Banks taking hold of more distressed homes: Good for buyers?

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A wave of bank repossessions has swept the nation’s real estate markets and Atlanta is among the nation’s leaders.

The number of those repossessions – called REOs – has spiked 66 percent from a year ago, apparently because a backlog of distressed homes is “finally spilling over the dam,” according to a study by California-based RealtyTrac.

The upshot is that there could be something of a re-set in the metro Atlanta market.

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For more than a year, experts have complained that the market has been distorted by a lack of sufficient supply – not enough homes for sale. That has given anyone who is selling a big advantage and pushed prices up faster than if there were more balance in the market.

Well, if RealtyTrac is correct, that festering concern could get at least a bit of addressing.

Metro Atlanta now ranks fourth in the nation for REOs, behind metro Miami and nearly 7,000, New York with 6,800 and Chicago with 5,200.

Metro Atlanta has 4,430 REOs. That is up 22 percent in just one month and 70 percent higher than a year ago.

“Many of these homes will be hitting the market for sale in the next six to 12 months,” according to the RealtyTrac report.

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