Austin bank owned homes surged in number in the first 3 months of 2010, but they have not hindered the city from attaining its economic growth goals.

According to Brookings Institution and other economic groups, Austin is among a number of cities in the U.S. that will weather the foreclosure storm, overcome its effects and come out better.

In the Austin metro area, which covers the counties of Hays, Travis, Williamson and Bastrop, foreclosure postings climbed up year-over-year in January and in the first 3 months of 2010. However, total filings in the January-March quarter this year was lower than filings in the first 3 months of 2009.

Almost 4,000 housing units in the Austin area were posted for the monthly public auctions for the first 3 months of 2010. Among the counties, Hays posted the highest surge in distressed homes for the March public auction, which was 51 percent. Next was Bastrop which increased its foreclosure postings by 30 percent.

However, despite these increases in foreclosure actions and in number of bank owned homes in Austin, the city is still looked at by many economists as among the best-performing cities amid the downturn.

Brookings Institution even ranked the city as second among all the U.S. cities it studied according to job growth, gross metro product, home price appreciation and unemployment resolution.

Another entity that rated Austin well was It cited the Austin area and Washington, D.C. as the top cities in speed of recovery from the recession. It also cited the performance of the two cities in job creation, home price improvement and gross metro product.

The Builder magazine also lauded Austin as among the best housing markets. The magazine said that although their performance also suffered from the recession, their continued growth is still to be noted, especially when the bleak situations in other cities are considered. Only two markets were rated above 50 points – the Austin-Round Rock and the Raleigh-Cary area in North Carolina.

Another positive development in Austin is the significant increase in home sales in January. A total of 884 houses were sold, up by 5 percent from sales in January 2009, based on numbers released by the Austin Board of Realtors. The home sales price median also improved by one percent year-over-year to $179,250, giving hope to realtors and sellers that even the prices of Austin bank owned homes would increase in the coming months.

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