Published Sunday, September 30, 2012

Small rays of sunshine in our housing market

Editorial

All of us are looking for positive signs the economic recession that began in 2007 is behind us and a more robust economy is ahead.

Here in Coweta County and throughout the Metro Atlanta, most people look to housing as the key to economic recovery. The Atlanta Regional Commission has a new Regional Snapshot that examines housing in the 20-county Metro Atlanta region -- including Coweta County.

The ARC report says housing market performance remains muted, but there are positive signs, including rising home prices and declining foreclosure filings. ARC says foreclosure filings have been declining in all 20 metro counties since 2010.

Regarding the sales prices of homes in the region, ARC says sales prices are still lower this year than in 2010 in every county. However, several counties have experienced an increase in sales prices from 2011. The report says this is another sign of a thawing of a frigid house market.

Thus far in 2012, Forsyth County has the highest median sales prices at approximately $250,000. Fayette County has the second-highest median sales price thus far in 2012, $215,200, followed by Fulton ($189,000) Coweta and Cherokee ($176,000), and Cobb ($169,000). All of those prices are lower than pre-recession, but these counties are seeing the highest increase this year among the 20 metro counties.

Obviously, we have a ways to go before we have a robust economy with lower unemployment and a much improved housing market. These housing signs are small glimmers of hope.

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