Repo Homes for Sale Dominate the Market in Alabama

by on Repo Homes

The growing foreclosure crisis in the country has spread to the Alabama county of Tuscaloosa where repo homes for sale dominate the housing market, according to a study conducted by sociologist Bronwen Lichtenstein, associated professors at the University of Alabama’s criminal justice department.

Lichtenstein, who studied the foreclosure trend in the county and statewide since February 2008, said that foreclosure appears to be worsening. Data compiled showed that local foreclosure activity continues to increase and affected modestly priced houses.

She said that she was surprised to learn that the foreclosure problem has disproportionately affected poor and middle-income homeowners. What is happening in the Tuscaloosa county is in contrast with other parts of the country where foreclosure spared wealthy homeowners.

Data showed that over 1,000 houses went into foreclosure in Tuscaloosa since February 2008 and the highest assessed value on repo homes for sale was about $300,000.

Most properties located in higher-end communities have been spared from foreclosures, with the problem occurring mostly in Alberta, Holt and outlying parts of Tuscaloosa. Many homeowners in middle-class subdivisions such as Lake View’s Million Dollar Lakes lost their homes to foreclosures.

According to industry experts, the assessed value of foreclosure houses in the county were between $58,000 and $300,000, and the median price was about $124,923. Experts explained that the median price indicates that 50 percent of the houses were assessed for more and the other 50 percent were assessed for less.

Lichtenstein said that she started to study the foreclosure trend in the county in 2008 after she learned from a neighbor about some foreclosures in the NorthRiver Yacht Club community. The information was not true but she started compiling foreclosure data and analyzing it with the help of Brian McKean, University of Alabama School of Social Work grant administrator.

According to data analysis, 58 percent of people whose properties were repossessed were married couples. And the average time that they stayed in their foreclosure houses was only about four years. Data also showed that the amount of time they stayed and owned their houses when they were foreclosed ranged from a year to almost 31 years.

The study also showed that foreclosure continues to spread across the county. Since February 2008, about 55 houses have been repossessed every month in Tuscaloosa. The highest number of repo homes for sale was reported last June with 93 foreclosed homes.

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