Foreclosures listed for April among lowest in years

by Sarah Fay Campbell

Foreclosure advertising numbers have picked up slightly in April, but are still low compared to the past several years.

There are 56 foreclosure-related advertisements in today's legal section of The Newnan Times-Herald. That’s up from 49 in March, but it’s the second lowest number since at least 2005.

Of the 56, one is a re-run for a portion of the Ashley Park development that has printed multiple times over the past several months. There is also an ad for a 91-acre tract off Minnie Sewell Road. The foreclosure ad has the property being owned by Sunny Vest LLC. However, according to Coweta County property tax records, the property was transferred to Breakaway Atlanta Partners LLC in August 2013.

The remaining ads are for residential properties.

The housing market is continuing to improve in Coweta and the metro-Atlanta area. According to the Case-Shiller Index, metro-Atlanta home values have increased 37 percent since the bottom of March 2012. Prices remain 16.94 percent below the peak of July 2007.

In metro Atlanta, “baby boomers” are the leading buyer segment, followed by first-time buyers, according to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ April 2014 Real Estate Advisor. Move-up buyers are “showing signs of improved activity but remain well below historical levels,” according to the report.

There is a 6.6-month “supply” of homes on the market, according to the report. A six month supply is considered a “normal” real estate market.

Nationally, completed foreclosures in February, the last month for which numbers are available, are down 15 percent from February 2013, and down 13.1 percent from January 2014.

The residential “shadow inventory” was 1.7 million homes in January 2014, down 23 percent from January 2013, according to real estate information firm CoreLogic. Shadow inventory refers to properties that are in foreclosure and have not yet been sold, or homes that owners are delaying putting on the market until prices improve.

"Although there is good news that completed foreclosures are trending lower, the bigger news is the impressive decline in the foreclosure and shadow inventories," said Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. "Every state has had double-digit, year-over-year declines in foreclosure inventory, which is reflected in the $70 billion decline in the shadow inventory.”

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