Economists are looking to 2010 as the year of recovery, but the local housing market is still troubled by increasingly high numbers of foreclosures.
This month, Hays County has set yet another record high in properties posted for bank foreclosure. Last week, the county listed 160 tracts that could be repossessed and sold off at the March 2 auction.
That’s a 60 percent increase over the 100 properties facing foreclosure last March, and a 26 percent jump from the 127 properties listed at the February auction.
The previous high came last July, when 150 properties were posted for auction.
The first quarter of 2010 has also set a record high, with 434 listings over the three month period, a 35 percent jump from the 321 foreclosure postings in the first quarter of 2009, and an 82 percent increase from the 238 in the same period of 2008.
Each quarter in 2009 proved worse than the last, with 321 listings in Q1, 380 in Q2, 393 in Q3, and 426 in the final quarter.
Many of the foreclosure listings are clustered in moderately priced “starter home” developments in the Kyle area, such as Indian Paintbrush, Waterleaf and Kensington Trails. Meanwhile, new home construction in the area has dramatically slowed. The city of Kyle issued more than 1,200 residential building permits in 2004, but that number plummeted to just 311 in 2009.
Still, local real estate agents say that sales are brisk for moderately priced homes, both new and pre-owned, and prices are remaining steady. According the MLS data for January, the most recent month available, median sales price for homes in the Buda/Kyle area was about $150,000, a four percent increase from January of 2009.