Houston Foreclosure Lists Affected by Hurricane Aftermath- By: John Cutts
Houston foreclosure lists grew in the first weeks of October compared to foreclosures during the same month last year because of the effects of Hurricane Ike, based on a report from the Houston Association of Realtors.
The realtors explained that the foreclosure count was low in the months of September and October last year because of foreclosure moratoriums that were granted to homeowners in areas hit by Hurricane Ike in September last year.
Steve Barnes, CEO and president of the Houston unit of Coldwell Banker United, said that there were at least two weeks after the hurricane that Houston businesses were practically not moving because of damages and losses from the hurricane.
In Harris County last October 6, the number of homes and other properties sold off in a foreclosure auction soared by 72 percent compared to the number of units sold off in October last year, based on data from the Woodlands Foreclosure Information and Listing Service.
As of the first weeks of October this year, there were 1,068 residential properties in Houston foreclosure lists, a substantial increase from 622 units in October last year.
In September, a total of 4,792 single-family houses in the Houston Multiple Listing Service were sold. The properties included existing homes and new homes located in the counties of Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Waller, Wharton and Galveston.
Sales prices stayed flat during September, with the median sales price for single-family houses increasingly slightly to $156,200.
The number of pending home sales in September increased by 41.3 percent from sales in September last year to 3,650 transactions. A lot of sales transactions last year were also interrupted by Hurricane Ike.
Barnes said that home sales comparisons in the last months of this year will continue to be influenced by Hurricane Ike because it took many months for the real estate sector to recover after Hurricane Ike.
Based on data from the Foreclosure Information and Listing Service, the number of units listed as of September dropped by more than 9 percent to 45,520 compared to September last year. Compared to the previous month, listings dropped by 503 units to a housing inventory level considered balanced.
According to Ralph Murdoch of Foreclosure Information, foreclosures are expected to drop gradually from their peak level of 1,278 in July as efforts to remedy unemployment begin to have results.
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John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.