After a year and a half of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the policies put in place to protect homeowners and renters are coming to an end. As a result, this fall could see a wave of foreclosures and evictions. And residents in some cities were more likely to have missed mortgage payments during the pandemic.
From early on, policymakers enacted measures to protect renters and homeowners from being put out of their homes. The federal government created funds for rent and mortgage assistance. They also enacted an eviction moratorium to protect renters. And finally, they established a foreclosure moratorium and forbearance program for homeowners with federally-backed mortgages. Numerous states and localities also issued moratoriums and housing assistance programs of their own. Many private lenders offered mortgage forbearance options in line with the federal policy.
Now, as these programs wind down, the economic consequences that policymakers hoped to stave off may come to fruition. The foreclosure moratorium expired on July 31, with forbearance options remaining available until September 30. The eviction moratorium was also slated to end on July 31 but was later extended.
With many homeowners and renters behind on payments, the end of these programs could present major fallout for housing in the U.S. this year. These interventions have accomplished their desired effects so far, and mortgage delinquency rates provide one illustration. The percentage of mortgages that are at least 90 days delinquent—essentially meaning that the mortgage holder has missed three consecutive payments, usually taken as a sign of severe economic distress—has remained below 1% throughout the pandemic thanks in large part to forbearance.
At the metro level, similar trends hold, with both high-cost locations, such as New York and economically distressed locations, like Detroit, being most likely to have homeowners behind on their mortgage payments. The Household Pulse Survey includes a measure of how many adults report being behind on their mortgages.
The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To determine the locations that fell behind on their mortgages during COVID-19, researchers at Porch calculated the percentage of adults who reported not being current on their mortgage payment, averaged over all available weeks of the Household Pulse Survey. As such, the data represents the typical number of people who were behind on their mortgages at any given time during the pandemic, rather than the cumulative values. In the event of a tie, the location with the greater average number of adults who were behind on their mortgages was ranked higher.
Here are the metropolitan cities with the most residents who missed mortgage payments during COVID-19:
For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Porch’s website: https://porch.com/advice/cities-that-fell-behind-on-their-mortgages-during-covid-19