The tide of foreclosures in metro Atlanta continues to ebb, but not fast enough to keep it from nearly leading the nation.
The region ranked second in foreclosures during the past year, behind only the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, according to a report issued today by CoreLogic, a California-based real estate research firm.
Atlanta racked up 14,418 foreclosures from July of last year to July of 2015, compared to 16,350 for metro Tampa.
Both regions saw improvement: Atlanta had 21 percent fewer foreclosures than the previous year, while Tampa saw a 15 percent decrease.
The tsunami of foreclosures was a crucial – and painful – part of the housing crisis. As housing prices spiraled down and layoffs surged to record levels, many homeowners fell behind in their payments and lost their homes.
Those losses dragged down home values around them, so it wasn’t just the foreclosed households whose finances were hurt.
Many of those – at least in the early waves of foreclosure – were borrowers who had been given loans they really could not afford or others who were surprised to find their mortgage payments soaring after a few years of a very low “teaser” rate.
But it wasn’t just subprime and “liars’ loans” that failed. As unemployment rocketed to the double-digits, hundreds of thousands of homes were eventually lost.
Decline in foreclosures is a sign that the market is slowly heading back toward health.
But as CoreLogic’s report shows, the backwash has continued and there are still many neighborhoods where foreclosures are distorting the market.
Some promising news: The rate of serious delinquencies and foreclosures in Atlanta was dramatically below Tampa during the month of August, CoreLogic said.