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Dealing with Atlanta’s Foreclosure Problem

September 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Atlanta’s metro real estate market has seen its fair share of foreclosures, which is exerting its impact on some facets of the overall market.  Unless we can remedy the foreclosure problem, it will be an uphill battle for the Atlanta real estate market to rebound.

Clayton is a stark reminder of the foreclosure problem affecting metro Atlanta. Case in point: there were 1,302 sales in Clayton last year – and 581 of those sales were bank sales.

Tax Valuations Falling – But Not Enough

Unfortunately, the foreclosures are impacting even the healthy homes in the area.  Says Clayton County’s chief appraiser, Rodney McDaniel: “I didn’t think we could go much lower than we did last year. But the foreclosure sales are really driving the assessments this year.”

Property owners are bearing the brunt of the poor housing markets and the glut of foreclosures.  However, county tax appraisals are not changing as much, even as property values continue to plunge.

Inconsistencies Still Exist for Homeowners and their Property Values

The property values in Clayton, however, are still far from accurate. The average appraised value of a home in Clayton in 2010 was $90,000, yet the typical sale price was $80,000.

Even though homeowners are getting little relief in taxes, the local government is still losing money, which in turn creates a number of issues for county revenue.

Although Clayton is certainly a worst-case scenario, as its real estate market continues to be driven by foreclosures, there are many other areas that are also experiencing the woe of foreclosures and lower home values in the metro Atlanta area.

There is one certainty when it comes to the Atlanta real estate market: home values cannot be expected to improve until the glut of foreclosures makes their way through the system.

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