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50 Housing Markets That Are Turning Ugly

Joel Anderson
·21 min read

Housing markets can run hot and cold, with a particular area seeing demand for a home change over time. And that can present a pretty serious issue for many people. If you have to move for a job or your family, discovering that the housing market has gone down the tubes and you’re facing a long wait to sell at a lower price than you would like can seriously hurt your plans. Given how prominent a house is among the average American’s assets, seeing it lose value ? or worse, having the bank foreclose ? can be tough to recover from.

That’s why GOBankingRates put together a list of the 50 housing markets where residents might have cause for concern. By taking foreclosure rates and the growth (or lack thereof) in home values over the last one- and two-year periods, the study identifies those areas where local real estate is seriously suffering.

So is your town in one of these 50 markets that’s in serious danger of turning ugly? Here’s a look at cities where things are looking bleak.

Last updated: Oct. 21, 2020

50. Rockford, Illinois

  • July 2020 home value: $96,054

  • 1-year price change: 2.87%

  • 2-year price change: 8.41%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 4,096 homes

You might think a median home price under six figures would mean residents would have an easier time covering their mortgage, but the foreclosure rate here is well over triple that of the national average. However, this city does have the largest increase in average home value over the last two years of any city included here.

49. Charleston, South Carolina

  • July 2020 home value: $347,338

  • 1-year price change: 2.53%

  • 2-year price change: 3.95%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 7,049 homes

While a one-year return on a home?s value of 2.53% is disappointing, in the context of gaining just under 4% over the last two years would seem to show that home values here are grinding to a halt. It?s certainly better than going negative, obviously, but people with a lot invested in their home might be looking for a lot more.

48. Fairfield, California

  • July 2020 home value: $484,057

  • 1-year price change: 2.24%

  • 2-year price change: 3.83%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 5,413 homes

In terms of whole dollars, no city in this study saw more improvement in home values over the last year than Fairfield. However, that?s mostly due to the already high values there. While the typical home added over $10,000 to its value, which translates to growth of just 2.24%.

47. Amarillo, Texas

  • July 2020 home value: $139,134

  • 1-year price change: 2.06%

  • 2-year price change: 4.72%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 13,183 homes

If you think a housing market where nobody?s getting rich but people appear to still be paying their bills at roughly the same rate as most places isn?t ?ugly,? per se, Amarillo?s inclusion might not sit right with you. The low growth rate of home values is clearly not what residents would prefer, but it also has the third-lowest foreclosure rate in the study ? coming in slightly ahead of the U.S. average.

46. College Station, Texas

  • July 2020 home value: $259,894

  • 1-year price change: 3.20%

  • 2-year price change: 5.99%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 3,337 homes

Home to Texas A&M University, College Station residents are having serious trouble holding onto their homes. Foreclosure rates there are roughly triple that of the national average.

45. Joliet, Illinois

  • July 2020 home value: $154,129

  • 1-year price change: 2.49%

  • 2-year price change: 6.61%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 4,666 homes

The foreclosure rate in this Illinois city translates to over one in every 5,000 homes, showing that plenty in the burg must be struggling with their bills. However, with home values hovering around $150,000, the city does offer some relief from high home prices.

Watch Out: In Less Than a Decade, You Won?t Be Able To Afford a Home in These Cities

44. San Angelo, Texas

  • July 2020 home value: $143,511

  • 1-year price change: 2.23%

  • 2-year price change: 5.68%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 6,910 homes

This Texas city is another where the typical home comes in at under $150,000 in value. However, the lower value of the mortgages there hasn?t translated to more affordability for many ? foreclosure rates there run well over double the national average.

43. Annapolis, Maryland

  • July 2020 home value: $476,615

  • 1-year price change: 2.04%

  • 2-year price change: 1.55%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 14,146 homes

Another city where your definition of ?ugly? matters, Annapolis has the second-lowest foreclosure rate in this study ? one that?s only slightly higher than the national average in spite of a median home value approaching a half-million dollars. It landed on this list because of the ugly state of growth for those home value, adding just 1.55% over the last 24 months.

42. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

  • July 2020 home value: $157,643

  • 1-year price change: 2.59%

  • 2-year price change: 6.34%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 4,165 homes

At first blush, Cedar Rapids might not seem so troubled. The median home value is very affordable, and the two-year growth in values isn?t absurdly low ? it?s roughly two-thirds the national average. But folks living in this Iowa burg are still struggling to pay the bills, with a foreclosure rate more than triple that of the rest of the country.

41. Round Rock, Texas

  • July 2020 home value: $311,624

  • 1-year price change: -0.17%

  • 2-year price change: 6.65%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 15,143 homes

This town is just a hair more likely than the average American to have their home foreclosed on. In fact, it appears as though the main reason this Texas town lands on this list is because of a slight decrease in home values last year. That would also mean that the market grew by over 6.5% the year prior, so knock on wood for Round Rock that the latter half of 2018 and first half of 2019 represent a hiccup and not a new trend.

40. Chicago

  • July 2020 home value: $232,722

  • 1-year price change: 2.01%

  • 2-year price change: 3.74%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 9,796 homes

The median home values in Chicago don?t at all seem in line with that of the nation?s second-largest city, but that doesn?t mean you should jump at the chance to buy. They?re not growing very fast at all, and with a foreclosure rate well over the national average, there are clearly plenty of people who are wishing they hadn?t taken the plunge to become a homeowner in the Windy City.

39. Decatur, Illinois

  • July 2020 home value: $78,350

  • 1-year price change: 2.48%

  • 2-year price change: 4.08%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 11,022 homes

Another Illinois city showing signs of trouble, Decatur offers a shot at homeownership for well under $100,000. However, with the stagnant growth in home values, the low purchase price could just reflect the low return on investment you can expect.

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38. Plainfield, Illinois

  • July 2020 home value: $256,814

  • 1-year price change: 2.06%

  • 2-year price change: 4.69%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 5,904 homes

This trilogy of Illinois cities is a telling sign of how these ugly housing markets do appear to group regionally, indicating that they could be signs of broader issues with the area economy ? with several other states making multiple appearances. Plainview?s market shows another entry of a disturbing trend toward stagnant growth in values and foreclosure rates much higher than the national average.

37. Conroe, Texas

  • July 2020 home value: $235,097

  • 1-year price change: 2.13%

  • 2-year price change: 5.88%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 4,423 homes

While the two-year growth rate in values is bad but not awful ? it?s still over half that of the national average ? it?s the foreclosure rate that should really raise red flags about this Texas city. Better than one in ever 4,500 homes are foreclosed on there.

36. Albany, New York

  • July 2020 home value: $189,966

  • 1-year price change: 1.71%

  • 2-year price change: 4.98%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 7,236 homes

The capital of the Empire State features a foreclosure rate just over double that of the national average. Throw in home values that have grown under 5% over the last two years and this is one area where homeownership appears to be working out a little differently than a lot of people imagined.

35. Vallejo, California

  • July 2020 home value: $446,573

  • 1-year price change: 2.00%

  • 2-year price change: 3.47%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 5,116 homes

While the median home value in Vallejo is a little over double that of the national average, the foreclosure rate is about triple the rate for the nation as a whole. The average homeowner might have added just under $15,000 to the value of their home in the last two years, that?s a gain of just under 3.5%.

34. Wilmington, Delaware

  • July 2020 home value: $220,529

  • 1-year price change: 2.27%

  • 2-year price change: 4.35%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 5,503 homes

While Wilmington?s median home value is just under the national average, the lower prices aren?t necessarily translating to an easier time keeping up with payments for everyone. Just over one in every 5,000 homeowners is facing foreclosure here.

33. Shreveport, Louisiana

  • July 2020 home value: $108,460

  • 1-year price change: 4.26%

  • 2-year price change: 2.18%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 5,637 homes

Shreveport?s low home values provide a shot at affordably owning a home, and there was even some good news over the last 12 months as home prices have risen almost on pace with the national average. However, the biggest story would be the high foreclosure rate, with one in every 5,637 homes being foreclosed on.

