Foreclosure rates down in Amarillo

by Larry Lemmons
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Some indicators out this week show Amarillo may be at the forefront of a potential national economic improvement.

It's becoming more well known outside of Amarillo that the city is faring better economically than many other cities across the country.  Today more numbers bolster Amarillo's claim to be "number one".

Foreclosure numbers released today show for the first time this year foreclosures were down from this time last year.  Thirteen fewer foreclosures.

Leon Swift of Coldwell Banker says, "Number One, people are selling the houses rather than having them foreclosed on. More of them now... Second thing is, there are some government programs in place that are starting to have an effect." Swift says its too early to tell officially, but September numbers look better as well.

This is in stark contrast to the situation nationally as shown on the website, Housing Predictor dot com, that says foreclosures across the country are up.

The website claims to provide independent real estate market forecasts for local housing markets.  This week they declared Amarillo the number one buying market in the country.

Greg Glenn of Ada Prudential Realtors says, "Anytime that the City of Amarillo is mentioned in some type of national endeavor and compared it's always nice to have that. You've got to be a little self-humbling in that I remember in 1989 we were also called the most affordable city, midsize city in America. And that's because we were suffering from a pretty bad economic slump. So, sometimes you have to read the rest of the story."

The rest of the story is that Amarillo's sales are not a lot different from last year's, which is lower than previous years.  Appreciation is only about 2% a year, down from the highs of 6%, but that's better than a lot of the country.