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Monday, January 23rd, 2006

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And Here I Thought We'd Escaped the Housing Bubble
I'd heard foreclosures were up here, but I didn't realize how bad it was. They're up 27.6% in Tarrant County. It's worse in Dallas and Denton. I'd thought we were avoiding the bubble since the prices aren't as outragous as in other areas, but there's still a huge amount of construction going on. If they're sustaining that by selling to people who can't really afford a home we're in a bubble, and it looks like it might be popping after all. The other possibility is that the changes in bankruptcy law is making a lot of people who would've declared bankruptcy give up their homes instead.

That shouldn't affect us. We're not planning on moving or tapping our home equity. If the market price of houses goes down by a third it's still not a big deal. The nightmare would be if the local market crashes to where houses in our neighborhood become almost free. I heard Palmdale and Lancaster had troubles in the mid-1990s because a lot of Los Angeles welfare clients moved into houses left empty by that market crash, bringing gangs with them. Something to keep an eye out for here.

Current Mood: thoughtful

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