32. Georgetown, Texas

  • July 2020 home value: $329,335

  • 1-year price change: 0.84%

  • 2-year price change: 4.26%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 11,428 homes

Georgetown is another Texas city with a relatively low foreclosure rate for this list ? with one in every 11,428 homes getting foreclosed on compared to one in every 15,226 at the national level. However, home values there are stagnating, adding less than 1% over the last year.

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31. Tracy, California

  • July 2020 home value: $535,983

  • 1-year price change: 1.75%

  • 2-year price change: 3.45%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 4,460 homes

Tracy is an expensive city, with home median home values running over a half-million dollars. However, growth in those values appears to have stalled out over the last 24 months while foreclosures are happening at over three times the national rate.

Pictured: Stockton, California, located roughly 30 minutes away from Tracy

30. Newark, Delaware

  • July 2020 home value: $262,161

  • 1-year price change: 3.45%

  • 2-year price change: 4.85%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 2,760 homes

This lesser-known Newark is currently seeing a lot of people seriously struggle with homeownership. While the median home value is right around the same level as the country as a whole, the foreclosure rate is more than quintuple that of the national rate.

29. Delray Beach, Florida

  • July 2020 home value: $359,797

  • 1-year price change: 2.36%

  • 2-year price change: 4.50%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 3,305 homes

Delray Beach?s tiny rate of growth in home values could be part of why so many people are struggling to hold onto theirs. The foreclosure rate there is well over four times that of the national average.

28. Williamsburg, Virginia

  • July 2020 home value: $338,446

  • 1-year price change: 1.30%

  • 2-year price change: 2.59%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 7,018 homes

Williamsburg is considerably more expensive than the rest of the country in terms of buying a house, and that could be driving some people to take on mortgages a bit bigger than they can afford. With one foreclosure for every 7,000 homes, residents are more than twice as likely to go through one than the average American.

27. Sugar Land, Texas

  • July 2020 home value: $318,902

  • 1-year price change: 1.25%

  • 2-year price change: 1.23%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 11,188 homes

Sugar Land has the characteristics of several other Texas towns in that the foreclosure rate is much lower than the norm in this study, but the growth rates in home values were also very low ? notably, low enough to land them here.

26. Lakewood Township, New Jersey

  • July 2020 home value: $413,330

  • 1-year price change: 1.16%

  • 2-year price change: 0.43%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 13,056 homes

Lakewood Township also features a foreclosure rate that isn?t that much higher than the national average. However, the burg has also seen home values creep up by a mere 0.43% over the last two years.

25. Plano, Texas

  • July 2020 home value: $351,661

  • 1-year price change: 1.28%

  • 2-year price change: 0.57%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 11,274 homes

Over the last two years, the value of the average home in Plano is up just over a half percent. And given that it rose 1.28% over just the last 12 months, that indicates that the 12 months prior to that were especially ugly.

24. Lafayette, Louisiana

  • July 2020 home value: $179,084

  • 1-year price change: 1.45%

  • 2-year price change: 0.82%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 12,054 homes

If you really love living in Lafayette, you might not see so many issues with the current state of affairs ? with relatively affordable homes and a foreclosure rate only slightly higher than the national average. However, if you do think you?ll be moving eventually, the fact that the return on investment on your house is so low over the last two years is going to be an issue.

Check Out: Houses in These 29 Cities Are Suddenly Major Bargains

23. Bryan, Texas

  • July 2020 home value: $191,949

  • 1-year price change: 0.49%

  • 2-year price change: 4.71%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 4,720 homes

Bryan saw home values rise a piddling 0.49% from July 2019 to July 2020. Meanwhile, foreclosure rates there are churning at better than three times the national average.

