Dallas Fed finds Texas housing still strong despite recession drag
Fewer exotic loan products and stable home prices kept Texas' economy from falling into the deepest pits of the recession, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Despite this trend, Texas and other communities located in the Fed's 11th District still experienced a few pangs during the housing downturn. For one, the Lone Star state's foreclosure inventory is higher than it was before the recession, with the percentage of homes in foreclosure now above 2%. That's still below the national foreclosure inventory level of 4.6%. The Fed Bank attributes much of the state's stability to the fact "subprime loans" never seriously infiltrated Texas and account for only a small percentage of total loans. In four North Texas counties — Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton — there are 24,400 seriously delinquent prime mortgages and 6,100 delinquent subprime mortgages. Of the prime loans delinquent, the Fed says the late payments have more to do with joblessness than the type of loan issued. About 11% of Texas homes are in negative equity compared to 23% for the entire nation, according to data from CoreLogic. This trend relates back to Texas' housing market before the crisis that experienced fewer price fluctuations. The Fed Bank report said "it is worth noting that in Texas foreclosures and serious delinquencies are less common than in the U.S., but the rates of 30-day and 60-day delinquencies have always been higher than in the nation. Texas borrowers seem to be more likely to miss one or two mortgage payments but are usually able to catch up in the third month. Although less detrimental than foreclosures, these delinquencies still impair borrowers' credit." Write to Kerri Panchuk.