For some homeowners, another housing crisis may be a real risk rather than a decade-old memory.
A new GoBankingRates study published on Tuesday looked at the number of underwater mortgages, home vacancies as well as delinquency and foreclosure rates to identify the cities most at risk of a housing crisis in the coming years. A crash is generally defined as a market in which large numbers of properties are in negative equity, or worth less than the owners’ mortgage.
“For most people, the housing crisis of 2008 is still a recent and painful memory of precisely how damaging a housing crisis can be,” the study reads. “When housing markets aren’t working, it’s much harder for people to invest in their future and build a home for their families.”
Here are the top 5 markets that are most at risk of a pending crash:
Newark, New Jersey
The housing market in Newark, New Jersey showed the biggest signs of trouble. Nearly 30 percent of mortgages have negative equity while vacancy rates for houses and rental units sit at 5.2 percent and 9.5 percent compared to the nationwide average of 1.7 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively. Approximately 6.5 percent of mortgage payments are in some sort of delinquency, which is more than six times the national average.
Post-crash, Detroit’s real estate challenges and opportunities have long been a nationwide topic of conversation. But in this study, Detroit came in second place for crash risk due to its floundering home values — $161,300 compared to the national median of $226,300. At 34.4 percent, the number of homes with negative equity is also the highest in the country while vacancy and delinquency rates are also higher than average.
The largest city in Connecticut, Bridgeport has seen real estate values drop due to a high crime rate and low economic prospects. The median house in the city is worth $176,200 while 26.9 percent of mortgages are underwater.
“The city’s high delinquency and foreclosure rates are not inviting to people looking for the best place to buy their first home,” reads the report.
Baltimore has been taking a hit from all sides lately — President Trump recently called parts of the city a “rat and rodent infested mess” in attacks on local House Representative Elijah Cummings. But while the city’s low median home values ($119,200) and high negative equity rates (26.5 percent) put it fourth on the at-risk list, Baltimore in fact does see constant development and provides plenty of opportunities for investors.
While only 22.4 percent of Hartford homes have negative equity, the capital of Connecticut has a high homeowner vacancy rate. At 4.3 percent, the rate is more than 2.5 times the national average. The number is even worse for rental units, which has a vacancy rate of 9.2 percent. A median home in Hartford is worth $130,900.
See the full list of the top 40 cities at risk of a housing crash here.