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50 Housing Markets That Are Turning Ugly

Cameron Huddleston

The U.S. housing market has been strong, and home prices have been rising steadily since 2012. However, signs of weakness have started appearing lately — including a slowdown in the pace at which home prices have been rising.

That doesn’t mean the housing market is headed for a crash. But some places could be more at risk of a downturn than others. To identify those places, GOBankingRates evaluated 500 cities to identify which ones have high rates of foreclosures and underwater mortgages (houses that are worth less than what is owed). GOBankingRates also looked at changes in median home listing prices, the number of days homes are on the market and percentage of for-sale listings with price cuts and compared those figures with national averages to see which housing markets were lagging behind the nation as a whole.

Florida has the highest number of cities with real estate markets that could be in trouble, followed by Illinois. Keep reading to see which cities in these and other states have housing markets that are turning ugly.

50. Fort Myers, Florida

  • Median list price: $249,999
  • 2-year price change: -1.4%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 6.9%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,921 homes

House prices are dropping in this city in southwest Florida. While home prices nationwide have climbed an average of 9.4% over the past two years, prices have dropped 1.4% in Fort Myers over the same period. Plus, houses for sale spend 105 days on the market in Fort Myers, on average, compared with a national average of 66 days.

49. Newport News, Virginia

  • Median list price: $190,000
  • 2-year price change: 8.4%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 19.2%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 2,172 homes

The percentage of underwater mortgages in this city in southeastern Virginia near Virginia Beach is more than double the national average of 8.2%. However, the real estate market here hasn’t turned too ugly yet. In fact, the percentage of listed home with price cuts in Newport News — 12.6% — is lower than the national average of 17.5%.

48. Cumming, Georgia

  • Median list price: $383,511
  • 2-year price change: 1.2%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 4%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 2,311 homes

Home prices still are rising in this suburb of Atlanta — but not nearly as much as the national average. In fact, home prices in Cumming increased an average of just 0.7% over the past year. And 21.8% of listed homes here have seen price cuts compared with a national average of 17.5%.

47. Toledo, Ohio

  • Median list price: $84,900
  • 2-year price change: 8.8%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 24.7%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,428 homes

Home price growth has slowed over the past year in this western Ohio city on the banks of Lake Erie. However, the bigger problem here is the high percentage of underwater mortgages — which is about three times the national average. Plus, the number of foreclosed homes is higher than the national average.

46. Naperville, Illinois

  • Median list price: $439,990
  • 2-year price change: -2.2%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 6.5%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 3,897 homes

This Chicago suburb has made it onto plenty of “best places to live” lists. However, the housing market has been slumping here. Home prices have dropped more than 2% over the past two years. And at 26.4%, Naperville has the highest percentage of listed homes with prices cuts of any city on this list.

45. Sarasota, Florida

  • Median list price: $359,000
  • 2-year price change: 5.6%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 4.5%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,520 homes

South of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Sarasota has a real estate market that could turn ugly. Home price growth has slowed. Houses for sale are sitting on the market for an average of 99 days, far longer than the national average of 66 days. On top of that, the foreclosure rate is higher in Sarasota than it is nationwide.

44. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  • Median list price: $499,900
  • 2-year price change: -0.2%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 7%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,507 homes

The current housing market is slumping in this tourist destination about 30 miles north of Miami. Home prices in Fort Lauderdale have fallen in the past two years. And the average number of days houses stay on the market here — 133 — is double the national average.

43. Menifee, California

  • Median list price: $380,000
  • 2-year price change: 8.3%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 5.5%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 808 homes

This city in Southern California is part of the Los Angeles metro area. The median home price in Menifee is well above the national median. However, the housing market here could be headed for trouble. Menifee has the third-highest foreclosure rate among cities on this list.

42. Tuscaloosa, Alabama

  • Median list price: $207,988
  • 2-year price change: 0%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 11.7%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 2,393 homes

Home to the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa has a higher percentage of homeowners with negative equity than the nation as a whole. Nearly 12% of mortgages are underwater here compared with about 8% nationwide. The foreclosure rate also is slightly higher in Tuscaloosa than the average across the U.S.

