29 December 2009

Dallas-Fort Worth Foreclosures Jumped In 2009

The Dallas News

Commercial property foreclosure filings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area jumped by more than a quarter in 2009.

But foreclosures of commercial real estate still account for less than 5 percent of total filings in the four-county area.

During 2009, lenders posted 2,431 commercial properties for forced sale, including offices, warehouses, shopping centers and land, according to a report released Monday by Foreclosure Listing Service. That's up from just over 1,900 commercial foreclosure postings in 2008, the Addison-based research firm found.

"In 2009, foreclosure postings of commercial real estate climbed at a slightly steeper pace than residential postings," Foreclosure Listing Service CEO George Roddy said in the report, "although there have been many more postings of homes than of commercial properties."

More than 61,000 D-FW area home foreclosure filings were recorded this year – an all-time high.

Commercial mortgage defaults here are still significantly lower than in the last big real estate market shakeout in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

"It's probably about 20 percent of what it was in the peak year of 1989, when we had more than 7,000 postings," Roddy said. "We are not close to that at this point."

But the numbers in the current cycle are definitely climbing.

"We have begun to see the economy's impact on the commercial sector in 2009," Roddy said. "And I expect postings of commercial properties to remain at this level or even higher throughout 2010."

The biggest rise in commercial foreclosure filings in 2009 was in postings for office buildings, which were up 121 percent, and retail buildings, up 90 percent.

Foreclosure filings for commercial land increased 71 percent compared with 2008.

Dallas and Fort Worth apartments were near the top of the list of commercial building foreclosure postings with more than 400 property filings.

The largest increase in commercial foreclosure filings was in Denton County, where postings more than doubled. Tarrant County saw a 2 percent decline in commercial foreclosure postings.

Not all properties posted for foreclosure auction are actually sold by the lender.

In many cases, the borrower works out new mortgage terms or the transaction is delayed by negotiations or bankruptcy.

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