22. Aurora, Illinois

  • July 2020 home value: $199,387

  • 1-year price change: 0.92%

  • 2-year price change: 3.09%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 5,632 homes

The last 12 months produced just under 1% in growth for the value of their home ? translating to under $2,000 in value. The 12 months prior were better, but not by much ? the full two years added just over 3% to the value of an average home there.

21. Elgin, Illinois

  • July 2020 home value:$217,006

  • 1-year price change: 0.72%

  • 2-year price change: 4.08%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 4,157 homes

The foreclosure rate in Elgin is roughly triple that of the country as a whole. And it?s certainly not paying off well for those who aren?t losing their homes ? the growth in home values remains very low.

20. San Francisco

  • July 2020 home value: $1,484,177

  • 1-year price change: 0.48%

  • 2-year price change: -0.16%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 10,441 homes

This is one housing market that might have just been running too hot for a long while. The median home value at about $1.5 million could just mean that the negative growth rate over the last 24 months and foreclosure rate higher than the national average reflect the consequences of prices running too high for too long.

19. Richmond, California

  • July 2020 home value: $585,965

  • 1-year price change: 0.21%

  • 2-year price change: 2.80%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 4,239 homes

This California city is seeing a lot of its residents struggling as the foreclosure rate is running three times that of the national average. Add to that a mere 0.21% growth in home values over the last 12 months and things are starting to feel ominous.

18. Monroe, Louisiana

  • July 2020 home value: $117,916

  • 1-year price change: 0.77%

  • 2-year price change: 1.28%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 6,576 homes

While Monroe residents are likely glad that they?re at least not losing ground on their home values, getting less than 1% in growth per year isn?t going to have anyone dancing in the streets. The last 24 months have produced just a 1.28% increase ? translating to just $1,500 more for the average home.

17. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • July 2020 home value: $193,558

  • 1-year price change: 1.73%

  • 2-year price change: -0.71%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 5,878 homes

While home values in Baton Rogue saw a small increase over the last year, that vanishes if you stretch it to 24 months. Going back to July 2018, home values are down there to the tune of 0.71%.

16. Champaign, Illinois

  • July 2020 home value: $150,666

  • 1-year price change: 2.33%

  • 2-year price change: 4.67%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 2,093 homes

This Illinois town has the dubious honor of the single highest foreclosure rate to appear in this study ? though, one doubts anyone there is popping the bubbly to celebrate ? at a rate of roughly one in every 2,100 homes. That?s better than seven times the national average.

15. Irvine, California

  • July 2020 home value: $1,043,105

  • 1-year price change: 0.35%

  • 2-year price change: -0.26%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 6,172 homes

Another California city proving that very expensive home markets can also go very toxic, Irvine has a median home value of over $1 million but is seeing some serious issues of late. The fact that home values appear to have plateaued is one issue, but the foreclosure rate that?s twice that of the nation as a whole is very troubling.

14. Baltimore

  • July 2020 home value: $153,279

  • 1-year price change: 0.57%

  • 2-year price change: 3.51%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 2,816 homes

Baltimore features the third-highest foreclosure rate in the study at over one in every 3,000 homes. And while the price of a house there is low, the last two years have produced precious little growth in home values.

13. New Orleans

  • July 2020 home value: $224,293

  • 1-year price change: 1.46%

  • 2-year price change: -0.22%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 3,739 homes

One of America?s oldest and most historic cities, New Orleans residents appears to be struggling in recent times. Foreclosure rates are high and home values have dipped slightly over the last two years.

See: 50 Cities With the Most Homes Under $100K

12. Peoria, Illinois

  • July 2020 home value: $89,001

  • 1-year price change: 0.87%

  • 2-year price change: -0.19%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 4,159 homes

The birthplace of Richard Pryor is a good place to settle if you?re primarily focused on affordability ? you?ll probably be able to purchase a home for under six figures. That said, the last two years would seem to indicate that you?re unlikely to see a ton of growth in that value after your purchase. It?s also the last of some nine Illinois cities in this study ? the third most of any state.

