Monday, August 27, 2007

Area's foreclosures are mostly mid- and low-priced homes - 90% of posted sales are on homes with loans of $250,000 or less

By STEVE BROWN - The Dallas Morning News - Friday, August 24, 2007
The bulk of North Texas home foreclosures continue to be moderate and low-price homes, according to a new study.

Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service – which tracks foreclosure postings in more than a dozen Texas counties – reports that 90 percent of the loan defaults so far this year were on houses valued at $250,000 or less.

"It's pretty much been that way for the last three or four years," said Foreclosure Listing Service chief executive George Roddy, who's surprised the volumes aren't even higher at the lower end of the market.

Foreclosure postings for the first nine months of 2007 show that almost 31,000 homes valued at more than $4.5 billion have been scheduled for forced sale by lenders.

That's a jump of 12 percent in number and 19 percent in value from the same period of 2006.

On average, the loans being foreclosed on this year were made in 2003.

More than half of the Dallas-Fort Worth home loans in foreclosure this year are held by the country's biggest mortgage firms, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Foreclosure Listing Service found.

And fewer than 2,000 of the foreclosures – about 6 percent of the total – were from homeowners defaulting on home equity loans.

"It has not impacted the market as much as I thought they would," Mr. Roddy said.

The number of higher-priced homes in foreclosure has increased by large percentages this year, but they still represent a negligible portion of the market.

Only about 1 percent of the foreclosure postings for the first nine months of 2007 were for houses valued at more than $500,000.

Mr. Roddy said those numbers could increase now that lenders are charging higher interest rates for so-called jumbo loans, over $417,000.

"There's a big issue now with these jumbo loans and all the speculative homebuilding out there," he said.

"That's got to be of concern to these builders."

Read more in the Dallas Morning News

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