Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Dallas-area home prices decreased 4.5 percent between February 2008 and February 2009 and 11.1 percent from their peak in mid-2007, according to the latest measure by Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller.
February's local numbers showed a slight improvement from January, when the Dallas index was down about 4.9 percent.
Housing analysts point to the Case-Shiller numbers as an indication that home price declines will be moderate in the months ahead.
Dallas’ 4.5 percent slip was the smallest among the 20 cities surveyed nationwide. It is the only Texas market included in the Case-Shiller monthly price index. Nationwide, prices dropped 18.6 percent.
The Case-Shiller survey tracks the prices of typical single-family homes in each metropolitan area. The index survey does not include condominiums and townhouses. It covers pre-owned properties, not new construction. The researchers compare sales of specific single-family homes over time.


A plan to aid struggling homeowners was defeated in the Senate by a 45-51 vote on Thursday.
The bill would have allowed debt-ridden homeowners to ask a bankruptcy judge to reduce their mortgage payments.
The plan fell 15 votes short of the 60 needed for approval. Lawmakers worried it would encourage bankruptcy filings and spike interest rates.


The recent trends of home foreclosures, declining building permits and high office vacancy rates will cause area property values to fall for the first time in years.
For many homeowners, this means a break in taxes owed on their properties. About 92 percent of all residential properties will either fall in value or remain the same, said Ken Nolan, Dallas County's chief appraiser.
On the commercial side, about 88 percent of properties will either lose value or remain unchanged, Nolan said.
In contrast, last year’s preliminary property values rose about 13 percent. In 2007 they rose 20 percent.
The Dallas Central Appraisal District will begin sending notices to property owners today. These are sent only if any change is made to the property or its value. Of the roughly 374,000 residential notices to be mailed, 55 percent will reflect a decrease in value, Nolan said.
This year's preliminary tax roll numbers will be released May 22.