41. Wilmington, Delaware

  • Median list price: $194,550
  • 2-year price change: 0.5%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 15%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,218 homes

The percentage of foreclosed properties in Delaware’s largest city is twice as high as the national average. And the percentage of underwater mortgages in Delaware is almost double the percentage nationwide.

40. Naples, Florida

  • Median list price: $407,990
  • 2-year price change: -8.8%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 6%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 2,515 homes

The housing market has been slowing in this city on Florida’s Gulf Coast. While home prices nationwide have climbed 9.4%, on average, over the past two years, they’ve fallen 8.8% in Naples over the same period. And the average number of days that homes are on the market here — 140 — is more than double the national average.

39. West Palm Beach, Florida

  • Median list price: $298,000
  • 2-year price change: 1.4%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 7.3%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,297 homes

Although home prices have risen slightly in West Palm Beach over the last two years, they’ve fallen in the past year. In addition, houses for sale stay on the market in this city north of Miami an average of 119 days compared with an average of 66 days nationwide. The foreclosure rate here is also higher than the national rate.

38. Waterbury, Connecticut

  • Median list price: $125,000
  • 2-year price change: 11.9%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 29.4%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,159 homes

Home prices have risen more in this city 77 miles northeast of New York City over the past two years than across the U.S. However, the housing market in Waterbury could be in trouble. The percentage of underwater mortgages here is higher than in any other city on this list.

37. Plainfield, Illinois

  • Median list price: $284,450
  • 2-year price change: 3.6%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 7.7%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,138 homes

Home prices have been rising in this village 35 miles southwest of Chicago but not at the same pace as the national average. More telltale signs, though, that the housing market in Plainfield could be turning ugly are the relatively high foreclosure rate and percentage of homes for sale with price cuts. In fact, Plainfield has the second-highest percentage of listed homes with price cuts at 25.3%.

36. Bakersfield, California

  • Median list price: $276,400
  • 2-year price change: 1.1%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 11.8%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,095 homes

Home price growth is slowing in this agriculture hub in California’s Central Valley region. However, foreclosures and underwater mortgages are even bigger problems for Bakersfield’s real estate market. The rates for both are higher than the national averages.

35. Jacksonville, Florida

  • Median list price: $219,000
  • 2-year price change: 11.8%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 11.2%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 814 homes

Home prices are rising at a faster rate in Florida’s largest city, on average, than across the U.S. But Jacksonville has one of the highest foreclosure rates of any city on this list. The percentage of underwater mortgages in this city on the Atlantic Coast also tops the national average.

34. Orlando, Florida

  • Median list price: $289,000
  • 2-year price change: 5.7%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 6.6%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,328 homes

The current housing market in Orlando could use some Walt Disney World magic to keep it from turning ugly. Home price growth in this tourist destination has been slowing. And the percentage of listed homes with price cuts — 21.2% — is higher than the national percentage. The foreclosure rate in Orlando also is higher than the foreclosure rate nationwide.

33. McKinney, Texas

  • Median list price: $379,243
  • 2-year price change: -1.3%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 4.3%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 2,546 homes

Home prices have been falling in this fast-growing city that is 30 miles north of Dallas. While home prices have risen an average of 9.4% over the past two years across America, prices have fallen 1.3% in McKinney. Plus, McKinney has one of the highest percentages of listed homes with price cuts among the cities on this list.

32. Summerville, South Carolina

  • Median list price: $268,293
  • 2-year price change: 4.9%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 6.3%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,279 homes

Houses for sale are lingering on the market longer in Summerville than the national average — 72 days versus 66 days. The increase in home prices in this city 24 miles northwest of Charleston also is lagging behind the national average. And the foreclosure rate in Summerville is twice as high as the rate nationwide.

31. Annapolis, Maryland

  • Median list price: $499,181
  • 2-year price change: 0.7%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 9.5%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 3,964 homes

Although the foreclosure rate in Annapolis is lower than the rate nationwide, the capital of Maryland’s housing market is showing some signs of trouble. Home price growth has slowed over the past year. In fact, the city has a higher percentage of listed homes with price cuts than the percentage nationwide. And houses are staying on the market 14 days longer than the U.S. average.

