Federal Homes in Atlanta Still Surging Amid Improvements

by Donald Hanz on Foreclosures

Federal homes are still surging in number in Atlanta despite some economic improvements in the area.

In May, the pace of Atlanta foreclosures rose as 9,587 homeowners received default and foreclosure auction notices. This number was higher by one percent compared to April and higher by 10 percent compared to May 2009, but it was a significant improvement from the 12,568 notices filed in March.

One of the major factors that slowed down the pace of increase for bank owned foreclosures was the improvement in the job situation. In April, the unemployment rate sharply dropped to 9.8 percent, a big fall from the March rate of 10.4 percent. The number of people working rose by 18,100 over the month to a total of 2,264,800 in April.

Also, the number of jobless workers has dropped by almost 15,000 to a total of 261,748. The number of jobless people who filed their first claims for unemployment benefits has also dropped by 14.4 percent over the year to 29,361.

Of the more than 50,000 homes that were notified of default and foreclosure auction in metro Atlanta in the first 5 months of 2010, a significant number were federal homes. Since the last months of 2009, the percentage of government-owned homes has been rising as the percentage of loans backed by the FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continued to spike.

In the first quarter, the combined total of homes repossessed by the three agencies nationwide was 209,500, a spike of 59 percent from the first quarter of 2009 and a jump of 22 percent from the 172,357 in the previous quarter.

Fannie Mae posted the highest number of REO units in the first quarter with a total of 109,989. Freddie was next with 53,831 and FHA was third with 45,680.

During the same quarter, foreclosures in Georgia also increased by more than 30 percent from the previous period to a total of 39,911 filings. Of these, a total of 13,607 were federal homes and bank-owned properties.