December foreclosures third lowest of the year

by Sarah Fay Campbell

Foreclosure numbers are up slightly for December, and all but one of the 73 foreclosure-related advertisements in today's legal section of The Newnan Times-Herald are for residential properties.

The only commercial foreclosure advertisement is a rerun — for a portion of the Ashley Park shopping center in Newnan.

The Ashley Park foreclosure advertisement first ran in November. Reruns are common in foreclosure advertisements.

The advertisement is for a portion of the shopping center owned by Fourth Quarter Properties 104.

According to Coweta County tax records, Fourth Quarter 104 owns the area that includes Georgian Cinemas, Best Buy, and three buildings labeled "shopping center."

If the foreclosure goes through, the property will be sold on the steps of the Coweta County Justice Center on Greenville Street on Jan. 7.

The sale would be to secure a debt of $17.5 million from a promissory note dated Oct. 10, 2006.

The higher foreclosure numbers for Coweta County in December buck a recent trend of dropping numbers, but is still the third lowest number of the year, with only October and November being lower.

While single-family homes are always the majority of the foreclosure advertisements, there are usually a handful of commercial and/or industrial properties. This month, there is just the portion of Ashley Park and a small apartment complex, which is a rerun from several months ago.

“In October, every state posted a year-over-year decline in completed foreclosures, which is positive news," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, a real estate information tracking service. "Additionally, the rate of serious delinquencies, which fell more than 25 percent year over year, is at the lowest level in nearly five years, which is great news as we head into a new year,” he said.

In addition to fewer homes going through foreclosure, home prices are rising.

Home prices, including distressed sales, are up 12.5 percent over a year ago, according to CoreLogic. In Georgia, home prices have risen 14.2 percent — that's the third highest home appreciation in the country, including distressed sales. When distressed sales, such as foreclosures and short sales, are excluded, Georgia doesn't rank among the top five, with a home price increase of 11.9 percent.

Nationally, home prices hit their low point in February of 2009. They rose sharply thereafter, then dipped slowly in early 2011, before making a steady climb, according to CoreLogic.

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