30. Stamford, Connecticut

  • Median list price: $569,950
  • 2-year price change: 3.5%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 11.1%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 4,498 homes

The housing market is slowing in this city about 30 miles from New York. Home prices haven’t risen over the past year, and houses for sale are staying on the market longer than the U.S. average. Plus, the percentage of mortgages underwater in Stamford is higher than the percentage nationwide.

29. Champaign, Illinois

  • Median list price: $164,900
  • 2-year price change: 3.2%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 11%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 2,173 homes

The housing market in this city that is home to the University of Illinois is showing signs of weakness. The growth in home prices has been slowing. Houses spend more days on the market in Champaign than they do nationwide. And both the foreclosure rate and percentage of homes underwater are higher than the national rates.

28. Port Saint Lucie, Florida

  • Median list price: $247,280
  • 2-year price change: 7.6%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 6.2%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,171 homes

Although the percentage of underwater mortgages is below the national average in this city that’s halfway between Miami and Orlando, the foreclosure rate is twice as high. Plus, home price growth has slowed in Port Saint Lucie.

27. Bradenton, Florida

  • Median list price: $293,700
  • 2-year price change: 1.7%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 6.6%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,799 homes

The housing market is slowing more in Bradenton than in neighboring Sarasota. Home prices have fallen 0.3% over the past year. And 21% of listed homes have price cuts compared with 19.8% in Sarasota and 17.5% nationwide.

26. Ocala, Florida

  • Median list price: $181,900
  • 2-year price change: 8.9%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 10.3%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 972 homes

The foreclosure rate in this city in north-central Florida is among the top 10 highest on this list. Plus, the percentage of underwater mortgages in Ocala is higher than the U.S. average. To top it off, home price growth has slowed over the past year.

25. Dayton, Ohio

  • Median list price: $67,000
  • 2-year price change: 16.5%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 27.6%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,820 homes

The big increase in home prices in Dayton over the past two years might signal to some that the real estate market in this southwestern Ohio city is doing just fine. However, Dayton has the second-highest percentage of underwater mortgages among the cities on this list. And the foreclosure rate is higher here than the national rate.

24. Lehigh Acres, Florida

  • Median list price: $180,000
  • 2-year price change: 6.5%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 6.9%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,189 homes

Although the percentage of underwater mortgages in Lehigh Acres is lower than the percentage nationwide, the foreclosure rate is higher here than the U.S. average. In addition, this city in the Fort Myers metro area on Florida’s Gulf Coast has seen a slowdown in home price growth over the past year. Twenty percent of homes listed for sale here have had price cuts.

23. Rockford, Illinois

  • Median list price: $100,00
  • 2-year price change: 10.5%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 21%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 890 homes

Rockford’s real estate market could turn ugly because a significant percentage of homeowners here have negative equity. More than 20% of mortgages are underwater in this northern Illinois city compared with about 8% nationally. Plus, the foreclosure rate in Rockford is one of the highest among cities on this list.

22. Mobile, Alabama

  • Median list price: $159,900
  • 2-year price change: 6.3%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 16.1%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 2,149 homes

Home prices are still rising in this port city on the Gulf Coast, but not as fast as prices are increasing across the U.S. However, the bigger problem for Mobile’s real estate market is homeowners with negative equity. The percentage of underwater mortgages here is twice the national average.

21. Cape Coral, Florida

  • Median list price: $262,200
  • 2-year price change: 4.2%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 5.5%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,191 homes

This city near Fort Myers has seen rapid growth, but its current housing market is experiencing a slowdown. Home prices increased just 0.1%, on average, over the past year. Nearly 22% of homes listed for sale have price cuts. And houses in Cape Coral stay on the market an average of 103 days compared with a national average of 66 days.

20. Fort Pierce, Florida

  • Median list price: $199,900
  • 2-year price change: 0.5%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 9.7%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,585 homes

While home prices climbed more than 9% nationwide over the past two years, they barely budged in this small city on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Nearly 10% of mortgages are underwater in Fort Pierce compared with about 8% nationwide. And the foreclosure rate is higher than the rate across the U.S.

