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Metro Atlanta foreclosures continue downward trend

Kennesaw’s Ashford Capital Partners’ Managing Partners Matthew Riedemann brings you news you can use.

Foreclosures in metro Atlanta continued easing downward in June, dropping to levels not seen since 2002.

There were a mere 2,054 foreclosures in 13 counties stretching from Hall in the north to Rockdale in the south, and from Douglas in the west to Gwinnett County in the east. During June 2010, at the height of the housing crisis, there were 11,016 listed in the same counties, according to numbers from Kennesaw’s Equity Depot.

The drop is good news; it is another marker indicating a less-stressed housing market, but the market is not exactly healed. Though foreclosure numbers are back to normal levels and home prices continue to rise, there are not enough houses on the market during this spring seaso to satisfy demand.

A normal market has a six- to seven-month supply of homes. At the end of April, there were 4.1 months worth, said John Hunt, a senior analyst with the real estate analysis firm Smart Numbers in Atlanta. Fewer homes for sale means more competition for those houses that do hit the market, which could be one of the reasons metro Atlanta’s housing prices have been rising at double digit rates for more than a year.

Some real estate agents have been scouring personal contacts and even knocking on doors to try to find people willing to sell. Spring and summer are usually the heaviest months for buying and selling houses as people move during nicer weather and parents try to avoid moving during the middle of a school year.

Lisa Harris, a Realtor with Re/Max Center, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last month: “I would have expected more homes to come to market faster. The shortage in inventory is hurting buyers’ opportunities right now.”

The rise in values could help put more homes on the market. As prices fell through the Great Recession, many owners in metro Atlanta found themselves under water on their loans, they owed more than the homes were worth, leaving them unable to sell and move. CoreLogic, a California research firm, said about 40 percent of metro homeowners were under water when times were at their worst. Their most recent number has that dropping to about 20 percent.

Check back at myajc.com later this morning for a fuller report on how foreclosure numbers are affecting the housing market.

WHY IT MATTERS

Foreclosures can hurt home values, which are important even to people who aren’t likely to sell or buy soon. Home values contribute to the so-called “wealth effect” that helps drive the broader economy by making people more confident about purchases of all types.

Christopher Quinn, cquinn@ajc.com – Posted: 5:56 a.m. Monday, June 9, 2014 – http://www.ajc.com/news/business/foreclosures-low-in-metro-atlanta/ngG22/

Come back tomorrow to www.AshfordCP.com/blog  where Kennesaw’s Ashford Capital Partners’ Managing Partners Matthew Riedemann brings you news you can use.