The worst inflation in 40 years has led to cascading effects, with consumer sentiment declining and gross domestic product decreasing in the first quarter of this year. While the Federal Reserve has been raising rates to tame inflation, this has led to higher mortgage rates. As a result, the U.S. housing market finally appears to be cooling after white-hot demand in the past two years sent prices skyward.
So far, the number of foreclosure filings in the first six months of the year is still slightly lower than it was in the same period in 2020. But these filings are up 153% from the first half of last year, according to property data provider Attom. Home foreclosure filings include default notices, bank repossessions, and scheduled auctions and are used as a measure to gauge the health of housing markets at local, state, and national levels.
To determine the 30 counties with the most foreclosures so far this year, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from Attom. Counties are ranked by their foreclosure rate — the number of foreclosures per housing units. All data in the story came from Attom. In total, 1,707 counties with data were evaluated.
Among the 30 counties with the highest foreclosure rates, nine are in New Jersey and seven are in Illinois. Cook County, which includes Chicago, is the largest county on this list by population and has the 20th highest foreclosure rate at one for every 312 housing units of the nearly 2.3 million in the county. The smallest county by population is Jones, South Carolina, with fewer than 10,000 residents and 4,635 housing units.
Cuyahoga County, Ohio, which includes Cleveland, is the only other county on the list with a population that tops 1 million. It has the second-highest foreclosure rate after Cumberland, New Jersey.
Ten counties on this list have median home values above $200,000, and three of them are among the top 10 for the highest foreclosure rates: New Jersey’s Sussex and Gloucester counties and Will County, Illinois. Warren, New Jersey, has the lowest median home value among these 30 counties, at $64,600, but it has the 10th highest foreclosure rate. (Median home values in some parts of the U.S. are considerably higher. Here is the American city with the most 1 million homes.)
Overall, ATTOM warns that weak housing markets are emerging in counties around Chicago, as well as large housing markets in New Jersey and California. (Here are 15 cities with the most overpriced housing markets.)
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