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Foreclosures Rose, Resulting in More Birmingham Cheap Homes

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
The number of Birmingham cheap homes increased as foreclosures surged again in the final quarter of 2009 and in January this year after slowing down in the earlier part of 2009, based on figures from the Alabama Title Company Mortgage Foreclosure Report and the Birmingham Association of Realtors.

In Jefferson County, where Birmingham is the county seat, foreclosure filings rose by 12 percent year-over-year, and in January, the rate of foreclosures increased to 1.64 percent of all mortgaged homes, up from the January share of 1.1 percent.

In 2009, a total of 8,174 foreclosures were posted in the Birmingham-Hoover metro area, a staggering increase of 267 percent from 2008 and representing 1.64 percent of all housing units in the metro area.

However, the number of properties that entered foreclosure auctions in Birmingham in 2009 slowed. A total of 3,519 units were posted for foreclosure last year, down from the 3,809 units foreclosed in 2008.

According to Alabama analysts, job losses drove more foreclosure activity and pushed up the number of Birmingham cheap homes. The average sales price fell by 13 percent in February to $149,204 from the February 2009 average. The median price rose slightly by one percent from the February 2009 median of $131,900.

Due to the decrease in average prices, more people bought homes and pushed the home sales total in the Birmingham metro area to 789 units in February, up by 11 percent from sales in January. Sales within the city of Birmingham also rose to 645 units, up by 14 percent from the January sales. Total dollar volume from home sales in February surged to $112 million, up by 2 percent from the January sales of $109.7 million.

According to David Oakley, head of Oakley Group which specializes in multifamily properties, investments in commercial properties for sale, in 2009 yielded higher returns for investors as both the residential and commercial sectors put a downward pressure on commercial real estate prices.

Despite the dip in commercial occupancy rate in 2009 to about 90 percent, Oakley contended that multifamily occupancy will improve this year as renters look for bargains and concessions from property owners.

The number of Birmingham cheap homes is also expected to increase further this year because of the rising number of homeowners defaulting on their home loans. In January, nearly 8 percent of all mortgaged homes in Birmingham were delinquent by three months or more, up from 5 percent in January 2009.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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