There are 851 homes listed for foreclosure in April, 525 less than the 1,376 listed for foreclosure last April. April 2011’s listings marked the second highest of the year, topped by December’s 1,429.
April’s number is the lowest since January 2009, which had 741 homes listed.
Cobb’s foreclosures market began snowballing after 2000, when there were 1,675 homes on the auction block for the whole year. After that, more and more homes were being auctioned off, with 3,280 homes were advertised in 2005, followed by 4,567 in 2006; 5,781 in 2007; and 7,911 in 2008. The real jolt came in 2009, when Cobb saw a 65 percent increase over the previous year with 13,038 homes were advertised for foreclosure. 2010 continued the rising trend with 15,854 homes, and 2011 finally saw the first break in over a decade when the total dropped to 13,751.
Year-to-date, Cobb has seen 2,886 homes listed in foreclosure in 2012 — 1,008 less than the 3,894 that had been listed for the auctions in February, March and April of last year. The calculated year for foreclosures runs February through January, as the numbers are reported a month before the auction.
Tom Heyer of Marietta, senior mortgage loan officer with SunTrust Mortgage in Kennesaw, said that because the downfall of the housing market and the national economy, foreclosures will always have a substantial presence in the market, but the percentage of foreclosure sales to other sales is shifting.
“We used to have about 60 percent foreclosures in the market, even up through last year, but that (ratio) is starting to shift downward to 50/50, and I think it will keep shifting in a positive direction,” Heyer said. “There’s an upbeat feeling in the housing industry right now, one we haven’t felt in a while, because money’s so cheap right now and reports on the sentiments of those in the industry are the highest they have been in five years, in some cases.”
Heyer said foreclosure numbers are starting to improve all over the Atlanta housing market, not just in Cobb. Still, Heyer said foreclosures will continue to pour in, at least for the first half of this year, and many of those will be due to circumstances in which loan modifications have fallen through.
Legal notices must appear on four consecutive Fridays before a property can be sold at auction on the Cobb Superior Courthouse steps in Marietta. Foreclosure sales begin at 10 a.m. on the first Tuesday of the month.