The Mortgage Crisis in Houston

Houston, like many other large American cities, has suffered from the ongoing mortgage crisis affecting the economy.  Homes have been seized, families have been displaced, and lending firms have been burdened with trying to sell thousands of overpriced homes in a buyers’ market.  To demonstrate the impact of this situation on Houston, the Houston Chronicle developed the map above to show the number of homes in all Houston neighborhoods where foreclosures have taken place.

As previously mentioned, the US economy has been undergoing significant strain from homeowners defaulting on their mortgage payments due to increasing rates.  This scenario is affecting different parts of the country to varying degrees.  To demonstrate the affect on Houston, the Houston Chronicle leveraged publicly available data to build the map above showing the number of foreclosed homes across the city.  Click here or on the picture above to see the full interactive map.

The map uses two designators to show the number of foreclosures at a glance.  First, each affected neighborhood is represented by a circle.  The darker the circle, the greater the number of foreclosures in that neighborhood.  And second, each circle is shaded with a different color.  The darker the color, the greater the number of foreclosures in the zip code.  Click on any circle, and a window pops up showing the number of foreclosures in communities across that zip code.

A quick glance at the map shows that there are more foreclosures beyond the Houston freeway loop than within it; and that West and North Houston have been affected particularly severely.  Central Houston–where more middle-class neighborhoods prevail–has been affected but not to the degree of the outer neighborhoods.  The 77449 zip code, near Katy, Texas, has the highest number of foreclosures in the entire Houston metropolitan area, with multiple foreclosures in several communities.

The ongoing mortgage crisis is continuing to affect the national economy, with recent news reports showing the price of homes is falling nationwide.   The New York Times has also produced this excellent interactive map showing the change in housing prices across 19 other rmajor cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, Miami, and Chicago.  Houston is just one affected city, but this map provides a detailed window into the effects of the crisis across its metropolitan area.

4 Responses to “The Mortgage Crisis in Houston”


  1. 1 Debra August 5, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Houston values has been steady but that does not mean that the overall market will not affect it. Houston mortgage brokers need to be mindful of signing new home loans with clients on their minds rather than the fee they are going to make.

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Cartographia is a blog about how we use maps to represent the world around us, and how people interpret maps today and throughout history. Please feel free to send any questions, comments, or recommendations directly to me at cartographia.blog@gmail.com.

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