A little more than two weeks ago I wrote about what was a shockingly (and obviously) erroneous report on the number of residential foreclosures in the Austin area this year (Austin Area Foreclosures Up?). Today, something of a correction was published in the Austin American-Statesman:
“It appears that the lenders just keep reposting these homes for foreclosure until the loan modification review has been concluded.” More: http://www.statesman.com/search/content/business/stories/realestate/2009/12/02/1202foreclose.html
[NOTE: Statesman staff is simply reporting information provided by Foreclosure Listing Service Inc. This post is NOT a critique of the Austin American-Statesman, nor even of FLS, necessarily. My point is that the way in which real estate market data is aggregated and reported can lead to gross distortions.]
The graph accompanying the article shows a total of 6,448 foreclosure postings so far in the Austin area in 2009 – just 45% of the 14,138 postings discussed in the article published on November 14! In my previous post, I noted that a total of 1,762 foreclosed properties had been sold and closed in January through October, using MLS data. It is very early in December, so this number will likely change a little, but at this point it looks like 108 foreclosures were sold in November. That brings the year-to-date total to 1,870 – less than 1/3 of the “corrected” count published today! Of course, postings and sales are not the same thing, but there is simply no evidence that more than 4,500 foreclosures failed to sell this year. I suppose eliminating 55% of the foreclosures with the stroke of a pen is good progress, but even the corrected number doesn’t make sense. (And I have even included Caldwell County in my numbers, which it appears the Statesman did not.)
Today, there are 308 active Foreclosure/REO listings in the Austin Metro area. Based on the pace of sales last month, that represents almost three months’ inventory. There are 280 Pending contracts for foreclosed properties. Good – market velocity is up. But I find no real-world information that supports a figure of more than 6,000 foreclosures in the Austin area this year.
More news to follow?