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Foreclosures in Dallas Area

September 19, 2008

A close look at homes lost to foreclosure here in the first half of the year shows that the pain is being felt in almost every neighborhood.

The Dallas Morning News reports, the largest number of foreclosures in the first six months of the year were in ZIP codes 75115 – which includes most of DeSoto – and 75052, Grand Prairie, according to data supplied by Foreclosure Listing Service.

Broken out by city, the largest number of foreclosed homes in the first half of the year were in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington and Garland.

The foreclosed homes in the five-county area on average had $123,668 in debt, a tax value of $148,384 and loans that were four years old.

The average square footage of the foreclosed residences was about 1,941. And the average age of the homes was 24 years.

Compared to the overall housing base in each city, the communities with the largest percentage of foreclosures at midyear were Aubrey and Oak Point in Denton County and Princeton in Collin County.

"If you look at those areas, most of them have subdivisions that have been built in the last few years and that are way out," said George Roddy, chief executive of Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service. "You have the crummy loans that were made and add in the cost of driving to work to Dallas, and people can’t afford it.

"They wanted to get in a new home and get in it cheap and weren’t thinking about the cost of commuting."

Most analysts predict that foreclosure rates in Dallas and across the country will remain high through next year.

Many homeowners who financed their houses with adjustable rate mortgages have yet to see their payments increase. And when they do, it will be hard for many to make the higher monthly payments or find cheaper funding.

Foreclosed homes now make up a sizable portion of the total inventory of housing for sale in North Texas.

Currently, there are more than 3,100 foreclosed properties identified in the Realtors’ local multiple listing services. But the number is definitely higher since not all sellers of foreclosed houses choose to identify the properties as distressed sales.

"A lot of these properties are going to auction before they are even listed for sale," said agent Connie Zetterlund with Coldwell Banker Real Estate. "They are still selling for pretty good prices."

But with the growing numbers of foreclosed homes and increased financial pressures on lenders, it’s likely that lenders will move faster to unload houses they have taken back.

"They are going to see in their pipeline what is coming on, and they are going to have to get rid of more."



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