I went to the Harris County Trustee sale yesterday and wanted to share a couple of notes about what I saw.
Vicente Arenas with Channel Eleven and Jennifer Dawson with the Houston Business Journal were there covering the story for several hours. I was glad to see that they were covering the auction as the foreclosure situation in Harris County doesn't gets nearly enough media attention. From talking to Jennifer I think she got a couple of really good story ideas from her experience that I am anxious to read. I'll make a special trip to Barnes and Noble Friday to see what she wrote.
Anyone that knows me well knows that my opinion of local Reporters and Journalists is low. Vicente and Jennifer however were very well informed, asked good questions, and understood the significance of these events. I appreciate very much that they were there.
Activity on the foreclosure side of the sale seemed to be very slow. My guess is that only 5% of the homes that were auctioned off were bid on. I did meet and spend some time with a gentleman that was buying a home in Kingwood. Ironically he had tried to purchase the home for several months from Wells Fargo as a short sale to eventually give up and purchase the home at the auction.
The people that appeared to be "Professional Investors" seemed apprehensive to purchase anything at the auction. I overheard one gentleman that appeared to be well experienced in purchasing foreclosures on the courthouse steps say that he wasn't going to purchase anything at this auction due to his concern about the number of foreclosures coming on the market.
The next Trustee sale is schedule for Tuesday, March 3rd. (They are held the first Tuesday at of every month at 10:00am at the Family Law Center). According to realdata.net, there are 518 notices already posted. In the next week I would imagine that there will be many more notices posted to meet the 21 day notification requirement.
I'm going to hazard a guess that 2009 will bring north of 20,000 foreclosures to Harris County. 2008 foreclosures were slightly north of 11,000.