19. Suffolk, Virginia

  • Median list price: $282,785
  • 2-year price change: 0%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 14.8%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,846 homes

Home prices haven’t risen any, on average, over the past two years in Suffolk. And homes for sale stay on the market an average of 76 days compared with a national average of 66 days. The other problems the real estate market is facing in this city — which is part of the Virginia Beach metro area — are the relatively high percentage of underwater mortgages and high foreclosure rate.

18. Laurel, Maryland

  • Median list price: $350,000
  • 2-year price change: -2.8%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 12.6%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,457 homes

Home prices have been falling in this city that’s located between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. On top of that, nearly 13% of mortgages are underwater in Laurel compared with about 8% nationwide. And the foreclosure rate is higher than the U.S. average.

17. Joliet, Illinois

  • Median list price: $169,900
  • 2-year price change: 9.6%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 15.5%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 812 homes

Although home prices in Joliet increased 9.6% over the past two years, prices haven’t risen any, on average, over the past year. What’s more troubling, though, are the high number of foreclosures and underwater mortgages in this city 30 miles southwest of Chicago. Joliet has the fourth-highest foreclosure rate among cities on this list. And the percentage of underwater mortgages here is almost double the percentage nationwide.

16. Valdosta, Georgia

  • Median list price: $154,900
  • 2-year price change: 0%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 22.7%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 3,304 homes

The foreclosure rate in this city near the Georgia-Florida border is lower than the U.S. average. However, Valdosta has one of the highest percentages of underwater mortgages among cities on this list. Home prices here have also fallen more than 6% over the past year.

15. Decatur, Illinois

  • Median list price: $99,900
  • 2-year price change: 8.5%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 20.4%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 5,785 homes

Decatur has the lowest foreclosure rate among the cities on this list. But the housing market in this central Illinois city could turn ugly due to its high percentage of underwater mortgages. Decatur also has a higher percentage of homes with price cuts than half of the cities on this list, and homes for sale spend more days on the market here than in a majority of cities.

14. Elgin, Illinois

  • Median list price: $240,000
  • 2-year price change: 7.8%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 11.9%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,223 homes

The foreclosure rate in this Chicago suburb is twice the national rate. Plus, home price growth in Elgin has slowed over the past year, and nearly 20% of homes listed for sale have had price cuts.

13. Riverview, Florida

  • Median list price: $252,990
  • 2-year price change: 2.2%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 7.2%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 796 homes

Like other cities in the Tampa area, Riverview has a housing market that could turn ugly. It has the second-highest foreclosure rate on this list. Home price growth has slowed over the past year. And nearly 25% of homes listed for sale have had price cuts compared with 17.5% nationwide.

12. Atlanta

  • Median list price: $339,500
  • 2-year price change: 1.6%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 8.8%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,942 homes

Home prices have dropped 3% over the past year in Georgia’s capital and largest city. Atlanta is also seeing homes stay on the market longer than the U.S. average. Plus, the foreclosure rate here is higher than the rate nationwide.

11. Lawton, Oklahoma

  • Median list price: $99,900
  • 2-year price change: 5%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 25.7%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,661 homes

Lawton has the fourth-highest percentage of underwater mortgages among cities on this list. The foreclosure rate also is higher in this southwestern Oklahoma city than it is nationwide. And homes stay on the market an average of 117 days compared with a U.S. average of 66 days.

10. Hampton, Virginia

  • Median list price: $182,000
  • 2-year price change: 4.8%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 19.9%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 2,148 homes

Hampton is one of the fastest-growing cities in the Hampton Roads region on the Chesapeake Bay. However, it’s housing market has been slowing. Home prices have fallen nearly 3%, on average, over the past year. And the percentage of underwater mortgages here is double the percentage nationwide.

9. Aurora, Illinois

  • Median list price: $220,000
  • 2-year price change: 4.7%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 11.8%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,491 homes

This Chicago suburb is actually the second-largest city in Illinois. Its current housing market is showing signs of trouble, though. Aurora has the fourth-highest percentage of homes with price cuts at 23.7%. And the foreclosure rate and percentage of underwater mortgages are higher than the U.S. averages.

