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8 Southern Cities Poised For a Housing Crisis

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The South is so iconic, full of rich history, gorgeous scenery, and diverse groups of people, that it seems like its housing markets would be on a constant upswing. Yet even here, the housing market is not immune to the drastic changes that have been going on over the past few years.

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From high sales fervor between 2020 and 2022, to a current cooling trend brought about by rising mortgage rights and high home prices, some Southern cities are seeing alarming downward trends that could signal a housing crisis.

In order to find the Southern cities that could be poised for a housing crisis, GOBankingRates looked at the largest 200 cities in terms of total housing units and some crucial factors such as percentage of mortgages that are delinquent and vacancy rates. Data was drawn from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Consumer Protection Bureau.

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Greensboro, North Carolina

  • Homeowner vacancy rate: 1.4%
  • % of mortgages delinquent 90 days: 0.6%

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Augusta, Georgia

  • Homeowner vacancy rate: 3.1%
  • % of mortgages delinquent 90 days: 0.7%

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Macon, Georgia

  • Homeowner vacancy rate: 2.7%
  • % of mortgages delinquent 90 days: 0.8%
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Fayetteville, North Carolina

  • Homeowner vacancy rate: 3.7%
  • % of mortgages delinquent 90 days: 0.8%
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Montgomery, Alabama

  • Homeowner vacancy rate: 1.9%
  • % of mortgages delinquent 90 days: 0.8%
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Lafayette, Louisiana

  • Homeowner vacancy rate: 2.4%
  • % of mortgages delinquent 90 days: 0.8%
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Shreveport, Louisiana

  • Homeowner vacancy rate: 2.1%
  • % of mortgages delinquent 90 days: 1.0%
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Laredo, Texas

  • Homeowner vacancy rate: 1.1%
  • % of mortgages delinquent 90 days: 1.1%

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Methodology: In order to find the Southern cities that could be poised for a housing crisis, GOBankingRates looked at the largest 200 cities in terms of total housing units across the following factors: (1) percent of mortgages 30-89 days delinquent by MSA as sourced from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; (2) percent of mortgages 90-plus days delinquent by MSA as sourced from the Consumer Protection Bureau; (3) homeowner vacancy rate as sourced from the 2020 American Community Survey; and (4) rental vacancy rate as sourced from the 2020 American Community Survey. These four factors were then scored and combined with the highest score indicating the city most likely to be poised for a housing crisis. Factors (1) and (2) were weighted 2x and factor (4) was weighted 0.5x. The 100 cities most poised for a housing crisis were moved onto the next round of scoring. These 100 cities were then re-ranked and scored on the four factors above as well as (5) foreclosure rate as sourced from RealtyTrac. These five factors were scored and combined with the highest score indicating the city most likely to be poised for a housing crisis. For this second round of scoring, factors (1) and (2) were weighted 2x, factor (4) was weighted 0.5x, and factor (5) was weighted 1.5x. GOBankingRates then isolated those cities in the South census region with the highest scores for final rankings. All data was collected on and up to date as of May 23, 2022, and rankings were finalized on Nov. 8, 2022.