Foreclosures down, but Atlanta still second-worst nationally

The number of foreclosures – in Atlanta, Georgia and nationally – continues its steady decline, but Atlanta remains the second-worst in the category, according to a report this week from CoreLogic, a California-based real estate research firm.

Metro Atlanta recorded 14,846 foreclosures during the 12 months ending in July, second only to the Tampa-St. Petersburg metro area.

Still, distress in the housing market slowly ebbs along with the slow but steady improvement in the economy: Atlanta’s foreclosure numbers were down 24 percent from the previous year.

During the past year, the number of completed foreclosFor Sale sign 1ures in the state of Georgia also dropped, falling 21 percent, according to CoreLogic.

But even with that improvement, the state remains in the top five for completed foreclosures. Rounded off to the nearest thousand, the states and their foreclosures for the 12 months ending in July:

— Florida (about 98,000)

— Michigan (47,000)

— Texas (33,000)

— California (27,000)

— Georgia (27,000)

Those five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures, according to CoreLogic.

Nationally, the number of foreclosures fell from 50,000 in July 2014 to 38,000 in July 2015. Foreclosures this July were down 67.9 percent from the peak in September 2010.

A key factor in the improvement was the job creation of the past several years, said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic.

The unemployment rate fell from 6.2 percent in July 2014 to 5.3 percent this July, he said, and the result is a stronger balance sheet for homeowners. “Job market gains and home-price appreciation help to push serious delinquency and foreclosure rates lower.”

On Thursday, CoreLogic released national data showing that distressed sales — short sales and real estate-owned (REO)  sales — accounted for 9.4 percent of total in June, down 2.4 percentage points from June 2014.

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