Where Have All The Houses Gone?


Have you noticed For Sale signs recently?  They’ve been inflicted with a “rare” disease called Under Contract-itis – and it’s spreading.

Available homes for sale in Atlanta are becoming more rare.


Here are the facts:

  • September 2012 – 40% of available listings are under contract and in pending status; 19% increase year over year
  • July – September 2012 – over 12,200 homes sold; 1,000 more than in the same period the previous year
  • September 2012 – 3.2 months supply of inventory vs 5.7 months in September 2011
  • September 2012 – $156,900 median sales price vs. $145,000 median sales price for September 2011
  • July – September 2012 – median days on market was 74 vs. 105 for the same period the previous year

All of these support the fact that home sales are rising, inventory is dropping and prices are firming up.  So, what’s causing this?

According to the Wall Street Journal, private equity investors are now becoming major players in the housing market.  Blackstone Group has spent $1,000,000,000 (that’s $1 billion) since January 2012 buying up foreclosures in eight major markets including Atlanta.  Other firms have raised a combined $6-$8 billion more that they will use to buy up to 80,000 homes.  I guess that secret is out that low prices, low inventory and low interest rates are making housing the next favorite place to invest.

These purchases will help reduce the foreclosure inventory and provide a stringer base for price recovery.  In fact, foreclosure inventory is already showing signs of reduction.  According to CoreLogic, there were 57,000 foreclosures in August 2012 vs. 75,000 in August 2011.  The national foreclosure inventory stands at about 1.3 million homes which represents 3.2% of all homes with a mortgage.

“August marks the fourth month in a row there were fewer completed foreclosures, which is more evidence that the housing industry is finding its footing,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.  “While we are seeing improvement on a national level, there remain higher concentrations of foreclosures in some areas with five states accounting for nearly half of all completed foreclosures nationwide during the last year.”  The states with the largest percentage of mortgages homes in some stage of foreclosure were Florida (11.0 percent), New Jersey (6.5 percent), and New York (5.2 percent).

Now is the time to take advantage of the golden age of real estate.  Check out the foreclosures in Cobb County, foreclosures in Cherokee County and foreclosures in North Fulton County.  Let me know if you want to get in on the best investment opportunity in a long time.  Contact me to get a list of investment properties available now!

Related Post:  10 Keys To Making A Successful Offer To Buy A Foreclosure