We’re Nowhere Near the Bottom Yet for the DFW Housing Market

With the U.S. housing market still running downhill, there wasn’t a lot of good news in the latest Zillow figures (based on March 2011 data), but at least the DFW region is doing a bit better than the national average.

Home values for DFW declined 0.3 percent from February to March which reflects much less weakness than the national decline of a full one percent. From March 2010 to March 2011, home values in DFW were down 6.9 percent. Not good news, but better than the 8.2 percent national average decline.

DFW also does a little better than the national average in the foreclosure rate. At 0.095 percent, which means foreclosures on 95 of every 10,000 homes in DFW, it is only marginally better than the 0.101 rate nationally (101 out of every 10,000 homes). However, the foreclosure resale rate in DFW, at 22 percent, is below the national average of 24 percent.

It’s depressing to read through the latest report. Zillow predicts that home values in 2011 will continue to decline to somewhere in the seven to nine percent range and we won’t hit bottom until sometime in 2012. Even then, they see “a long period of below-normal real estate appreciation during which time the market will work out the remaining overhang of excess housing supply.

Any improving demand, Zillow says, will be offset by our huge excess in housing supply. They report two million homes currently in the foreclosure process with more than 1.5 million others seriously delinquent.

In the meantime, all of us can only struggle to make our way through this the best way we can. As a short sale specialist, our firm is seeing a lot more interest in short sales among distressed homeowners who are hoping to avoid foreclosures and the damage they do to their credit histories. Simultaneously, we’re seeing much more openness to short sales among lenders, who want to get bad loans off their books as quickly as possible.

That suggests to us that everyone involved is coming to realize just how long of a journey we’re in for. That’s a good thing, because unless we all address this realistically, it will just drag on even longer.

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