8. Bridgeport, Connecticut

  • Median list price: $189,900
  • 2-year price change: 11.1%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 26.9%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,453 homes

This port city 60 miles from New York has the second-highest percentage of underwater mortgages on this list. The foreclosure rate is higher than the national rate. And houses stay on the market an average of 102 days compared with a U.S. average of 66 days.

7. Norfolk, Virginia

  • Median list price: $220,000
  • 2-year price change: 3.3%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 20.6%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 2,094 homes

Home to the world’s largest naval base, Norfolk is located in southeastern Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay. Home prices have been flat this past year, and houses are staying on the market here slightly longer than the national average. The bigger problem in Norfolk, though, is the high percentage of underwater mortgages, which is more than double the percentage nationwide.

6. Miami Beach, Florida

  • Median list price: $499,000
  • 2-year price change: -5%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 14.5%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 2,374 homes

While home prices have been rising, on average, across the U.S. over the past two years, they’ve fallen 5% in this resort city across the Biscayne Bay from Miami. Plus, houses for sale spend more days on the market here — 225 — than in any other city on this list.

5. Baltimore

  • Median list price: $169,900
  • 2-year price change: 17.1%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 26.5%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,376 homes

Maryland’s largest city has had the biggest percentage increase in median home list prices over the past two years of any city on the list. However, Baltimore saw a 0.6% drop in home prices over the past year; it now has a higher percentage of homes with price cuts than most cities. And Baltimore has the third-highest percentage of underwater mortgages in this study.

4. Columbus, Georgia

  • Median list price: $115,450
  • 2-year price change: -10.2%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 22.2%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,172 homes

Home prices in Columbus have dropped more than in all but two cities on this list. The percentage of underwater mortgages in this city on the Georgia-Alabama border is among the highest rates in the study. And the foreclosure rate here is double the rate nationwide.

3. Portsmouth, Virginia

  • Median list price: $165,700
  • 2-year price change: 1.5%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 19.4%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 730 homes

This port city in southwestern Virginia has the highest foreclosure rate of any city on this list. Portsmouth also has a higher percentage of underwater mortgages than most cities in our rankings.

2. Lakewood, New Jersey

  • Median list price: $252,000
  • 2-year price change: -12.3%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 9.4%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 1,187 homes

This city about 70 miles south of New York City has seen home prices tumble more than 12% over the past two years — the second-biggest drop among cities in GOBankingRates’ ranking. The average number of days homes stay on the market here — 135 — is twice the national average. And the foreclosure rate is twice as high as the rate nationwide.

1. Peoria, Illinois

  • Median list price: $124,450
  • 2-year price change: -15.9%
  • Percentage of underwater mortgages: 21%
  • Foreclosures: 1 in every 932 homes

Peoria claims the No. 1 spot among cities with real estate markets that are turning ugly for several reasons. This city in central Illinois has seen the biggest drop in home prices over the past two years of any city on this list. The average number of days houses are on the market and the percentage of homes for sale with price cuts are higher than the national averages. The percentage of underwater mortgages here is more than double the percentage nationwide. And the foreclosure rate is among the highest on this list.

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Methodology: GOBankingRates determined which housing markets are “turning ugly” by analyzing the 500 largest U.S. cities using the following criteria: 1) Percentage of homes with negative equity (“underwater” on their mortgage), sourced from Zillow; 2) foreclosure rate, sourced from RealtyTrac’s July 2019 index; 3) average number of days on the market, sourced from Zillow’s July 2019 index; 4) percentage of current for-sale listings on Zillow with a price cut during the month, sourced from Zillow’s July 2019 index; 5) one-year change in median home listing price in percent; 6) one-year change in median home listing price in dollars; 7) two-year change in median home listing price in percent; and 8) two-year change in median home listing price in dollars, based on Zillow’s July 2019 index of median home list prices as compared to July 2018 and July 2017. Each city was given a score based on how many of the eight factors they had that were worse than their respective U.S. average figures. For instance, if a city had a percentage of “underwater” mortgages that was greater than 8.2% (the U.S. average), then this city for this factor is worse than the U.S. average. All factors were scored, added together and ranked. All data was compiled on Aug. 20, 2019.

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