For millions of homeowners around the world, 2008 was a year best forgotten about as property values plunged and foreclosures soared. Will 2009 be any better? It depends. Many of the areas that saw the highest rates of foreclosures will be receiving federal and state help in the hope of stabilizing local markets. But that won't help many regions that have so far managed to escape the housing crisis. Until now, the majority of communities with the worst foreclosure rates were predominantly lower-income areas, as the following slide show will indicate. For the future, it is looking as though even more affluent areas will find themselves exposed to the housing freeze as job losses mount and the economy continues to struggle through a recession. Where will be the places worst hit in 2009? We wish we knew.
Editor's Note: Results are based on where the Housing & Urban Development Dept. said the worst foreclosure rates in the U.S. through the end of the second quarter were experienced. The government's model takes into account the percent decline in home values, the percent of high-cost loans, and the percent of unemployment. The neighborhood or census tracts with the worst foreclosure rate were chosen for each state using the HUD data. Only neighborhoods with more than 250 owner-occupied homes were included. The median household income comes from Claritas and the median sales price comes from Boxwood (both are for 2007). Source: PolicyMap .