San Antonio Foreclosures for Sale Reach Record Level

by on Foreclosure Rates

San Antonio foreclosures for sale reached their highest level this year in more than two decades, according to a Texas-based firm that tracks foreclosures.

Almost 16,000 residential properties in San Antonio fell into default or foreclosure this year, a substantial increase of 42 percent from total foreclosure postings last year. The number also marked the highest level reached since 1987, based on court records in Bexar County.

For the foreclosure auction this December, a total of 1,437 properties were posted, a 40-percent increase from postings in December last year.

Local housing analysts said that most homeowners in San Antonio who have lost their houses to foreclosure were those who were enticed to take out bigger loans during the boom years. Lenders were lax in their lending standards, enabling borrowers to overextend themselves.

The analysts also observed that most of the defaulting loans were mortgages that were taken out in 2005 and 2006 when home loans were offered even with incomplete financial documents.

However, despite the relatively high number of San Antonio foreclosures for sale this year, the analysts said that the resilience of the local economy has helped the local housing market survive the downturn.

Meanwhile, in October, according to a report from the San Antonio Board of Realtors, house sales jumped by 25 percent compared to total sales in October last year. More than 1,700 previously owned homes were sold, most of which were priced below $200,000.

According to realtors, most of the buyers were first time buyers who made their purchase to beat the November expiration of the federal first time homebuyer tax credit. The extension of the tax scheme until April next year is again expected by realtors to help push up total home sales next year.

Travis Kessler, chief executive of the realtor association, said that the other reason for the increase in home sales this October when compared to the same month last year was the economic plunge that occurred when Lehman Brothers and the stock market collapsed, prompting many prospective home buyers to postpone their planned home purchases.

Kessler said that confidence in the market has been returning, making home prices relatively stable. The sales price median has dropped by only one percent to $149,700 from $151,000 last year. About nine percent of total sales were bank owned foreclosures.

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