Hampton Virginia lighthouse

Hampton, Virginia

  • Total housing units: 60,130

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.6%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.1%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 5,598 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 1.3%

See: States Where It’s Easiest To Go From Middle Class to Upper Class

good view of a sunshine afternoon at Clearwater of Florid America.
good view of a sunshine afternoon at Clearwater of Florid America.

Clearwater, Florida

  • Total housing units: 60,504

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.2%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.0%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 6,321 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 3.0%

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Corpus Christi Texas
Corpus Christi Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

  • Total housing units: 134,604

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 4.3%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.0%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 10,732 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 0.4%

Read: 17 Biggest Budgeting Mistakes You’re Making

Downtown Newark, New Jersey Skyline
Downtown Newark, New Jersey Skyline

Newark, New Jersey

  • Total housing units: 113,623

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.1%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.1%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 4,226 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 1.6%

Check Out: Best Cities To Retire on a Budget of $1,500 a Month

San Antonio, Texas, USA downtown city skyline
San Antonio, Texas, USA downtown city skyline

San Antonio, Texas

  • Total housing units: 561,467

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 3.6%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.0%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 8,142 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 1.9%

Related: 17 Dumb Home-Buying Mistakes That Hurt Your Wallet

Killeen Texas sunset
Killeen Texas sunset

Killeen, Texas

  • Total housing units: 64,280

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.7%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.0%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 10,414 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 4.3%

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Louisville Kentucky
Louisville Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

  • Total housing units: 282,781

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.4%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 0.9%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 3,666 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 1.7%

Read: The Upper Class Has Taken Over These 50 Cities

Jacksonville, Fla.
Jacksonville, Fla.

Jacksonville, Florida

  • Total housing units: 396,542

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.2%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 0.9%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 4,082 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 2.9%

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Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA skyline at dusk.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA skyline at dusk.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

  • Total housing units: 108,880

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.7%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.2%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 8,662 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 1.6%

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Miami, Florida downtown skyline.
Miami, Florida downtown skyline.

Miami, Florida

  • Total housing units: 221,040

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.4%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.0%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 5,678 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 3.9%

Learn More: Here’s Exactly How Much Savings You Need To Retire In Your State

downtown Atlanta Georgia skyline
downtown Atlanta Georgia skyline

Atlanta, Georgia

  • Total housing units: 253,597

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.8%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 0.9%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 4,425 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 2.7%

See: Most and Least Expensive States To Build a Home

Cedar Rapids is the second-largest city in Iowa and is the county seat of Linn County.
Cedar Rapids is the second-largest city in Iowa and is the county seat of Linn County.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

  • Total housing units: 62,321

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.0%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 0.7%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 2,704 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 3.0%

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topeka kansas downtown at night.
topeka kansas downtown at night.

Topeka, Kansas

  • Total housing units: 60,013

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 1.8%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 0.9%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 2,833 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 0.8%

Read More: Want To Retire In One of America’s Safest Cities? $1 Million Might Not Get You Far

Memphis, Tennessee skyline at dusk
Memphis, Tennessee skyline at dusk

Memphis, Tennessee

  • Total housing units: 301,473

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 3.7%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.1%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 8,485 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 1.7%

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Amarillo is the 14th-most populous city in the state of Texas, United States.
Amarillo is the 14th-most populous city in the state of Texas, United States.

Amarillo, Texas

  • Total housing units: 85,889

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 3.5%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 0.7%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 4,394 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 3.4%

Find Out: How Much You Need To Live Comfortably in 50 Major US Cities

Birmingham, Alabama metropolitan area
Birmingham, Alabama metropolitan area

Birmingham, Alabama

  • Total housing units: 113,421

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 3.4%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.0%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 4,149 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 0.6%

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Norfolk skyline along the banks of the Chesapeake Bay.
Norfolk skyline along the banks of the Chesapeake Bay.

Norfolk, Virginia

  • Total housing units: 98,476

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.6%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.1%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 4,997 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 2.9%

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Springfield is a city in Western Massachusetts in the Pioneer Valley region.
Springfield is a city in Western Massachusetts in the Pioneer Valley region.

Springfield, Massachusetts

  • Total housing units: 60,454

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 3.2%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.3%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 7,336 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 1.8%

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Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma and 47th-most populous city in the United States.
Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma and 47th-most populous city in the United States.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

  • Total housing units: 187,906

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.8%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.0%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 3,916 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 2.0%

Read: How Much It Cost To Retire in the Year You Were Born

Orlando, Florida, USA downtown cityscape over the highway.
Orlando, Florida, USA downtown cityscape over the highway.

Orlando, Florida

  • Total housing units: 138,456

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.1%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.0%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 6,481 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 6.0%

Read: How To Protect Your Retirement Savings During the Pandemic

El Paso Texas
El Paso Texas

El Paso, Texas

  • Total housing units: 250,077

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 4.7%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 0.9%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 6,424 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 1.4%

Discover: Most Affordable Places To Retire Near You

Syracuse is a city in, and the county seat of Onondaga County, New York, United States.
Syracuse is a city in, and the county seat of Onondaga County, New York, United States.

