Foreclosure, eviction concerns forced more than 200K to move in 2022


More than 200,000 households moved in 2022 due to evictions or foreclosures, with minorities and single-parent families especially affected, new research determined. 

Eviction and foreclosure-related moves jumped 56% on an annual basis, rising for the first time since 2017, according to a study by Porch Group subsidiary HireAHelper. The uptick represented 204,200 households, up from approximately 130,600 one year earlier when federal forbearance and other types of COVID-19 consumer protections were still largely available. But current totals are still running below the pace from 2015 to 2018. 

The increase corresponded to a 115% surge in foreclosures between 2021 and 2022, representing 324,237 filings against properties, real estate data provider Attom previously found. First-quarter numbers released this week also show the trend continuing into the new year, with noticeable month-to-month completions accelerating in the first quarter.  


Along with the resumption of housing payments, record-high inflation placed added pressure on household budgets last year, HireAHelper said. 

“According to our research, the combination of rising inflation and the absence of federal rent assistance have added to an already fragile state of housing, forcing many people to live beyond their means,” said Miranda Marquit, chief data analyst at HireAHelper, in a press release.

Single parents were 43% more likely than married couples or childless individuals to move because of housing distress. The percentage grew to 80% for single mothers, many of whom may have needed to prioritize childcare over employment during the pandemic, the study said.

Black and Hispanic households also were more likely to move by 23% and 14% respectively. On the other hand, white and Asian demographics were less likely to relocate due to foreclosure or eviction by 5% and 28%. 

The findings point to the additional difficulties the coronavirus pandemic placed in front of the housing industry, as it attempts to address the disparity in homeownership rates among white and Black populations. Equitable housing goals aimed at decreasing that gap and opening up more affordable homeownership opportunities were noted as priorities for 2023 by the mortgage industry, housing groups and federal agencies.

But servicers saw some success at helping distressed mortgage borrowers stay in their properties after the arrival of COVID-19, with close to 5 million able to keep their homes through loss-mitigation plans, recent data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia found. The results of some of those measures led government agencies to propose successors incorporating effective aspects of the plans. 

In its research, HireAHelper also estimated an additional 175,000 homeowners and 1.3 million renters face potential relocation in 2023 due to an inability to make regular monthly housing payments. The study was conducted through analysis of Current Population Survey and Household Pulse Survey, both carried out by the U.S. Census Bureau.

California led the country in the increase of relocations due to eviction and foreclosure concerns, with numbers leaping by 411% between 2021 and 2022. Florida followed in the second spot at 187%, with Massachusetts at 105%.

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