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Atlanta Home Auctions Continued to Rev Up as Defaults Rose

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Atlanta home auctions continued to intensify in the first months of this year as defaults and foreclosures rose in the area, based on records from research and auction firms and nonprofit associations.

This March, Real Estate Disposition Corporation, considered the largest auction firms in the country, has listed more than 250 foreclosed homes in Atlanta for auction at Cobb Galleria. For this year, REDC has already auctioned off 5,705 distressed properties throughout the country for a total of $322 million.

Jeff Frieden, chief executive of REDC, said that the number of foreclosures for auction this year will be twice the number last year, with foreclosure filings this year to reach 3 to 7 million.

Among the foreclosure properties to be auctioned off in metro Atlanta are two homes with starting bids at $99,000, with the 5,600-square-foot unit previously assessed at $678,000 and the 3,864-square-foot unit previously assessed at $455,000.

Two other homes have starting bids at $149,000, with the 3,619-square-foot unit previously assessed at $510,000 and the 3,733-square-foot unit previously appraised at $455,000.

Housing analysts said that more properties are entering Atlanta home auctions because of the continued rise in mortgage default rates and foreclosure rates in metro Atlanta.

The foreclosure rate in the Atlanta metro area rose to 2.8 percent in January 2010, a sharp rise from 1.6 percent in January last year. The rate of pre-foreclosures in Atlanta also soared to 10.85 percent, an increase from the January 2009 rate of 6.57 percent.

Statewide, foreclosure activity also stepped up, posting a 2.47-percent foreclosure rate, substantially higher than the 1.44-percent pace in January last year. The default rate spiked to 9.51 percent, much higher than the January 2009 rate of 5.83-percent.

According to John O’Callaghan, head of the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, private-public collaborative groups need to rise up to the challenge and compete with private investors who are buying foreclosures, but are not fixing them. They are instead offering the properties for rent and not helping improve the values of properties in the neighborhoods.

Vaughn Irons of APD Solutions also called for homeowner and neighborhood education so that buyers are enticed to look at the value of foreclosures in battered neighborhoods.

According to the Sustainable Neighborhood Development Strategies and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, among neighborhoods that must get attention from government and nonprofit housing agencies is the Pittsburgh community which has been contributing to six percent of properties entering lists of Atlanta home auctions.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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