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DALLAS-The latest foreclosure postings for four North Texas counties have pushed the thermometer to its second highest reading since the early to mid-1990s. Still, it’s far from a Doomsday Report, says its author.

“The major difference is the numbers,” says George Roddy Sr., president of the Addison, TX-based Foreclosure Listing Service Inc. The telling factor, he explains to GlobeSt.com, is the peak of the last real estate cycle in 1988 had 2,500 foreclosed properties whereas this year ended with about half that amount posted, not foreclosed, and less than 10% eventually making it to the courthouse steps for auction. “The actual sales number is minute,” he stresses.

Understanding lenders, workouts and deed givebacks have kept courthouse sales to a minimum. “It doesn’t mean there hasn’t been distress,” Roddy says of today’s environment, “but there was a workout and there are more now than in the late 1980s.”

The latest tabulation shows 146 properties were posted for the upcoming January auction, a drop of 3% from January 2003. Still, Roddy says, “the first foreclosure auction of the year for both 2003 and 2004 represent the highest level that monthly commercial property postings have been during this real estate cycle.” The new postings are 32% higher than those coming up for grabs at the last auction.

Of the 146 postings, 60 were in Dallas County, 52 in Tarrant, 22 in Denton and 12 in Collin. The breakdown has 44 land notices, 20 multifamily postings, 10 office buildings, nine industrial properties and eight retail assets. The 55-property balance is a potpourri of commercial buildings ranging from hotels to metal warehouses.

The newest foreclosure roster includes a 1,019-acre tract of developable land in Frisco. “It’s a curious posting,” Roddy says, noting the land lies at the western edge of a town ringing with success as one of the fastest growing cities in the state. Equally as curious is the acreage lies to the north, the historical growth pattern for the region. The land, assessed at nearly $30.2 million, takes up the northeast corner of Stewart Creek and FM 423. “It’s one of the most notable postings we’ve seen this year,” he says.

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