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Market News and Trends

Austin foreclosures up, but compared to what?


Earlier today I posted an article at AustinMarketInfo.com about the increase in foreclosure postings for the February 1, 2011 auction in the Austin Metro area (Austin area foreclosures jump 14 percent in February ).  Last month I wrote about the contrast in the Austin-area foreclosure rate (10%) compared to the national average (25%), and compared to the U.S. cities with the highest foreclosure rates (27% to 54%) for the first three quarters of 2010.  (See Comparison:  Foreclosure sales in Austin vs. U.S.)

Those reported figures are the percentage of total home sales that were foreclosed properties.  That is an important point of  reference for the general effect of foreclosures on home values and sale prices.  I was also interested in what percentage of households in the area suffered foreclosure last year so I did some research and calculation to find:

Total
residential sales (units) — 2010 — MLS Data Only
19,279
Percent
of reported foreclosures
10%
Estimated
units foreclosed
1,928
Metro
area households (2000 census)
461,039
Weighted
average population growth 2000-2009
47.5%
Estimated
households — 2010
659,403
Percent
of households foreclosed
0.29%

To save you that last calculation, this amounts to less than 3 households out of 1,000 foreclosed last year in the Austin metro area.

That is less than 1/5 the rate in Nevada.  Moreover, those foreclosures were concentrated in a relatively small number of neighborhoods — largely suburban, entry level to mid-range homes sold new in 2005 to 2007.  Some local market areas experienced a much higher level of distress while many saw little or no effect.  That is likely true in the hardest hit U.S. cities, too, but when the total rate in a metro market is 2 1/2 to 5 times what we saw in Austin it is certain that distressed properties had a much larger effect on property values across the board than we saw here. 

I have not researched that data for other metro areas, but a recent review of Austin/Central Texas sale prices offers evidence that we did not see the magnitude of impact seen in markets where average prices continues to decline in most of 2010, such as Nevada, Arizona, California, Florida, and Michigan:

Another look at Austin/Central Texas home prices

In a world where many news outlets seem intent on putting a pessimistic face on most market information, it is important to look behind published reports.  My objective is not to present an exagerratedly optimistic viewpoint, but only to provide context.   Today’s local report about properties scheduled for February foreclosure auctions made much about the “high” level of foreclosures in the Austin metro area, but relative to metro population or compared to cities where the housing downturn hit much harder, Austin doesn’t look so bad.

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About Bill Morris, Realtor

More than thirty years of business experience (high tech, client service, business organization and start-up, including many years in real estate) tell me that service is the key to success and I look forward to serving you. I represent both buyers and sellers throughout the Austin metropolitan area, which means first-hand market knowledge is brought to bear on serving your needs: -- Seller Representation is a comprehensive process that begins with thorough market analysis and consultation, continues with properly staging the home to achieve the highest price possible in a reasonable time on market, a complete program of marketing and promotion, ongoing updates and communication, closing coordination, and follow-up throughout (and after) the sale. -- Buyer Representation is also full service: shopping, previewing, price and market consultation, contracting, negotiating, coordination of inspections, appraisals, repairs, and closing details, and follow-up beyond the closing of your purchase to ensure your lasting satisfaction. Because the real estate industry is becoming more sophisticated and challenging every day, you need a professional that understands the industry and is positioned to stay ahead of the game. I go the extra mile to help you achieve your goals. That's why I constantly research the market and property values so your home is priced effectively from day one. I also make sure the public knows your home is for sale by using innovative advertising and marketing techniques to attract potential buyers.

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