Foreclosure rates drop in GA -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Foreclosure rates drop in GA

Royal Baker Royal Baker
Mills Herndon Mills Herndon

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Home foreclosures dropped significantly last month in Georgia, but the state's foreclosure rate is still sixth in the nation.

New numbers show foreclosures declined nearly 20 percent from August to September.

Business banker Royal Baker says when he first stated working at Commercial Bank two years ago he had three pages full of foreclosures. "Over the last approximately six months we have seen a decline. Like currently we are not advertising for any foreclosures at the moment."

New figures show foreclosure activity slowed by nearly 20 percent last month.

But brokers say it is still an issue for sellers.

"Prices have continued to be flat or even go down in some areas and that is in a large part to the foreclosure market is driving it. Those are driving the prices down and it's still a buyers market," said First Thomasville Realty Owner Mills Herndon.

Herndon says the market is improving, just slowly. "More units have sold this year than last year. We are seeing more activity in the higher prices houses. Not a lot. Not significant, but over the last three years we saw very little activity in the homes that were maybe $300,000 and up."

Baker says he hopes all banks can get all the foreclosures off their hands as they cause a significant financial burden. "Property taxes, you have insurance, you have upkeep costs. You know what a normal homeowner would have to pay."

But Herndon says he and his realtors are staying optimistic. "I think October, November will be slow. People are generally going to wait and see what the outcome of the election is. Regardless I think there are some pluses and minuses to either side."

Baker says the one thing that will turn the market around is jobs.

If people have the income, they can pay their bills, and there will be a smaller supply of foreclosed homes.

Florida's foreclosure rate led the nation in September, followed by California, Illinois, and Arizona.

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