Houston foreclosure starts ranked 4th in U.S.

Steady rise in home values keeping many from handing homes back to the bank


Houston accounted for more than 30 percent of Texas foreclosure starts in the first quarter of 2023.

The Bayou City ranked fourth among all U.S. cities with 2,120 foreclosures underway in the first quarter, while the entire state of Texas had 6,764 total, the Houston Chronicle reported, citing a study by Attom, a property data collection firm in California. 

Houston’s foreclosure ratio — the number of homes that were repossessed compared to those that were sold or saved — was relatively low. One of every 1,222 houses in the city had a foreclosure filing in the first quarter. In the foreclosure ratio metric, Houston ranked 65th in the nation. 

A possible reason for Houston’s resilience is its steady rise in home values, allowing borrowers to sell their properties and pay their debts instead of handing them back to the bank.

Attom's Rob Barber (Linkedin)
Attom’s Rob Barber (Linkedin)

More than 95,700 U.S. properties had a foreclosure filing during the first quarter of 2023 — a 22 percent spike from the same time last year. Lenders repossessed 12,518 homes through foreclosure nationwide, up 6 percent from a year prior, the outlet said.

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The federal government initiated a foreclosure moratorium when the pandemic started to protect homeowners who lost their jobs or faced other financial difficulties. When that ban was lifted in 2021, a plethora of distressed properties were unleashed from the pipeline, and recent figures reflect that.

“Despite efforts made by government agencies and policy makers to try and reduce foreclosure rates, we are seeing an upward trend in foreclosure activity,” Attom CEO Rob Barber said in the report. “This unfortunate trend can be attributed to a variety of factors, such as rising unemployment rates, foreclosure filings making their way through the pipeline after two years of government intervention and other ongoing economic challenges.”

—Quinn Donoghue 

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