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Debt, lack of cash flow, and unemployment lead residents to default on their mortgages.

The further down south you buy a home, the more likely you are to default on your mortgage.

Finance research site ValuePenguin analyzed the likelihood that borrowers in 200 of the largest cities in the U.S. will default. After ranking the cities it found all but one of its top 10 are in the South.

Notably, homes in those nine southern cities are worth far less than most homes compared to the national average home value, which according to real estate site Zillow is $221,500. Four of the nine aren’t even worth half that. Also interesting is that Texas is the only state with multiple cities on the list — it’s home to three. Along with current delinquency rates, ValuePenguin also looked at other data from sources like the National Bureau of Economic Research. Its rankings include:

  • Unemployment rates, considered by the researchers a “major barrier” to pay off mortgages.
  • And cash flows, a simple way to describe earnings that don’t get swallowed up by basic necessities like food and shelter.

Let’s take a closer look at each city. First stop: Texas.

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Gideon Grudo

Gideon Grudo

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Grudo is a freelance writer, editor, and content strategist based in Brooklyn, NY. Previously he was the digital editor of Air Force Magazine and the managing editor of South Florida Gay News.

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