Dallas Area High-end Home Foreclosures Soar

Posted on 11. Dec, 2009 by in Featured

Guest Post By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News stevebrown@dallasnews.com

High-end homeowners in North Texas are feeling a bigger bite from foreclosures, a new study shows.

This year in Dallas County, the number of million-dollar-plus homes posted for foreclosure jumped 24 percent. At the same time, net home foreclosure filings in the county declined 12 percent, the Foreclosure Listing Service said Thursday.

In Collin County, the number of high-price houses threatened with foreclosure more than tripled in 2009 from last year, the study shows.

“Substantial gains in net postings were found among executive, luxury and ultra-luxury homes,” George Roddy, CEO of the Addison-based statistical firm, said in the report. “The largest gains in net residential foreclosure posting activity were found among homes on the upper end of the Texas housing market.

“It’s been mounting for the last couple of years,” he said. “It’s indicative of where we are in the economy where it’s not just the little guy getting hurt but all the way up to the CEO.”

Million-dollar homes still make up just a fraction of the home foreclosure picture.

This year in the four-county D-FW area, only 161 properties priced at $1 million and up were included in foreclosure filings, Foreclosure Listing Service says, out of a total of more than 33,000 foreclosure postings.

But the number of those million-dollar-plus houses threatened with foreclosure here this year was up more than 20 percent, while total posts fell by about 5 percent when repeat filings are excluded.

The most affluent home market in North Texas has been hard hit this year with slumping sales.

Through the first 11 months of 2009, sales of pre-owned homes priced at $1 million and up were down 40 percent from a year ago, according to statistics from North Texas Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service.

Looking at all foreclosures, the biggest declines in filings this year were for homes valued at less than $100,000. Those fell 16 percent in Collin County and 9 percent in Dallas County.

More than 80 percent of the foreclosure filings Foreclosure Listing Service studied in 19 Texas counties were for houses valued at less than $200,000.

“The average Joe is still the one feeling most of the pains of this foreclosure crisis,” Roddy said.

Fewer than half of the homes set for forced sale each month are actually foreclosed on by the lender. In many cases, the borrower and debt holder reach a new agreement or the foreclosure is delayed.

Roddy predicts that home foreclosures in North Texas – particularly in the upper price ranges – will continue at high levels until the economy recovers.

Other research backs that up.

The percentage of Dallas-area homeowners who are late with their payments rose to 5.33 percent in October, research firm First American CoreLogic said Thursday. That’s up from 3.63 percent of home borrowers who were 90 days or more behind in payments a year earlier.

And Dallas-area foreclosure rates have grown from less than 1 percent last October to 1.33 percent this year, First American said.

Home foreclosure rates in the Dallas area are still much lower than the national foreclosure rate, which was 3.02 percent in October, according to the same report

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