Syracuse, New York

  • Total housing units: 71,806

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.6%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.2%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 9,575 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 5.2%

Take a Look: These Once-Hot Housing Markets Are Cooling Off

North Miami Beach, Florida, USA - Image.
North Miami Beach, Florida, USA - Image.

Miami Beach, Florida

  • Total housing units: 65,746

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.4%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.0%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 6,175 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 8.7%

Read: 10 Simple Habits of Money-Smart Individuals

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA downtown skyline from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge at twilight.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA downtown skyline from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge at twilight.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Total housing units: 691,653

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.8%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.3%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 3,675 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 1.1%

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Little Rock, Arkansas, USA skyline on the river at twilight.
Little Rock, Arkansas, USA skyline on the river at twilight.

Little Rock, Arkansas

  • Total housing units: 97,530

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 3.2%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.3%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 8,141 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 2.1%

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Brownsville is located at the southernmost tip of Texas, on the northern bank of the Rio Grande, directly north and across the border from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Brownsville is located at the southernmost tip of Texas, on the northern bank of the Rio Grande, directly north and across the border from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Brownsville, Texas

  • Total housing units: 59,943

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 5.7%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.3%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 20,075 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 1.7%

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Downtown Lafayette, Louisiana.
Downtown Lafayette, Louisiana.

Lafayette, Louisiana

  • Total housing units: 59,431

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 3.6%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.3%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 5,467 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 2.4%

See: 10 Signs You’re Not Saving Enough for Retirement

mobile alabama fountain
mobile alabama fountain

Mobile, Alabama

  • Total housing units: 92,545

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 3.9%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.5%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 8,799 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 1.8%

Read: Why It’s Harder To Save For Retirement Today Than 50 Years Ago

New Orleans Louisiana
New Orleans Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Total housing units: 192,236

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 3.6%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.4%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 5,173 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 1.9%

More Tips: 20 Ways To Save Money Fast

Georgia-Augusta
Georgia-Augusta

Augusta, Georgia

  • Total housing units: 87,800

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 3.3%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.0%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 2,879 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 3.3%

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View on downtown of Baltimore at night.
View on downtown of Baltimore at night.

Baltimore, Maryland

  • Total housing units: 293,877

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 2.6%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.0%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 2,163 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 3.2%

Check Out: Here’s How To Retire Early and Quit the Daily Grind

Columbus Georgia
Columbus Georgia

Columbus, Georgia

  • Total housing units: 85,251

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 3.3%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.4%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 4,004 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 3.0%

Read: 19 Things You’ll Need To Sacrifice Now for a Healthy Retirement

Louisiana Shreveport
Louisiana Shreveport

Shreveport, Louisiana

  • Total housing units: 91,088

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 3.9%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.3%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 3,156 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 2.1%

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The historic Market House in downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina was built in 1838.
The historic Market House in downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina was built in 1838.

Fayetteville, North Carolina

  • Total housing units: 94,480

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 3.0

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.7%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 5,020 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 3.9%

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Louisiana State CapitolLouisiana State Capitol.
Louisiana State CapitolLouisiana State Capitol.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • Total housing units: 104,145

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 4.5%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.7%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 8,703 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 2.4%

Take Action: Do These 13 Things To Boost Your Retirement Savings Now

Jackson, Mississippi, USA skyline over the Capitol Building.
Jackson, Mississippi, USA skyline over the Capitol Building.

Jackson, Mississippi

  • Total housing units: 75,146

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 4.6%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.5%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 4,465 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 2.5%

See: 42 Easy Ways To Save For Retirement

Macon-Georgia
Macon-Georgia

Macon, Georgia

  • Total housing units: 70,014

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 4.3%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.9%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 6,260 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 1.9%

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Laredo is the county seat of Webb County, Texas, United States, on the north bank of the Rio Grande in South Texas, across from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Laredo is the county seat of Webb County, Texas, United States, on the north bank of the Rio Grande in South Texas, across from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Laredo, Texas

  • Total housing units: 80,365

  • % of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent: 8.7%

  • % of mortgages 90+ days delinquent: 1.5%

  • Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 10,322 homes

  • Homeowner vacancy rate %: 0.9%

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: To find the 40 cities that could be poised for a housing crisis, GOBankingRates looked at the 200 largest cities in terms of total housing units across the following factors: (1) percent of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent by MSA as sourced from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; (2) percent of mortgages 90-plus days delinquent by MSA as sourced from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; (3) homeowner vacancy rate as sourced from the 2019 American Community Survey; and (4) rental vacancy rate as sourced from the 2019 American Community Survey. These four factors then were scored and combined with the highest score indicating the city most likely to be poised for a housing crisis. Factors (1) and (2) were weighted 2x, and factor (4) was weighted 0.5x. The 100 cities most poised for a housing crisis were moved onto the next round of scoring. These 100 cities then were re-ranked and scored on the four factors above as well as (5) foreclosure rate as sourced from RealtyTrac. These five factors were scored and combined with the highest score indicating the city most likely to be poised for a housing crisis. For this second round of scoring, factors (1) and (2) were weighted 2x, factor (4) was weighted 0.5x, and factor (5) was weighted 1.5x. All data were collected on and are up to date as of Oct. 8, 2020.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 40 Cities That Could Be Poised For a Housing Crisis