Atlanta’s foreclosure activity drops

A report released Thursday by a real estate tracking firm offers a promising sign for Atlanta’s real estate market.

The metro area’s foreclosure activity dropped by about 21 percent from the second quarter to the third quarter, according to RealtyTrac. Foreclosure activity also dropped about 20 percent from the same time period last year.

The news isn’t all good. Metro Atlanta’s foreclosure rates are still more than twice the national average, with one of every 112 housing units facing foreclosure. In all, there were about 19,000 foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions in the metro area during the third quarter.

Atlanta’s decline mirrored a national trend, as RealtyTrac found foreclosure activity decreased annually in 12 out of the nation’s 20 largest metro areas. Leading the pack were San Francisco and Detroit, where activity dropped by at least 30 percent.

Daren Blomquist, a RealtyTrac vice president, warned of “rebounding foreclosure activity” that could threaten home price stability in recovering markets.

“The rebounding foreclosure activity tends to be in markets where the foreclosure process slowed down most dramatically in the last two years, resulting in a buildup of foreclosures in limbo that lenders are finally working through this year,” he said.

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