Realty Company Optimistic About Dallas Housing Market

The mortgage crisis was years ago and we're still feeling its impact, but a real estate information company said we may have finally turned the corner.

RealtyTrac just released new numbers. It found new foreclosures — when banks first start the process — are at a 10-year low, but repossessions — when a homeowner actually loses their home — are up.

"Nationwide, we're still seeing the market dealing with the sins of the past when it to comes to foreclosures in the form of these bank repossessions," RealtyTrac's Daren Blomquist said. "Those were up 60 percent in November and it was the ninth consecutive month when we saw those bank repossessions up on a year over year basis."

RealtyTrac said most repossessions are fallout from the mortgage crisis and the fact that new foreclosures are down nationally is a good sign.

Still, if you're having trouble, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offered some tips, including:

  • Contacting your lender as soon as you realize there's a problem.
  • Contacting a housing counselor who's approved by the Housing Department. They can help you understand your options.
  • You don't need to pay money for foreclosure help. Use that money toward your mortgage instead.

RealtyTrac said home repossessions are up nationally because bad loans made during the mortgage crisis are just now resulting in some people losing their homes. In Texas — especially Dallas — that number of home repossessions is even higher.

"We saw nearly 300 percent year-over-year increase in Texas in the bank repossessions," Blomquist said. "If we center in on Dallas, we saw 500 percent year-over-year increase."

RealtyTrac said trouble in the oil industry may be partly to blame. The company also said to expect the trend to continue since foreclosure filings are also up in Texas

But the company said to keep things in perspective. Ten years ago, during the height of the mortgage crisis, there were about 6,000 foreclosure filings per month. Now, that number is about 1,600 per month. And Texas ranks 120th out of 214 markets.

Still, RealtyTrac said the overall picture is one more reminder that just because we have a go-go market now, doesn't always mean it will always be that way. Homeowners should take it to heart.

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