15 cities where residents fell behind on mortgages during the pandemic


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Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on Porch.

A year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, many policies designed to protect homeowners and renters are nearing an end, and this fall could see a wave of foreclosures and evictions as a result.

Since early in the pandemic, policymakers have taken measures to protect renters and homeowners from being evicted from their homes. The federal government created money to help with rent and mortgages, enacted a moratorium on evictions to protect tenants, and created a foreclosure relief and forgiveness program for homeowners with federally backed mortgages. Many states and localities have followed suit with their own housing assistance programs suspended, while many private lenders have offered mortgage-holding options in line with federal policy.

There were strong economic and public health rationales for putting all of these measures in place. Losing a home through eviction or foreclosure can wreak havoc on individual families’ finances, and on a large scale, widespread turnover can create disastrous conditions in the larger real estate market, as the recent recession has demonstrated. With the pandemic raging through most of 2020 and 2021, it was also important to help people stay in place to reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus.

These interventions have so far had their desired effects, and mortgage default rates provide one example. The percentage of mortgages that are at least 90 days past due — essentially meaning the mortgage holder missed three payments in a row, usually seen as a sign of severe economic distress — has remained below 1% throughout the pandemic, due Thanks in large part to patience. This is in stark contrast to the Great Recession, when homeowners didn’t have the same options available and mortgage delinquencies peaked at around 9% in 2010.

Now, with these programs ending, the economic consequences that policymakers hoped to avoid may be paying off. The foreclosure freeze expired on July 31, with deductible options remaining available until September 30. The moratorium on evictions was also due to expire on July 31 but was later extended. With many homeowners and renters delinquent, the end of these programs could have major repercussions for US housing this year.

The metro with the most residents who have defaulted on mortgages

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According to US Census Bureau data, homeowners in some locations may be more likely than others to be foreclosed on in the coming months. The Household Pulse Survey includes a measure of the number of adults who report defaulting on their home loans. Statewide, New York may be most vulnerable, with 8.9% of homeowners on average reporting defaulting on their mortgage payments throughout the pandemic. Other states with higher housing costs, such as Hawaii (8.3%), Maryland (8.0%), and New Jersey (7.9%) rank highly, as do many southern states where household incomes are lower and the economic impacts of the pandemic may have. I felt more powerful.

At the metro level, similar trends exist, with both high-cost locations, such as New York City, and economically distressed locations, such as Detroit, homeowners being more likely to be behind on their mortgage payments.

The data used in this analysis is from the US Census Bureau and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. To identify sites that have delayed mortgage payments during COVID-19, researchers at Porch calculated the percentage of adults who reported disapproval of their mortgage payments, averaging all available weeks from the Household Pulse survey. As such, the data represents the typical number of people who defaulted on their home loans at any time during a pandemic, rather than cumulative values. In a tie, the site with the average number of adults in default on mortgages ranked higher.

Here are the metropolitan areas with the most residents who have defaulted on their mortgages during COVID-19.

15. Seattle Tacoma Bellevue, Washington

Seattle skyline
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  • Percentage of adults in default of their mortgage loans: 5.5%
  • Total Adult Delinquent Mortgages: 177.090
  • Average Monthly Owner Costs for Mortgage Holders: $2,359
  • Peak unemployment rate in 2020: 16.7%

14. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Percentage of adults in default of their mortgage loans: 5.5%
  • Total Adult Delinquent Mortgages: 207.696
  • Average Monthly Owner Costs for Mortgage Holders: USD 2482
  • Peak unemployment rate in 2020: 15.6%

13. Phoenix Mesa Chandler, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona
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  • Percentage of adults in default of their mortgage loans: 5.7%
  • Total Adult Delinquent Mortgages: 221193
  • Average Monthly Owner Costs for Mortgage Holders: 1,540 USD
  • Peak unemployment rate in 2020: 13.5%

12. Detroit Warren Dearborn, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan
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  • Percentage of adults in default of their mortgage loans: 5.7%
  • Total Adult Delinquent Mortgages: 200891
  • Average Monthly Owner Costs for Mortgage Holders: $1424
  • Peak unemployment rate in 2020: 24.7%

