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Atlanta Foreclosures

Atlanta Foreclosure Report: January 2010

2009 was a record setting year in Metro Atlanta with 117,107 published foreclosure notices.

And the 2010 outlook doesn't look promising as the economy and job market continues to show signs of weakness.

But with just 8,181 foreclosure notices filed in Janaury 2010 we're able to breathe a small sigh of relief.  Surprisingly, we saw the first January-to-January decline in 10 years.   So what is the can this decline be attributed to?  Likely a combination of several factors, not the least of which being that we are finally seeing fall out from the "subprime" crisis getting cleaned up.

But it's far too early to predict how the year will go from here.  With many banks slowing the pace of foreclosure through the Holiday season -- it's possible this is just a seasonal dip and the relentless pace of 2009 will continue as we head into the spring in summer season.

So how did the 8,000+ foreclosure notices fall county-to-county?  Fulton...

The Year In Atlanta Real Estate

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves

Now that Christmas (and 2009) is behind us, it's time to look at "the year that was" for Intown Atlanta real estate.   The vast Intown market requires we chunk this data down to more granular levels.  It's only there, in the market-by-market comparisons, that information like this is of value. 

But to keep things simple and to lay our foundation it makes sense to take a macro view of the entire market.  From there, we can break out individual neighborhood markets in subsequent posts.

What are we looking at? 

Today, we'll look at the how 2009 compared to 2008 for the overall Intown Atlanta marketplace - that's 34 zip codes. 

We'll cover the 3 key market indicators:

1. total sales...

Taxation Without Representation

In the wake of the 2008 real estate meltdown lies Georgia's property tax system - in shambles.

Atlanta Home Values have plummetted but, as the AJC reports today, county tax appraisals are not along for the ride down.

In examining 550,000 residential property tax records in 5 major Metro counties (Fulton, Dekalb, Gwinnett, Cobb and Clayton) it was determined county appraisals are higher - in some cases, much higher - than your property is now worth.

What Does This Mean For You?

In simple terms it means that you are, quite likely, being taxed on value your Atlanta Home no longer holds.  I'm sure this comes as no surprise.  Afterall, 2009 Atlanta property taxes have been due for some time now.  And if you were alive and owning Atlanta real estate during the last 18 months ... you don't need an 8 Day investigative report to tell you your home has lost significant value and...

Atlanta Foreclosures Hit New Record High

The number of Atlanta foreclosures hit a new record in September with 12,207 foreclosure notices filed in the 13-county area that is Metro Atlanta, according to Alpharetta-based Equity Depot. ( 

That's an increase of 22% over August when 9,930 foreclosure notices were filed with the courts and 282 more foreclosures than the previous record of 11,925 set in June of this year.  

This moves the total number of foreclosures notices at 87,679 for the year - a new record for a 12 month period and we've still got 3 months to go.  The previous 12 month record was set in 2008 with 79,484 foreclosures notices.

Fulton County led the 13 county area with most foreclosures in September at 2,666; edging out Gwinnett County which followed with a close second at 2,304.  DeKalb County totals came in third at 1,770 followed by Cobb and Clayton with 1,474 and 994, respectively.

What does all this mean for the Atlanta real estate market...

Atlanta Foreclosures On The Rise

A record number of Atlanta foreclosures were on the chopping block at county auctions across Metro Atlanta on Tuesday. Estimates report over 10,000 homes were up for grabs.  This number includes a record 2,500 homes in Gwinnett County -- one of the hardest hit areas during this economic recession.

What Does this mean for Atlanta Real Estate?

Well...there's good news and there's bad news.  Good news first.  Because of the sheer volume of foreclosures hitting the market this summer, it's a great time to take be a buyer.  Prices will continue to remain at their 2001/2002 levels and with historically low interest rates, affordability is the name of the game.


Atlanta Real Estate Prices Down 15.7%

The most recent S&P/Case-Shiller Index (April) indicates a 19.1 percent decline in the average homes prices nationwide versus the same time last year.  Statistics led Standard and Poor's to report:

We see no evidence that a recovery in home prices has begun.

The Case-Shiller report included a survey of the 20 major metropolitan areas and show that Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Francisco suffered the most significant declines in housing prices over the past year —all posting losses over 30 percent in the last 12 months.

How's Altanta Real Estate Holding Up?

Well...there's good news and there's bad news. Bad news first: Atlanta experienced a 15.7% decline in average real estate prices since April 2008. The good news? On Tuesday I had the pleasure of doing an interview with Fox News and Fox Business Network...where I laid it on the line and predicted prices won’t drop much further from their current lows here in Atlanta. But I do...

Atlanta Foreclosures

The Atlanta foreclosure problem continues to get worse.  According to, which tracks foreclosures, more than 10,000 bank-owned properties are scheduled to be sold on courthouse steps next month.  The 13 county Metro Atlanta area shows 10,138 foreclosures scheduled this month.  That's nearly 1,700 homes more than the previous record at 8,425.


How do you spell relief?

Ruth Simon of the (WallStreet Journal) had this to say on how the recent cooling in the real estate market effects home value:

As the housing market cools, one of the hardest decisions facing home sellers is how to price their properties.

Traditionally, brokers have set listing prices by reviewing how much comparable homes sold for in a neighborhood. Now, with prices edging lower in many places and the number of homes on the market climbing, checking comparable sales is becoming less useful. At the same time, many would-be buyers are sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see how far prices will fall. Bigger inventories of unsold homes also are making it harder for sellers to figure out how to make their house stand out amid the competition.
Amen. We've actually seen the absorption rates for Intown Atlanta (a primary indicator of the health of the marketplace)...
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