Foreclosures in Houston – True Decline, or Data Blip?

by Houston Agent

Recent data on foreclosures in Houston is being greeted with fanfare, but is it a mere aberration?

Foreclosures in October for the Houston area fell by 11 percent from September and more than 25 percent from October 2010, according to new data from RealtyTrac cited in a Biz Journals piece.

In total, banks and lenders filed 3,044 foreclosures in October, or 1 out of every 745 homes; in October 2010, there were more than 4,000 foreclosure filings.

On the state level, Texas currently ranks No. 26 in the nation in foreclosures, just at the median level. By a wide margin, Nevada, California, Arizona, Florida and Michigan lead the country.

James Saccacio, the CEO of RealtyTrac, was quoted in the Biz Journal piece, remarking on the positive elements of declining foreclosure inventories.

“The decrease in national foreclosure percentage points toward a positive future for the real estate market,” Saccacio said in the piece.

Recent analysis, though, suggests the recent declines in foreclosures are a blip in the data, and not a new trend. As Biz Journal points out, though foreclosures are down by 31 percent from October 2010, they are up by 7 percent from September 2011, which suggests that banks and lenders – after slowing down the foreclosure process in the wake of 2010’s infamous robo signing scandals – are picking up the pace and resuming standard foreclosure levels.

In addition, we just reported on the misleading nature of government-owned REO data earlier today, and if the analysis associated with that batch of homes is any indication, the foreclosure rate may be on the rise throughout the early months of 2012.

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