11. San Francisco – Oakland – Berkeley, California

San Francisco neighborhood.
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  • Percentage of adults in default of their mortgage loans: 6.6%
  • Total Adult Delinquent Mortgages: 231438
  • Average Monthly Owner Costs for Mortgage Holders: $3,237
  • Peak unemployment rate in 2020: 13.7%

10. Philadelphia Camden Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

Philadelphia
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  • Percentage of adults in default of their mortgage loans: 6.8%
  • Total Adult Delinquent Mortgages: 337458
  • Average Monthly Owner Costs for Mortgage Holders: $1,870
  • Peak unemployment rate in 2020: 15.0%

9. Dallas – Fort Worth – Arlington, Texas

Dallas, Texas
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  • Percentage of adults in default of their mortgage loans: 6.9%
  • Total Adult Delinquent Mortgages: 415481
  • Average Monthly Owner Costs for Mortgage Holders: $1,870
  • Peak unemployment rate in 2020: 12.5%

8. Chicago Naperville Elgin, IL-IN-WI

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  • Percentage of adults in default of their mortgage loans: 7.0%
  • Total Adult Delinquent Mortgages: 496134
  • Average Monthly Owner Costs for Mortgage Holders: 1,882 USD
  • Peak unemployment rate in 2020: 16.5%

7. Riverside – San Bernardino – Ontario, California

Riverside neighborhood, California
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  • Percentage of adults in default of their mortgage loans: 7.3%
  • Total Adult Delinquent Mortgages: 297,130
  • Average Monthly Owner Costs for Mortgage Holders: 1969 USD
  • Peak unemployment rate in 2020: 15.2%

6. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

Washington DC
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  • Percentage of adults in default of their mortgage loans: 7.3%
  • Total Adult Delinquent Mortgages: 335,436
  • Average Monthly Owner Costs for Mortgage Holders: $2,417
  • Peak unemployment rate in 2020: 9.4%

5. Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Alpharetta, Georgia

Atlanta Homes, Georgia
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  • Percentage of adults in default of their mortgage loans: 8.2%
  • Total Adult Delinquent Mortgages: 379.004
  • Average Monthly Owner Costs for Mortgage Holders: 1,586 USD
  • Peak unemployment rate in 2020: 12.6%

4. Los Angeles – Long Beach – Anaheim, California

Los Angeles neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley
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  • Percentage of adults in default of their mortgage loans: 8.3%
  • Total Adult Delinquent Mortgages: 860103
  • Average Monthly Owner Costs for Mortgage Holders: $2,659
  • Peak unemployment rate in 2020: 17.9%

3. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas

Houston, Texas skyline
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  • Percentage of adults in default of their mortgage loans: 8.6%
  • Total Adult Delinquent Mortgages: 470720
  • Average Monthly Owner Costs for Mortgage Holders: $1,815
  • Peak unemployment rate in 2020: 14.0%

2. Miami – Fort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach, Florida

Miami, Florida
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  • Percentage of adults in default of their mortgage loans: 9.1%
  • Total Adult Delinquent Mortgages: 438,150
  • Average Monthly Owner Costs for Mortgage Holders: 1874 USD
  • Peak unemployment rate in 2020: 13.8%

1. New York City – Newark – Jersey City, New York – New Jersey – Pennsylvania

New York City Coast
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  • Percentage of adults in default of their mortgage loans: 9.9%
  • Total Adult Delinquent Mortgages: 1,381,177
  • Average Monthly Owner Costs for Mortgage Holders: $2,807
  • Peak unemployment rate in 2020: 17.0%

Detailed and methodological results

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The data used in this analysis is from the US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, the US Census Bureau’s one-year American Community Survey estimates, and the US Census Bureau’s local unemployment statistics. To identify locations that are delinquent in mortgage payments during COVID-19, researchers calculated the percentage and number of adults who reported not being in mortgage payments, averaging over all weeks available for the survey – August 19, 2020, through August.2, 2021. On As such, the data represents the typical percentage and number of people who have defaulted on their home loans at any time during the pandemic, rather than cumulative values. In a tie, the site with the average number of adults in default on mortgages ranked higher. Only the major central US regions covered by the Household Pulse Survey were identified in the analysis.

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