11. Edison, New Jersey

  • July 2020 home value:$407,257

  • 1-year price change: -0.36%

  • 2-year price change: -0.62%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 8,168 homes

Edison has seen home values decline over both the last 12 and 24 months. Foreclosure rates are relatively low for this study, but they?re still almost double the rate for the nation as a whole.

10. Albany, Georgia

  • July 2020 home value: $88,190

  • 1-year price change: -1.38%

  • 2-year price change: 1.74%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 4,323 homes

This might be the lesser-known of the two Albanys on this list, but it?s the one with a significantly more troubling housing market. Prices dropped over the last two-year period and foreclosures are coming at better than triple the national average.

9. Stamford, Connecticut

  • July 2020 home value: $579,399

  • 1-year price change: -0.67%

  • 2-year price change: -1.18%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 5,268 homes

The costly housing market of Stamford doesn?t appear to be offering much let up after you close. Home values are down this year and last, shaving nearly $7,000 off what your house is worth over the last 24 months.

8. Lake Charles, Louisiana

  • July 2020 home value: $179,930

  • 1-year price change: -1.23%

  • 2-year price change: -1.74%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 4,148 homes

Lake Charles represents the sixth and final Louisiana city in this study, making it the fourth-most common state on this list. Home values there have dipped by 1.74% over the last two years.

7. Santa Rosa, California

  • July 2020 home value: $608,752

  • 1-year price change: 0.13%

  • 2-year price change: -4.82%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 3,893 homes

With homes being foreclosed on at a rate of better than one in 4,000, Santa Rosa is experiencing unusually large issues with foreclosures right now. As such, the fact that home values are down nearly 5% over the last two years shouldn?t be so surprising.

6. Laredo, Texas

  • July 2020 home value: $159,321

  • 1-year price change: -4.31%

  • 2-year price change: -1.79%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 5,296 homes

This Texas border town offers distinctly affordable homes, with the average home value just under $160,000. And that?s down significantly since just last July ? dropping some 4.31% over that period.

5. Fremont, California

  • July 2020 home value: $1,139,622

  • 1-year price change: -1.09%

  • 2-year price change: -4.79%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 10,811 homes

Fremont is definitely among the high-end housing markets turning ugly with a median home value well over $1 million. But anyone paying those prices might want to seriously reconsider as it now appears to be a depreciating asset if you look at the last two years.

4. San Mateo, California

  • July 2020 home value: $1,562,690

  • 1-year price change: -0.65%

  • 2-year price change: -6.09%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 10,118 homes

Even San Francisco can?t match the median home price of San Mateo, which is north of $1.5 million. But once again, this market appears to have reversed direction with home values losing over 6% in the last 24 months.

3. Redwood City, California

  • July 2020 home value: $1,677,126

  • 1-year price change: -1.04%

  • 2-year price change: -5.20%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 6,529 homes

The tenth and final California city listed here is also the priciest, clocking a median home value in excess of $1.6 million. And like the other high-priced California entries, it?s hard to make the argument you?re treating that as an investment at that price as home values appear to be reversing direction after years of growth.

2. Longview, Texas

  • July 2020 home value: $155,139

  • 1-year price change: -9.90%

  • 2-year price change: -2.91%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 5,158 homes

Longview represents the 11th and final Texas city, the state that placed the most cities in this study. The two-year decline in home prices of 2.91% belies the extremely troubling 9.9% drop that has come over just the last 12 months.

Pictured: Tyler, Texas, located roughly 40 minutes away from Longview

1. Jackson, Mississippi

  • July 2020 home value: $40,024

  • 1-year price change: -8.92%

  • 2-year price change: -9.95%

  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 5,004 homes

Collectively, all but 14 of the cities listed here are from one of four states ? Louisiana, Illinois, California and Texas ? so it?s all the more notable that the No. 1 spot is also the lone Mississippi city in the study. Home prices are down almost 10% over the last two years, and foreclosure rates are more than triple the national average.

More From GOBankingRates

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 50 Housing Markets That Are Turning Ugly