Thomasville, GA-October 11, 2012
Foreclosure activity in Georgia declined nearly 20% from August 2012 to September 2012, making it one of the biggest drops in the country for this period.
Local realtors say their numbers are consistent with RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.
"We get calls from banks or foreclosure companies to do an initial assessment on houses that are going to be foreclosed on, and for the last two months, those orders have been down significantly," said Mills Herndon, Owner/Broker of First Thomasville Realty.
The report shows one in 532 housing units in the state were affected by foreclosures this month, but homeowners aren't the only ones affected.
"If you live in let's say a normal neighborhood and you live next door to a house that's been foreclosed on and it sold for $60,000 and you're asking $100,000 for your house, it can bring down the overall values of a neighborhood or certain properties," said Herndon.
Royal Baker, a business banker for Commercial Bank in Thomasville added, "Things can cost the bank money such as property taxes, you have insurance, you have upkeep costs, you know what a normal homeowner would have to pay and If you have a bunch of those properties and the bank is having to shoulder those costs, it does hurt things."
Housing officials say the economy plays a big role in keeping this trend going.
"The sooner the economy gets better, and people get back to work and they can keep making their house payments, then that will help the overall values and people build wealth through their home values," said Herndon.
According to the report, September's national foreclosure total was the lowest U.S. total since July 2007.