No Spring in Foreclosure Numbers as Summer Approaches

Real estate industry professionals remain hopeful as May foreclosure notice numbers remain constant in the Metro-Atlanta Region.

Although purely numerical data would suggest an increase in foreclosure notices, April’s notices amounted to 7,036 while May saw 9,539 notices issued. However, May is one of the five week counting periods, which occurs once a quarter, thus the spike was expected and accounted for when analyzing the data. Contrary to popular thought, foreclosure notices do not necessarily require repossession, and is only the initial step in the legal process of repossession. Financial institutions may drag their feet, fail to follow through, reach settlements or write down loans. When any of these occurs repossession can be avoided. Some industry professionals are weary of data to come though, fearing a backlash in the market from the extended settlement period between the federal government and many financial institutions that fraudulently foreclosed on many American’s homes. Barry Bramlett, CEO of a Kennesaw based real estate data analysis firm believes there is no indication of those predictions coming true in May’s figures, which are nearly the same for May of 2011. Further stating, “One might conclude there is some control of the flow being referred to default firms for foreclosure.”

The number of foreclosure notices has slowly dwindled since its peak in 2012 with 13,130 coming in August of that year. Additionally, residential home sales have also increased 11% since 2010 to 2011 and preliminary 2012 data would suggest a further increase as well. Although home prices remain depressed, delinquent payments, loan defaults, and unemployment are all declining in Georgia and further serve as evidentiary support for the real estate industries hopeful outlook for the future.

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