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Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 785 -- Foreclosures Low In Texas
Half The National Rate-
The foreclosure rate in Texas is far lower than the rest of the country:
Texas has about 4% of the nation's foreclosures, but 8+% of the nation's population.
There are a lot of explanations out there for this. Slate has a bit more on another aspect of the housing market:
The Texas housing market also has fared better than many. The mortgage delinquency rate (the portion of borrowers three months behind on payments) is 5.78 percent, compared with 8.78 nationwide, according to First American CoreLogic. That's partly because relaxed zoning codes and abundant land kept both price appreciation and speculation down. "House prices didn't experience a bubble in the same way as the rest of the nation," said Anil Kumar, senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. But it's also because of two attributes not commonly associated with the Longhorn State: financial restraint and comparatively strong regulation. Unlike many of its neighbors, Texas has state laws that prohibited consumers from using home-equity lines of credit to increase borrowing to more than 80 percent of the value of their homes. The upshot: Dallas housing prices have fallen only 7 percent from their 2007 peak, according to the Case-Shiller index.
So, Slate cites both lack of regulation and strong regulation as the reason for the strong housing market in Texas.
I tend to credit the overall relative strength of the Texas economy for the relative strength of the Texas housing market. Fewer people losing their jobs in Texas has meant fewer people defaulting on mortgage loans.
Democrat blogger Mickey Kaus, who is running against Barbara Boxer in the California Senate primary, has a few other ideas on why Texas has not faced 12-14% unemployment like California:
a) fewer rigidities in the labor market, allowing it to adjust to the market more quickly--tiny quick wage cuts for a lot of people, for eample, mean employers don't have to lay people off as quickly b) fewer rigidities in organization structure--they don't have UAW-style work rules at Dell; and c) the absence of the public sector union "death-grip on state and local government" and politics and finances, which has helped produce near-bankruptcy at the state level
Yeah, those are some good reasons, actually. If all Democrats were more like Mickey Kaus, Republicans would be in a world of trouble, electorally-speaking. As it is, the vast majority of elected Democrats today are beholden to union bosses and far-left ideology.
Foreclosures are relatively low in Texas, because the economy is still relatively healthy-- as healthy as it can really be in this national and global crunch we're in.
Previous Trivia Tidbit: Spending Growth Versus Income Growth.
Posted by Will Franklin · 23 April 2010 10:57 AM
Personally, I think the basic reason why Texas is doing so much better is the complete lack of a state income tax:
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